The Lion Gardiner House, East Hampton


Childe Hassam (1859-1935), The Lion Gardiner House, East Hampton, etching, 1920, signed with the cypher in pencil lower right and inscribed “imp.” [also signed Oct. 8, C.H. 1920 in the plate, lower right corner] Reference: Cortissoz/Clayton 159. Printed by Hassam, with the drying holes at edges characteristic of his proofs. In excellent condition, with wide margins. 9 3/4 x 14, the sheet 12 1/4 x 17 1/2 inches.

A fine impression of this iconic image, printed in black on a cream wove paper, with plate tone, and carefully articulated wiping to accentuate the play of shadows.

Carey and Griffiths suggest that “this print has always rightly been considered as Hassam’s masterpiece” (Frances Carey and Antony Griffiths, American Prints 1879–1979, exhibition catalogue, British Museum, London, 1980, p. 28, no. 37). The image appears to have been drawn on the spot; the artist uses bold patches of cross hatching to create the dramatic, atmospheric shadows cast on the house by the surrounding trees.

Lion Gardiner (1599–1663), an early English settler and soldier in the New World, founded the first English settlement in what became the state of New York on Long Island. His legacy includes Gardiners Island, which is held by his descendants. Gardiner was born in England, and died in East Hampton, Long Island.