High Bridge, New York
By Jasper F. Cropsey
This small landscape is among the furnishings of Laurance Rockefeller’s private office in the Belvedere, on the Mansion grounds. The painting was a legacy from the collection of his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. It depicted a scene that the Rockefeller family knew well.
The High Bridge was an aqueduct constructed over the Harlem River, in the rural countryside north of New York City. It was completed in 1848, and became a popular scenic vista for sightseers and artists, especially after a tall water tower was built on a nearby bluff in 1872. Urban development eventually overtook Harlem, and the land surrounding the bridge was conserved as a city park.
Jasper Cropsey was born on Long Island, and trained as an architect. He became interested in painting, studying with, and joining the Hudson River School of landscapists. He traveled widely in Europe on several occasions, and became a member of the National Academy in 1851.
Oil, canvas. 30x60 cm
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, MABI 3801