John Henry Hill (American 1839-1922) - The Hermit of Lake George, Autumn, 1873 (View from Caldwell Island Looking towards Black Mountain). Watercolor on paper, 10 x 15 inches. Signed lower right: J. Henry Hill, '73. Excellent condition, framed. In the Winter of 1873, famed photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard visited Lake George collecting materials for a guidebook on the region. One of the inhabitants whom he interviewed was the artist John Henry Hill, whom he found living by himself on an island in the Narrows. Stoddard's guidebook, Lake George: A Book of Today, depicts Hill as an eccentric character: "Phantom Island…is the home of the "hermit of Lake George," of whom rumor hath many tales, dark and mysterious, to tell, although, in fact, the subject is an inoffensive, modest and gentlemanly appearing individual, who writes his name J. Henry Hill. He came here in 1870, erected his house, which may be seen through the trees, substantially finished and furnished it, and has lived there summer and winter ever since alone, for even his dog seemed to pine for company and left his master. He is ostensibly engaged in making studies of Lake George scenery and foliage…" Excerpted from Adirondack, Prints and Printmakers, The Call of the Wild. Edited by Caroline Mastin Welsh. Page 105.
Joseph Decker (American 1853-1924) - Squirrel and Nuts, 1899. Oil on canvas, relined. 14 x 18 inches. Signed and dated lower left: J. Decker, 1899. Excellent condition. Framed in an exquisite period moulding. According to William H. Gerdts, noted scholar on American paintings, Decker painted approximately six paintings of his pet squirrel, Bonnie. The great 19th century Art patron Thomas B. Clarke acquired one of Decker's squirrel paintings in 1890.