George H. Durrie (1820-1863)

George H. Durrie (1820-1863)

George Henry Durrie is best remembered for his rural winter scenes, ten of which were copied by Currier and Ives in the 1860s and distributed by the thousands to American households. A life-long resident of New Haven, Connecticut, Durrie was a self-taught artist who, like most of his contemporaries, started his career by taking portrait commissions and painting fireboards and other domestic items.  While both lacking formal training, George and his older brother John, Jr. (1818-1898) were fortunate to have use of their father’s stationery shop as an exhibition venue. George began painting rural scenes and winter landscapes around 1850 and subsequently grew in reputation and financial stability. 

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In contrast to the untouched American wilderness of many Hudson River School painters, Durrie’s oils featured man in nature, collecting his firewood and driving his oxen home.  They appeal to today’s collectors as both paintings of quality as well as records of 19th century farm life.  

References: See Martha Young Hutson, George Henry Durrie (1820-1863): American Winter Landscapist: Renowned Through Currier and Ives (Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Museum of Aert, 1978).

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