View of Poughkeepsie in 1840 (mural study, Poughkeepsie, New York Post Office)

  • Georgina Klitgaard, View of Poughkeepsie in 1840 (mural study, Poughkeepsie, New York Post Office), ca. 1940, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1965.18.55

Luce Center Label

Georgina Klitgaard and two other artists won a government competition to design a mural for the Poughkeepsie, New York, post office. It was an important project and a lot was at stake. President Roosevelt, a native of Dutchess County, took great interest in this particular New Deal-sponsored mural project, and even helped choose the artists. He wanted the murals to convey the history and heritage of the area, and specified that Klitgaard’s view of the Hudson River’s west shore date to 1840, when the river traffic was at its height. Klitgaard took great care to comply with the president’s demands, visiting the Poughkeepsie library on several occasions to study maps and surveys from the mid-nineteenth century. This image is a final study, showing a view of the river dotted with ships carrying cargo from Albany to Manhattan past the busy waterfront town. The Vassar Brewing Company, warehouses, and hotels line the shore, highlighting the area’s community and industry. Roosevelt approved her design only after she had added College Hill in the distance, and Klitgaard received $2000 for the finished work. (Correspondence between Georgina Klitgaard and Edward Rowan, SAAM curatorial file)

Title
View of Poughkeepsie in 1840 (mural study, Poughkeepsie, New York Post Office)
Artist
Date
ca. 1940
Location
Dimensions
10 1/8 x 36 1/8 in. (25.6 x 91.6 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • History – United States
  • Study – mural study
  • Architecture – boat – riverboat
  • Landscape – New York – Poughkeepsie
  • Waterscape – boat
  • New Deal – Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture – New York State
Object Number
1965.18.55
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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