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Finally A Perfect Palmer for Our Collectors!  
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White Morning, Water Color, Gouache & Ink, 22.5 x 16.5, Signed
Winter Forest brought $198,000 at Sotheby's
Walter Launt Palmer
Self-Portrait, 1885
CURATOR'S COMMENT: White Morning was painted in 1911, and its provenance is iron clad.
The work
was gifted by Palmer (1854-1932) himself to the artist Jane Peterson (see under that
name elsewhere in our listings) in 1913. It was subsequently acquired by Maybelle Mann, and
listed in her catalogue raisonee: Walter Launt Palmer: Poetic Reality, Schiffer Publishing,
Easton, Pennsylvania, 1984. Mann owned and loved this work, listed as No. 596 (p. 137), as
attached labels attest, which she acquired from the Kenneth Lux Gallery, and gave it a full-page
color illustration (p. 38) as well a smaller black and white illustration on p. 94), where she cites
Palmer's diary on the gift to Peterson. As another label attests, she lent White Morning to the
Albany Art Institute.
 As the son of sculptor Erastus Dow Palmer, 'Wallie' as he was called, was born to paint. came
to know almost all the painters of the Hudson River school. He was trained first by Charles
Elliott and later by Hudson River School master Frederic Edwin Church. The bond with Church
was long lasting, they traveled together to Mexico and shared a studio in New York and
elsewhere.  Palmer's work was first accepted for the National Academy of Design show of 1872,
when he was only 18. After a European tour in 1873, Palmer continued his art studies in Paris
until 1876. One of his masters was Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran, in whose studio he met and
worked along side John Singer Sargent. But later he worked with artists as diverse as Vonnoh,
Haley-Lever, John Francis Murphy, Will Low and many others.
 
Palmer started out by following Edward Gay as a painter of interiors, and went on to prefer
what he called the more luxurious interiors of Europe. But Church's influence re-interested
Palmer in landscape during their New York period. By the mid-1880s Palmer began
working on winter scenes
, and his snowscapes are superb. These masterpieces
captivated viewers with their serenity and masterful tonal subtleties. Fir trees and barren
branches droop under the weight of freshly fallen snow and ice glistens on half-frozen
streams in a way that captures the immediacy of the moment. Palmer continued to paint
these very popular winter landscapes until his death in 1932. He moved back to Albany,
and worked there except for summering in Gloucester where he was a member of the
Rockport group of impressionists. He was fascinated by snow, and used both oil and
mixed media to capture its subtlety. He once said, "Snow, being colorless, lends itself to
every effect of complement and reflection," and his use of blue shadow in the snow is
considered one of the first treatments of this technique. People and writers would remark
that it was strange to see him sitting on his Gloucester Bay dock in the summertime while
painting a snow scene. All the while the picturesque harbor's beauty was right in front of
him. But he responded that he felt that it was no more inconsistent than many of his fellow
artists who painted summer scenes in the dead of winter. Needless to say Palmer chalked
up gold medals, prizes and recognition right to the end of his career.
Palmer as painted by Irving
Ramsey Wiles in 1909
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Newly framed and with gilt-edge mat