Attributed to Joseph H. Hidley (American, 1830-1872)
Farm Scene. Unsigned. Oil on panel, c. 1860, depicting a detailed bird's-eye view of a rural Rensselaer County, New York farmstead with a house and outbuildings, figures, animals, and horse drawn carriages against a hilly tree-lined background, 12 3/8 x 17 1/8 in., in a later green-painted wooden frame. Condition: Minor surface abrasion u.c.
Exhibited: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Between the Rivers: Itinerant Painters from the Connecticut to the Hudson River Valley. April 7-July 22, 1990; Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts, Sept. 9-November 4, 1990; The Hudson River Museum, January 20-March 10, 1991, retaining exhibition label.
Note: Joseph H. Hidley was an itinerant artist, likely self-taught, who eked out a meager livelihood working a variety of jobs to support his wife and family, in addition to his painting. He was born in 1830, in Greenbush, New York, and of four siblings, was the only surviving child when his father died just before his fourth birthday. He lived with relatives and his mother until he married Caroline Danforth in 1853 and settled in Poestenkill, New York. They had six children, but only three survived infancy. Along with townscapes and landscapes, he did religious paintings, taxidermy arrangements, fireboards, decorative under window panels, and a few portraits. He died of consumption in 1872 at the age of 42. His works are included in several museums and collections including the Abby Aldridge Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the New York Historical Society, the New York State Historical Association/Fenimore Art Museum, and the Rensselaer County Historical Society.