Wednesday, March 3, 2010

McEntee’s Train Deal

In 1860, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had a sweet deal for a couple of artists. The railroad approached Hudson River School painters Jervis McEntee and Sanford Gifford with the idea of a sketching trip.

“The company supplies [the artists] with two cars, one which is fitted with sleeping accommodations. They switch off at any picturesque point of view that may strike their fancy, and when they have exhausted its capabilities for artistic purposes, they book on to a train and proceed as far as they choose.”

It was good publicity for McEntee, Gifford, and the railroad. Hey, if Amtrak wants to try the idea out again, I’m sure we can find a couple of artists to sign up.
From “McEntee & Company,” a catalog from the Beacon Hill Fine Art.


Daroo said...

Jim -- Don't you have a similar experience riding the rails and sketching (albeit not as cushy)?

Sven said...

That sounds awesome - where do I sign up?

marctaro said...

A story told in art school by an instructor; In Canada the Group of 7 (influential landscape painters in the 1920's) had a custom train car that was a hotel/studio on wheels - the rail would take the car to remote destinations in northern Ontario and they would paint in comfort from the window's of their rolling studio. That's the good life!

James Gurney said...

Daroo: Check out the "Kicked off the Train at Gunpoint " story on Sidebar Nation.

D.Lisa said...

I'd absolutely go on a trip like that. Fun.

Casey Klahn said...

I'll sign on for the helicopter version.

r8r said...

I would love to see more corporate sponsorship of artistic efforts. It's advertising for the corp (and minimal outlay), and an opportunity for the artists (especially if they need the money).
And at the end of it, you have (one hopes)an interesting show.

Come on, you readers here who might have fancy corporate connections -- figure it out!