Branchville - May 1897
Branchville, May 5, 1897
The artist Albert Pinkham Ryder to Julian Alden Weir, after a stay at Weir's farm:
My Dear Julian,
I feel it my duty to drop you a line to let you know what good your kind interest and brotherly friendship have done for me. I sleep nights, Mr. and Mrs. Remy [the farm’s caretakers] are as kind as possible; I like the domestic noise and bustle of their dwelling, and the busy planning of the garden which comes on apace.
I have never seen the beauty of a spring before; which is something to have lived and suffered for. The landscape and the air are full of promise. That eloquent little fruit tree that we looked at together, like a spirit among the more earthly colors, is already losing its fairy blossoms, showing the lesson of life; how alert we must be if we would have its gift and values.
My little guide Carl Remy waits in the morning to see what I would do; and is altogether a sweet and amiable little lad and his brother also.
If when I get cured I could only learn to have language so as not to be continually misunderstood, except by you and those who have known me so many years.
I wish you could have been here and enjoyed the beauty of your own place.
I am still quite weak in the head, so with kind remembrances and best wishes for Mrs. Weir and the children I am yours in all friendship and appreciation,
Albert P. Ryder
Did You Know?
The Land of Nod was the name given to his property, now preserved as Weir Farm National Historic Site, by Julian Alden Weir and his artist friends. Both Weir and Childe Hassam used the phrase to title works that were inspired by the local landscape.