Thomas Addison Richards
American, 1820 ‑ 1900
Meditation in the Catskills, 1851
Oil on canvas
59 1/8 × 39 15/16 in. (150.2 × 101.4 cm.)
61 1/4 × 51 3/8 × 4 in. (155.6 × 130.5 × 10.2 cm.) (frame)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Irvin Abell Jr.  1984.14

Artistic Attraction
In 1854, Richards, an accomplished painter and writer of travel guidebooks, published The Romance of American Landscape: “[The] summits and cloves [of the Catskills] have always been a favorite summer studio for our painters. Most of us have passed live-long months in their solitary glens. I was, myself, at one time, sketching here by the roadside, with two or three fellow daubers, when casting my eye upon a passing vehicle, I descried the person and caught the voice of a city acquaintance. Amused to meet me so unexpectedly, [he called] ‘Halloa! Now, by the gods, I have often heard that these hills are infested by painters—vulgarism for panther—and I must, at last, believe the story!’” He continues, “Frequently in traversing a gorge of the Catskills, every turn has either brought me upon an enraptured student, or has shown me traces of one, in an unfinished canvas, carefully secreted in the cavities of the rocks.”