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Maker(s):Johnson, Mary Ann Douglas (attributed)
Culture:American (1821-1906)
Title:painting: View of Westfield
Date Made:ca. 1850
Type:Painting
Materials:oil, canvas, wood, gilding
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Westfield
Measurements:overall: 27 1/8 in x 34 in; 68.8975 cm x 86.36 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2009.7
Credit Line:Hall and Kate Peterson Fund for Paintings, Prints, Drawings and Photographs with funds provided by William H. Bakeman
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
2009-7F.jpg

Description:
Framed painting of the town of Westfield, Massachusetts, attributed to Mary Anne Douglas Johnson (1821-1906) and framed in a gilt wood frame. Westfield native Mary Ann Douglas Johnson enjoyed a long career as a portraitist who often worked in crayon. In 1839, Maryanne (or Mary Ann) Douglas married William Allen Johnson (1816-1901) of Westfield, Massachusetts, whose Johnson Organ Company became one of the most respected organ firms of the country during the second half of the 19th century. Previously, Johnson had operated a successful construction company in Westfield, where some of his buildings may still be seen in the painting. According to Bob Brown, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Westfield Athenaeum, the painting "does appear to be a version of the painting hanging in the Smith Museum of the Westfield Athenaeum. The perspective is the same (looking south into Westfield from Pochassic St..) The aqueduct appears the same and the blur in red at the south end of the aqueduct is where the Westfield brickyard appears in our painting. I can make out no details in your image, but you do appear to be showing the three steeples of the three churches in the center of Westfield that also appear in ours. Yours appears to be, as you say, a copy of ours. I can prove from documents at hand in our accession list that ours is by Maryanne Douglas Johnson and is of Westfield from the items in the view and from the description of the painting." This unsigned painting depicts Westfield, viewed from the northwest, just before it became a manufacturing center. Agricultural fields extend along the Westfield River where later factories would produce buggy whips in such numbers that the town received the nickname, “Whip City.” One of the striking features in the landscape is the aqueduct over the river. Completed in 1829 as part of the Hampshire and Hampden Canal, the aqueduct stood for a number of years after the canal closed in 1847. Just beyond the aqueduct a brickworks operated. Near the center of the painting at the horizon can be seen three of the town’s churches: the First Congregational (left), Baptist (center), and Methodist (right). A sky with towering clouds takes up more than half of the canvas. A full report of the painting's restoration is detailed in the data file.

Label Text:
This unsigned painting depicts Westfield, viewed from the northwest, just before it became a manufacturing center. Agricultural fields extend along the Westfield River where later factories would produce buggy whips in such numbers that the town received the nickname, “Whip City.” One of the striking features in the landscape is the aqueduct over the river. Completed in 1829 as part of the Hampshire and Hampden Canal, the aqueduct stood for a number of years after the canal closed in 1847. Just beyond the aqueduct a brickworks operated. Near the center of the painting at the horizon can be seen three of the town’s churches: the First Congregational (left), Baptist (center), and Methodist (right). Westfield native Mary Ann Douglas Johnson enjoyed a long career as a portraitist who often worked in crayon. The museum of the Westfield Athenaeum owns a similar undated landscape attributed to Johnson.

Tags:
landscapes; towns

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2009.7

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

6 Related Media Items

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