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Burnham's Hotel

ca. 1845 Unidentified oil on canvas 25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.144 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing

Luce Center Label

Burnham’s Hotel was built in the early nineteenth century near New York City. Hotels like this were popular with wealthy families, who enjoyed the open space a short distance away from the city. A book from the 1890s describes life in one of these luxurious hotels: “On each fine summer afternoon the spacious grounds were filled with ladies and children, who sauntered at their leisure, having no fear of annoyance and confident of perfect immunity from affront.” (Abram C. Dayton, Last Days of Knickerbocker Life in New York, 1897) The artist probably made a living by selling portraits of popular resorts to visitors who wanted a keepsake of their trip. (Lynda Hartigan, Made with Passion, 1990)


Architecture Exterior - commercial - hotel

Architecture - vehicle - carriage

Figure group

Landscape - road


folk art

paint - oil

fabric - canvas