Sanford Robinson Gifford | Hudson River School | American Art Exhibition

“Sanford Gifford’s Civil War” at the New York State Museum

Chelsea DeLay | November 20th, 2013 | Posted in News

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and the New York State Museum is offering a unique glimpse of the New York battlefront through the eyes of a Union soldier and American artist in its current exhibition, Sanford Gifford’s Civil War. The New York State Military Museum’s collection in Saratoga Springs has loaned three paintings by Hudson River School artist Sanford Robinson Gifford for this exhibition, which is displayed in conjunction with An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War. “The Civil War impacted all New Yorkers and Sanford Gifford, a New York native, soldier, and important American artist associated with the Hudson River School, provides a distinctive look at the impact of the war through these important paintings,” said New York State Museum director Mark Schaming. Both shows are open through March 23, 2014, and emphasize the pivotal role played by New York and its citizens throughout the course of the Civil War.

Sanford Robinson Gifford was a second-generation Hudson River School artist who was born and raised in upstate New York, where the nearby Catskills and Berkshire Mountains provided an unlimited amount of inspiring scenery that guided his artistic development. His paintings of the American landscape demonstrate a distinct luminist style, an approach that was later incorporated into the work he produced while serving in New York’s Seventh Regiment of the National Guard during the Civil War. The three works featured in Sanford Gifford’s Civil War depict quiet scenes of military life that reveal a deep, personal sentiment—Gifford demonstrated an innate ability for discovering beauty in a setting where conflict and death often reigned supreme. Visitors to this exhibition will be impressed by Gifford not only as an artist, but also as a soldier who succeeded in finding something beautiful to overshadow the strife of the Civil War.  The significance of his Civil War paintings continue to capture public interest—one is headed to auction in December and is expected to fetch a record-breaking price for the artist!

Sanford Robinson Gifford, Fort Federal Hill at Sunset, Baltimore, (1862). Oil on canvas, New York State Military Museum, Division of Military and Naval Affairs

Sanford Robinson Gifford, Fort Federal Hill at Sunset, Baltimore, 1862. Oil on canvas, New York State Military Museum, Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

Sanford Robinson Gifford, The Camp of the Seventh Regiment near Frederick, Maryland, 1863. Oil on canvas, New York State Military Museum, Division of Military and Naval Affairs

Sanford Robinson Gifford, The Camp of the Seventh Regiment near Frederick, Maryland, 1863. Oil on canvas, New York State Military Museum, Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

Sanford Robinson Gifford, Bivouac of the Seventh Regiment, Arlington Heights, Virginia, 1861. Oil on canvas, New York State Military Museum, Division of Military and Naval Affairs

Sanford Robinson Gifford, Bivouac of the Seventh Regiment, Arlington Heights, Virginia, 1861. Oil on canvas, New York State Military Museum, Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

 

 

 

Chelsea DeLay is a Researcher at Questroyal Fine Art. Chelsea earned her MA in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and her BA in art history and classical studies. Her interest in American paintings first began while working at an auction house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has multiplied exponentially since joining the Questroyal team.