Two signature paintings in the permanent collection of the Historical Society of Woodstock – Arnold Blanch’s Hervey White in His Studio (c. 1910) and Edmund Rolfe’s Landscape (1914) – have been restored and are currently displayed at the Historical Society’s Eames House Museum at 20 Comeau Drive. The conservator, Nadia Ghannam, completed the project in July.
The conservation of these works was supported through the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Treatment Grant Program, administered by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. Formal installation at the Historical Society of Woodstock includes accompanying labels. A Zoom event will be held in early autumn with Ghannam discussing her treatment, as well as a discussion of the historical background of the works by American art historian Bruce Weber, a member of the Board of the Historical Society.
The seminal portrait of Hervey White, founder of the Byrdcliffe and Maverick art colonies, pictures White reclining on the couch in his still-existing cottage on what is today Maverick Road in West Hurley.
Woodstock was a great center of landscape painting in America in the early 20th century. Landscape (1914) by painter, metalworker and jeweler Rolfe is an exemplary work of this period. Rolfe, a native of Detroit, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York before coming to Woodstock in 1905, when he was hired to take Laurin H. Martin’s place as teacher of metalwork at the Byrdcliffe art colony for a year. Rolfe then set up his own shop and home on a wooded acre in the mountain to the west of Byrdcliffe, where he worked and taught at his own school.
Rolfe’s romantic and painterly landscapes primarily feature views in and around Woodstock. He also worked in the Adirondacks, Cape Ann, Massachusetts and Philadelphia. Rolfe died in 1917 from injuries sustained in a local car accident.