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Arch Rock Colored Lithograph by John Douglas Woodward

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antiquesarea…'s loves104 of 334Original Old June 14, 1941, Albert Einstein & Clyde Fisher Princeton New Jersey Photograph Picture1920's Bassett Furniture Co. Chest of Drawers
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (4657 items)

    I LOVE this painting! unfortunately, i've never been able to get good photos of it. the color and even the texture always comes out crappy. it needs cleaning badly too.

    i believe that this is a seen on Mackinac Island on Lake Michigan - called 'Arch Rock'. I sent it to this man who is supposed to be the 'expert' on Michigan's natural features and he absolutely refuses to believe it's of the rock i'm thinking of, and i'm absolutely convinced that it is. stalemate.

    the painting is unsigned, but there is a date on the back of 1858 and then it says 'Natural Bridge, Virginia' - which is not correct. There is a very famous Natural Bridge in Virginia, but this definitely is NOT that one. it looks very different from this.

    i have a theory on who painted it, when and how it got confused, but i'd rather hear what other people have to say.

    i bought it from a picker who found this in the TRASH here in East Oakland along w/ some other lesser treasures.

    Mystery Solved
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    1. toracat toracat, 9 years ago
      Looks like Lake Michigan more than any other "arch rocks" I could find! Beautiful painting, wow 1858, it is a treasure!
    2. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      thanks toracat. i've seen some photos of the arch from near that time which have not only the same rock features, but the trees in the same locations as these. the problem is that this is done from a different angle than any photos i've seen - modern or old.
    3. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      i'm surprised more people haven't 'loved' this painting. it's probably my favorite piece of any i've ever had. i think it's just so beautiful and it really pulls me in.
    4. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      Just going by memory, of which there isn't much left, something clicks about W. Virginia. Great painting.
    5. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      thanks blunderbuss2. there is a very famous arch rock in west virginia - arch rock national park. but this painting doesn't depict it. despite what the note says on the back, i'm fairly certain that this is the arch rock on mackinac island [which was the declared the second national park in the usa in 1872]. you can see an early etching of the rock from a slightly different angle here:
    6. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      oops! i meant to say 'Natural Bridge National Park'.
    7. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      i finally took this out of the frame and was surprised to see that it's not a painting after all, but a hand-colored print! after doing some more research, i discovered that it's based on a print from the 1872 Picturesque America - the Appleton Series - edited by William Cullen Bryant. The print is almost the same etching of Arch Rock done by J. Douglas Woodward for the 1872-4 Picturesque America. This one is larger, in color [hand-colored?], and slightly different. the one in Picturesque America has a figure in it and this one doesn't. this one was done at sunrise or sunset, while the other one was done w/ the moon in the sky [better for a b/w print, i suppose]. i like this one quite a bit more, but it's getting more interesting now that i'm narrowing down it's history.
    8. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      I purchased a beautiful, original copy of Picturesque America, and there is a print of this in there by J. Douglas Woodward. Mine is definitely from the same source, but a much more beautiful and slightly different image - quite a bit larger as well. so the mystery continues...
    9. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      thanks bratjdd. this is actually an arch on an island in michigan - Mackinac Island. it's not in utah.
    10. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      i just added a photo of the J. Douglas Woodward print in Picturesque America - 1872-74.
    11. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 9 years ago
      Love the painting! I've been to Arch Rock many times, it doesn't look identical, but I'm convinced that that's it. The "arch" is a little thin and the greenery isn't exactly right, but that's an old painting and nature changes over time.
      Great Piece!!
    12. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      thank you antiquesareamazing. i had written to a man in michigan who is an expert in historic images of michigan natural features, and he wrote back telling me that it was not arch rock and not from michigan. i was dumbfounded, because it was so obvious to me that it was arch rock on mackinack. finally i wrote back w/ a historic etching of arch rock, mackinack along w/ one of the painting w/ all the common features circled and diagrammed. he wrote back just a few months ago and admitted that it was arch rock after all, and he told me about the etching on the right - from Picturesque America - 1872. it's definitely the same image, but the one in mine has different details - like no person walking, and wonderful color, and it's dawn rather than moonlit. and in my opinion, a much more dramatic and breathtaking image, really. from the moment i first saw and purchased it, my jaw drops when i first see it again - this jewel-like portal to the world of nature/mystery. thank you. i'm glad you recognize it for the beautiful and rare treasure it is. i almost gave it away to my mom for christmas, but decided to hold on to this one because it does give me so much pleasure.

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