Late 19th century folk art oil on canvas landscape painting of Eastside Farm, the property of Captain Alexander A. Arnold of Galesville, Wisconsin. The painting depicts the Italianate Arnold mansion, designed by architect Samuel Luce and built in 1874 by Captain Arnold, and the original barn (no longer standing), with windmill and horse, carraige and driver in the background. In the foreground is a hay field, and in the middle ground, several of the farm's prized pureborn Shorthorn cattle, along with a figure of a man standing in the doorway to the barn. Later giltwood molded frame with beaded rabbet edge. Sight – 18" H x 27" W. Framed – 24" H x 33" W. Provenance: purchased circa 1970 from The Rocking Chair Antiques in Walla Walla, Washington. A 1971 letter from the proprietor, Mike Spence, included with this lot, notes that the painting was done in "about 100 years ago" and that the figure in the doorway was supposed to be "the man who built the barn and raised the cattle". The letter goes on to surmise that "it was either he or his son who did the painting". This lot includes a file of documentation on the property and on Arnold, a New York native and attorney who moved to Wisconsin and became a founding father of Trempealeau County in 1857. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the 30th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company C. After the war, Captain Arnold married Mary Douglas of Jackson County (his first wife, Hattie Tripp, died prior to the war). He set aside his law career to focus on his land, and became known for his progressive farming and breeding techniques. Arnold's 50 x 50 foot New York style barn with 12 x 12 foot cupola was said to have the first upright silo constructed in the United States. Through Eastside Farm, Arnold and his son Gerald introduced Shorthorn cattle to the area and raised sheep, peas and purebred hogs. Arnold helped organize the Trempeauleau County Agricultral Society and donated the land for the county fairgrounds. When he died in 1915, he was vice president of the bank of Galesville. Decades later, Eastside Farm fell into disrepair before being auctioned in 1981. It was acquired by the Garden of Eden Preservation Society, restored and reopened to the public as a historic house museum a few years later. Provenance: The collection of internationally known ragtime pianist and historian Johnny Maddox, Gallatin, TN. CONDITION: Good condition with some light grime; minor tenting along stretcher line visible in sky area. Scattered inpainting to sky area, largest 1 1/2" L. Frame is not original to painting and has 3/4" area of molding loss along rabbet edge.
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