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Asher B. Durand's Life in Art: From Jefferson Village to Maplewood

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

During his multi-faceted six-decade-long career, renowned Hudson River School founder Asher B. Durand truly lived a life in art - as an engraver and then as a painter, first of portraits and ultimately of landscape. In all three endeavors - engraving, portraiture, and landscape painting - Durand played a major role in the art of his time by creating resonant images that contributed to an emerging American national and cultural identity.

Born in 1796 in a homestead on the corner of what is now Ridgewood and Durand Roads, Durand left Maplewood to pursue his career as an artist in New York, but returned to the family property in retirement, and built an impressive house with a studio atop it. He lived there until his death in 1886. (The original family home burned down in 1843; Durand's new home was taken down in the early 20th century.)

The Durand-Hedden House was pleased to host a presentation by prominent art historian and Durand expert Dr. Linda S. Ferber. In 2007, Dr. Ferber organized the first major retrospective in thirty-five years devoted to Durand’s career: Kindred Spirits: Asher B Durand and the American Landscape for the Brooklyn Museum, where she was the Andrew Mellon Curator of American Art and Chief Curator from 1970 to 2005. From 2005 through 2013, she served as Vice President and Museum Director at the New-York Historical Society (now Emerita.)



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