American Printmakers On-line Catalogue Raisonné Project
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Copyright ©
2006-2007
by Jeffrey Coven
The Prints of Ernest Fiene:
A Catalogue Raisonné -- in progress
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Hudson River Boat
Catalogue Entry # 33
(Click here for explanation of catalogue entry #s and titles.)


Click the image for enlargement.

Date: 1928

Medium: Lithograph

Edition: 50*

Dimensions: 12 5/16 x 15 1/4 in

Printer: George C. Miller

Typical pencil annotations on impressions from the edition: Just below the image: numbered and titled (l.l.); signed and dated (l.r.)

Public collections holding this print: BMFA, MoMA, UNM

Topic galleries for this print:
1. Marine/River/Harbor/ Scenes

Notes

*Impressions outside the edition and States: A second state impression annotated "1/1 second state" exists outside of the edition. Our inference is that there are also first state impressions and that the edition is a third state, but neither of these early states has been observed.

Untitled, [Ella and Wilhelmina Fiene
at the Piano],
oil/canvas, 42x36, 1928
(Collection of Ella Borden)
Inscription: One impression, 4/50, is inscribed "To Ella and Nat from Ernest" (l.c. just below the image). Ella is Ernest's niece, daughter of his eldest brother Heinrich. She is pictured in Fiene's painting (at right) standing next to her older sister Wilhelmina, who is playing the piano. Ella later married Nat Borden. The inscribed impression of Hudson River Boat was a gift to the couple from the artist.

The setting of the painting is Ernest Fiene's house on Speare Road in Woodstock, NY, summer, 1928. Ella Borden recalls that she and her sister spent that entire summer staying with their uncle in Woodstock. Because she became fidgety while posing, the artist asked her to pinch a pleat in her dress with her thumb and forefinger in order to keep her hand still. The date of the painting, 1928, is the same as that of the lithograph, Hudson River Boat. (Interview with Ella Borden, Sept. 2005)

Subject and Setting: Of the subject and time of the river boat scene, Fiene says that in 1927, "there was no school or fad for painting the American scene. But this interested me for its native and even local quality" (Ernest Fiene Papers).

The Bridge pictured is The Bear Mountain Bridge, built in 1923-24. It spans the Hudson some 40 miles south of Kingston, NY, the setting for Riverboat at Rondout, and is slightly farther south from Woodstock. It now carries US 6 and US 202 across the River from Bear Mountain, Orange County, NY, to the northwestern corner of Westchester County, NY. To learn more about this bridge, click here.

Reproduced in: Esquire, June, 1938, p. 58.

Related Works: Hudson Navigation Boat 1927, oil on composition board, 38 x 40, Collection, WMAA (not pictured). Although the lithograph and the painting have generally similar compositions, they are significantly different, most notably Fiene has added, in the lithograph, a small boat in the river to the left of the larger one. In a letter to Fiene dated April 6, 1927, the director of the Whitney Studio Club (Later the Whitney Museum of American Art), Juliana R. Force, requests that Fiene lend her the painting Hudson Navigation Boat for an upcoming exhibition. She writes, ". . . This show must be the best and the newest in every sense of the word." (Ernest Fiene Papers)

An unobserved painting with the title Hudson River Boat II was shown at the Museum of Modern Art "Exhibition of Living Painters" in 1932.

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This page last revised: Monday, December 15, 2008