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Scenic Wonder: An Early American Journey Down the Hudson River


We tend to think of early nineteenth-century America as a country unspoiled by mechanized progress, but that was true only west of the Mississippi River. The Hudson River, which runs from the Adirondack Mountains and ends in Upper New York Bay, was already being changed by steam technology. Steam ships and mills brought people to the river, and Irish-born artist William Guy Wall was among them. He documented the majestic landscape with a series of watercolors, Scenic Wonder: An Early American Journey Down the Hudson River. Among his depictions of the glorious cliff walls and crowding hills can be seen those mills and farmers. Wall's watercolors were printed in hand-color aquatints and widely disseminated to proud Americans. All twenty prints are displayed in gallery 234 at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Image Credit: John Hill, American (born England), 1770-1850, after William Guy Wall, Irish, 1792–after 1864; Palisades, from "The Hudson River Portfolio", 1823–24; hand-colored aquatint, etching, and engraving; sheet: 19 1/8 x 25 3/16 in. (48.6 x 64 cm); Saint Louis Art Museum, The Sidney S. and Sadie Cohen Print Purchase Fund, Director's Discretionary Fund, and funds given by the estates of Babette T. Putzel and Louis R. Putzel, James and Joan Schiele, Paul M. Arenberg, an anonymous donor in honor of Nancy G. Rosenbaum, Mr. and Mrs. David C. Farrell, Nancy and Kenneth Kranzberg, and Charles and Jane Walbrandt.
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