520 East 72nd Street, Suite 2C New York City, NY 10021 , United States Call Seller 212.861.8353


The Family

Price Upon Request
  • Description
    Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (Am. 1819-1905)


    James McDougal Hart (Am. 1828-1901)

    The Family
    Oil on Canvas
    16 x 26 inches

    Hirschl & Adler Galleries (APG 1549D.06)
    Private collection, New York

    The Family was a collaboration of Arthur Fitzgerald Tait (1819-1905), America’s earliest sporting artist, with noted landscape painter James McDougal Hart (1828-1901). Both artists were members of the National Academy of Design. It is believed they collaborated at least two dozen times.

    A painting known to be by the two artists is in the Brooklyn Museum, and a Winterthur exhibition in 2016-17 noted, "Such a collaborative approach was a direct extension of practices Tait had learned in the lithographic workshop, where artists often devoted themselves to specialized tasks." "Tait would paint the animals, while Hart supplied the landscape."

    Today, Tait's wilderness, frontier, and wildlife scenes hang in some of the most prominent museums and private collections, including the permanent collections of the the Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Shelburne Museum, Vermont; and the Tate Gallery, London, among others.

    Though no correspondence or other direct records of their friendship survive, both artists spent their summers in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, creating sketches and other preparatory materials for paintings they would execute over the winter months in their NYC studios. They frequently worked on each other’s paintings, as well. Tait was the superior animal painter, while Hart excelled at landscapes, and so the two artists were known to combine forces. If Tait produced a landscape as a backdrop, Hart wished to show it for its own sake,

    This tendency to combine forces actually got Tait into a bit of hot water in 1857 when the New York Herald accused him of passing off Hart’s work as his own. This accusation, which came just before Tait was to be elected to the National Academy of Design, was a serious one then, just as it would be today. Tait and his allies swung into action, firing off letters to the Herald protesting the accusation and asserting his innocence. John Osborn, a friend and patron, offered to donate a thousand dollars (a sizable sum, considering that Tait often sold his paintings for around $50) to charity if anyone could prove the Herald’s charge. Osborn kept his money and the controversy died down, though Tait would occasionally spar with artists and critics in the newspapers throughout the 1850s and 1860s
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Origin: United States, New York
    Period: 19th Century
    Materials: oil on canvas
    Condition: Good.
    Creation Date: 1863
    Styles / Movements: Hudson River School
    Incollect Reference #: 605430
  • Dimensions
    W. 26 in; H. 16 in;
    W. 66.04 cm; H. 40.64 cm;
Message from Seller:

Schillay Fine Art, Inc. and Richard Schillay have carried on and expanded the art dealing tradition begun by Richard’s father, M. Edwin Schillay. For decades after World War II, M. Edwin Schillay was the foremost dealer of 19th century British art. He spearheaded the introduction to America of Victorian paintings on a large scale. Today Schillay Fine Art has greatly expanded its interests and offering -- well into the fields of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Modern, and Post-War art.

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