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"I never had so difficult a picture to paint": Albert Bierstadt's White Mountain Scenery and The Emerald Pool
by Nancy Siegel

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Fig. 1: Albert Bierstadt, The Emerald Pool, 1870. Oil on canvas, 76 1/2 x 119 inches. The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA, Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. 89.59.
When Albert Bierstadt's painting, The Emerald Pool (The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia) (fig. 1), was exhibited at the San Francisco gallery of Snow and Roos in 1871, the catalog noted that Bierstadt had painted "with the greatest fidelity to nature."1 Another reviewer wrote, "We have seen no painting that came nearer our ideal of the best landscape art, combining perfect truth with freedom, largeness and sentiment."2 Completed in May of 1870, the painting was a protracted project for the artist who, between 1852 and 1869, traveled to the White Mountains of New Hampshire on at least six documented occasions to sketch and take stereoscopic photographs of the region with his brother Edward.3 Bierstadt produced dozens of scenes depicting White Mountain scenery, singling out the Emerald Pool, a popular tourist destination in the Pinkham Notch area, as the site for his largest composition of an east coast landscape. Indeed, The Emerald Pool is a visual celebration of natural splendor, and the painting's careful detail owes much to the numerous sketches and stereoscopic views Bierstadt had at his disposal. As he confided to a friend, "I never had so difficult a picture to paint, as this White Mountain subject the Emerald Pool."4
By 1870 Bierstadt was at the height of his career, achieving fame as an artist best-known for his panoramic depictions of the American West. The Emerald Pool was an important work for Bierstadt: it represented his attempt to create a large-scale eastern landscape using the pictorial devices that brought him so much success in his scenes of the West. This essay first explores the manner in which an established tourist industry and guidebooks contributed to Bierstadt's fascination with the White Mountains and the Emerald Pool. Further, examination of his painted sketches (including recently discovered and attributed works) and stereoscopic views of the region will be addressed to demonstrate the process by which Bierstadt strove to pictorialize an Edenic landscape, combining geographical verity with an idealized vision.5 Lastly, the critical response to The Emerald Pool will provide insight into the different expectations audiences had for scenes of the American East versus the West.
Introduction—Travel and Tourism
The first train to the White Mountains arrived on July 4, 1851 in Gorham, New Hampshire, granting thousands of visitors efficient access to a wide variety of natural formations: mountains, waterfalls, and notches, thus feeding the tourist industry that spread north from the Catskills and the Adirondacks beginning in the 1820s. In fact, Bierstadt could have taken as many as nineteen railroad routes to locations in the White Mountains over the course of his visits between 1852 and 1869.6 The era of the grand hotel had begun and developments in rail service facilitated travel to the White Mountains, establishing the region as a popular tourist destination for those wanting to dedicate their vacation to the exploration of natural wonders such as Mount Washington, Glen Ellis Falls, Emerald Pool, and Pinkham Notch.7 Given the diversity of the terrain, authors and artists found a myriad of geological, forested, and water features to study. Writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau viewed the mountains as a plentiful source of inspiration, while artists such as Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand, Jasper Cropsey, John Frederick Kensett, and Albert Bierstadt made repeated visits to the region to sketch and paint.8 As many artists were inspired and influenced by John Ruskin, they would also have been particularly interested in detailed studies of the natural environment. Although the tenets of Manifest Destiny and westward expansion became sources of national interest, travel for most east coast residents usually meant staying a bit closer to home. While the White Mountains are not as vast or impressive as the western ranges, they became, according to Eric Purchase, "America's most accessible wilderness." In fact, Purchase has suggested that the popularity of visiting the White Mountains was encouraged in part by the tourist industry which promoted the myth "that the White Mountains preserve Nature in its aboriginal state."9 Although the idea of viewing nature in a primitive state may have sounded enticing, travel by train was long and laborious. For those who desired comfort and style along with their views, vistas, and glens, notions of the "resort" and "grand hotel" conjured expectations of luxury in their minds after a day of sightseeing or sketching.
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Fig. 2: Bierstadt Brothers, "Glen House," n.d. Stereograph. Photographic History Collection, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

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Fig. 3: Bierstadt Brothers, "Bear at Glen House, White Mountains, N.H.," n.d. Stereograph. Photographic History Collection, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
To meet the growing demand for comfortable accommodations, visitors were encouraged to stay at one of the large hotels such as the Alpine House, the Mount Washington House, or the Glen House, which opened in 1851—an establishment that would prove to be of great value to Albert Bierstadt.10 Grand hotels such as the Glen House offered guests more than local scenery. In addition to fine food, visitors could spend their time playing croquet, tennis, or billiards. There was a wide offering of plays and lectures to attend as well as dances and horseback riding.11 Stereographs taken at the Glen House by the Bierstadt Brothers (fig. 2) provide a sense of the popularity of gentle and genteel activities taking place on the lawn. In other views, the threat of the wild has been removed (fig. 3) as the "slumbering" bear is of little danger to anyone at the Glen House, although the story may have been recounted as a more exciting tale back home. From the Glen House, a variety of pleasant walks to appealing sites was available to Bierstadt and other guests. Owner Charles Milliken even published seasonal guides duly titled, The Glen House Book-White Mountains which contained advice and excursion recommendations. Touting the prime location of his establishment Milliken wrote, "In the first place, and the information will be of interest to the ladies, there are several short and easy walks to points of interest, near enough to the hotel not to be out of sight of it, so that ladies are in the habit of rambling about the neighborhood as free from care or constraint as they would on their own ground at home."12 Visitors needed to feel safe when venturing out into the woods. No matter how picturesque a view might be, surely it was not worth risking life and limb. "Ladies therefore need not hesitate to go the rounds of the nearer points of interest without an escort, though they are by no means advised to dispense with it, provided one is to be had."13 As part of the industry associated with travel and tourism, a host of such guide books was published to encourage visitors to the White Mountains.

Publications such as Putnam's Monthly, Ballou's Pictorial, and the North American Review printed many illustrations of the New Hampshire landscape, stimulating readers to seek out picturesque locations.14 The 1862 Harper's Handbook for Travelers, for example, included a section specifically on the White Mountains as a travel destination. Short and long excursions were variously recommended for travelers, with the idea that they may "have an opportunity of comparing our own mountains and lake scenery with that which you have seen abroad."15 Readers of Harper's Handbook were treated to both romantic descriptions as well as practical advice. On the poetics of Mount Washington, one would read of:

Nature's grand proscenium, and all that chaos of wilderness and beauty starts into life—the bare, granitic tops of the surrounding heights—the precipitous gorges of a thousand fathoms deep, which foot of man or ray of light never entered—the sombre matted forest—the moss-clad rocky wall, weeping with crystal springs—winding streams, gleaming lakes…all mingles in one indescribable panorama by the hand of the Divine Artist.16

Once readers were thoroughly taken by the spiritual and visual inspiration they were sure to find, Harper's was prepared to provide all of the necessary travel recommendations as to route, lodging, and cost:

You may leave New York, make the ascent of Mount Washington, and return in three days at an expense of thirty dollars, including your hotel bill: viz., from New York to Boston, via Norwich and Worcester, $4; from Boston to Gorham, via Portland, $4; Gorham to the Glen House, $2; to Mount Washington House at the summit of the mountain, $3; and $8 from Gorham back to New York. We will hope, however, that the bulk of travelers will not be compelled thus to "rush" it, but can spare two weeks and $75 to enjoy the beauties of Nature.17

If travelers needed to justify expenses, Harper's convinced them of the all-important value of social status for the well-traveled individual: "To offset the high price, travelers must remember how high they have been raised above their fellow-mortals, and that their Champagne is always cool."18

Bierstadt certainly had access to such guides and was clearly inspired by the widely popular book, The White Hills; Their Legends, Landscape, and Poetry, written in 1859 by his friend Thomas Starr King. King, a Unitarian pastor, intended his volume to "direct attention to the noble landscapes that lie along the routes by which the White Mountains are now approached by tourists."19 King found White Mountain scenery to be charged with spirituality; his guidebook is infused with romantic prose, along with recommendations on travel arrangements and itineraries. He conveyed the awe and excitement that visitors to the region could expect to experience while invoking the words of Ruskin and verses by prominent poets to reinforce the importance of finding beauty within nature. King noted the aesthetic qualities of the region and compared nature to a picture gallery:

Is it not one of the rich rewards of a long visit to any valley, to be able to drive directly to the seats which Nature has fixed along her picture-gallery, for studying leisurely, to the best advantage, her masterpieces of drawing, her most fascinating combinations of sublimity and loveliness, and the most mystic touches of her pencils of light, that edge the "mountain gloom" with "mountain glory?"20

Artists such as Bierstadt surely would have been inspired by King to seek out such magnificence however, King cautioned "that every triumph of a human artist is only an illusion, producing a semblance of a real charm of air or foliage, of sunset cloud, or dewy grass, or mountain splendor which Nature offers."21 Accordingly, King advised that one must go into nature repeatedly, to experience nature at different times of day and from different vantages. "Is one visit enough to satisfy a man of taste with a collection that has three or four first-rate pictures, each by a Church, a Durand, a Bierstadt, a Gignoux?"22 Recognizing the value and role of artists to disseminate American landscape imagery to a wider audience, King's suggestion to return to the White Mountains again and again was not lost on Bierstadt:

But what if you could go into a gallery where the various sculpture took different attitudes every day? Where Kensett, Coleman, Champney, Gay, Church, Durand, Wheelock were continually busy in copying from new conceptions the freshness of morning and the pomp of evening light upon the hills, the countless passages and combinations of the clouds, the laughs and glooms of the brooks, the innumerable expressions that flit over the meadows, the various vestures of shadow, light, and hue, in which they have seen the stalwart hills enrobed? Would one visit then enable a man to say that he had seen the gallery? Would one season be sufficient to drain the interest of it?23

For Bierstadt, the answer to these questions was clearly, no. Bierstadt would travel to the White Mountains on six known occasions between 1852 and 1869 often during the month of September, and often to work on The Emerald Pool. During these visits he would make sketches of the region and take stereoscopic views with his brother Edward (Edward and their brother Charles became noted photographers) in order to view the "gallery" as King suggested at different times of day and from different points of view.

Bierstadt in the White Mountains
Bierstadt made his first documented visit to the Pinkham Notch region in the summer of 1852. As part of his journey, he climbed to the top of Mount Washington and most likely stayed at the Glen House. The location of the Glen House was ideal for visitors to the area as it was situated directly across from the Mount Washington Carriage Road, a path leading to the summit of Mountain Washington. A journey to the top was often savored by tourists who saved the view of the Presidential Range for last so as not to be let down by less dramatic sites.24 Upon reaching the summit, visitors were treated to meals and accommodations, if they so chose, at the Summit House which opened July, 1852. Dinners cost $1; three meals plus lodging was $2.50. Bierstadt took advantage of this new attraction during the summer of his first visit as his signature on the guest register for August 11, 1852 at the Summit House reflects.25 His trip to the area occurred just prior to his subsequent departure for Düsseldorf where he associated informally with members of the academy and learned the academic practice of composing landscapes from preparatory sketches as well as making accurate observations from nature.26 Perhaps he went to the White Mountains—as William Cullen Bryant reminded Cole in 1829 before Cole's departure for Europe—to "keep that earlier, wilder image bright," as the panoramic view from the top of Mount Washington is awe inspiring—a fitting send-off for an artist about to embark on a European journey.27
Upon his return from Europe in 1857, Bierstadt briefly visited the White Mountains in 1858. He then joined Colonel Frederick W. Lander, an engineer for the Pacific Coast Railway Survey, from April to September of 1859, on an expedition West to improve travel through the Rocky Mountains. It was on this trip that Bierstadt sketched with Francis Shedd Frost and experimented with stereoscopic views.28 Upon his return, Bierstadt moved into the Tenth Street Studio Building in New York (which he maintained until 1881) and helped his brothers Edward and Charles open a photographic business by November of 1859 in New Bedford, Massachusetts.29 The New Bedford Standard observed that Edward and Charles "have gone into the business of taking stereoscopic views of objects of interest in this vicinity."30 Bierstadt returned to the White Mountains in September of 1860 to sketch, while instructing his brother to photograph specific locations. The Cosmopolitan Art Journal noted that Bierstadt "has gone into the White Mountain region to sketch, and to experiment photographically, along with his brother, a photographist of eminence." Such collaborative efforts continued until 1866 when the Bierstadt brothers' business disbanded.31
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Fig. 4: Crawford House Registry, September 13, 1861. Image courtesy of the Catherine H. Campbell papers in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
A fourth trip to the White Mountains lasting approximately three weeks was taken in September of 1861 with Edward, Edward's son, and Eliza, Albert's younger sister. Bierstadt was entered in the register as "A. Bierstadt" at the Crawford House on September 13 (fig. 4). Returning for an extended stay the following year, Albert spent most of the summer in the White Mountains and resided at both the Glen House and the Conway House, where he signed the guest register, "A. Bierstadt, New York," in September of 1862.32 His stay at the Glen House provided Bierstadt with proximity to the Emerald Pool and as a New York paper noted in the winter of 1863, "nearly an entire wall of his studio is filled with studies and sketches from his White Mountain sojourn."33 Additionally, the Boston Transcript reported that while in North Conway "he [Bierstadt] is making studies of the scenery for a large picture."34 Seven years appear to have passed before Bierstadt returned to the White Mountains to sketch and paint. During his absence from the region between 1862 and 1869, Albert enjoyed the success of The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak (1863, Metropolitan Museum of Art); he joined an expedition to Yosemite and the West Coast, and spent two years touring Europe with his wife Rosalie to countries such as England, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Spain. In the fall of 1869 with his wife and her sister Esther, Albert traveled to Niagara Falls to visit Charles and their sister Helen. They traveled down the St. Lawrence River to Montreal and then to the White Mountains where they stayed again at the Glen House for six weeks. It was during this trip, as Bierstadt later told a reporter from the San Francisco Alta, that he made numerous studies for The Emerald Pool.35
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Fig. 5: Contemporary view of Emerald Pool, June, 2004. Photograph: Phillip Earenfight.

While staying at the Glen House Bierstadt would have had easy access to the site for sketching and painting the Emerald Pool. The pool, located on the Peabody River, was just three-quarters of a mile south of the Glen House which provided the artist with comfortable quarters from which to begin his hikes. The relative ease with which Bierstadt traveled to the pool allowed him to produce numerous studies without worrying about the portability of cumbersome equipment. Bierstadt's presence at the Glen House did not go unnoticed and his painting of The Emerald Pool actually increased tourism in the area. Only months after its completion, The Emerald Pool became known locally. By September of 1870, visitors to the area went in search of the site:

The landlord of the Glen House, White Mountains, has lately been beset with visitors in search of "The Emerald Pool," in the vicinity of that popular hotel. The notoriety given to that romantic and secluded locality by the exhibition of Bierstadt's beautiful painting at Childs and Co.'s gallery, has excited the curiosity of White Mountain tourists, who now flock in crowds to view the scene which inspired the pencil of the artist.36

The Emerald Pool proved to be a source of fascination for tourists and artists alike. Writing about the pool in 1882, Samuel Adams Drake's impression is both romantic and poetic: "Solitude is here. Repose is here. Peace is omnipresent. And, freed from the excitements of city life, 'Peace at any price' is the cry of him whom care pursues as with a knotted scourge. If he find not rest here, 'tis his soul 'is poor.'" In an Emersonian vein Drake continued, "For him the smell of the earth, the fragrance of the pines, the very stones have healing or strength… And all this comes of seeing a little shaded mountain pool consecrated by Nature. He has only experienced her religion and received her baptism."37 Charles Milliken, too, advocated a visit to the pool in his Glen House guide:

This Emerald Pool is one of the most restful of sylvan haunts imaginable… It would not be twisting a phrase to "a lame and impotent conclusion" to say that the river had dropped into poetry here. It is not an epic, but an idyl [sic], all grace and feeling. Bierstadt has caught this feeling in his admirable painting. For a quiet hour with a favorite author, we commend the Emerald Pool.38

Today, visitors in search of the Emerald Pool (fig. 5) will find no roadside markers or signs. Although an unmarked location, local residents make use of the pool as a popular swimming hole. Access to the site and the view of the pool remain just as Bierstadt would have experienced them as he sketched and made painted studies from a variety of vantages. As Eleanor Harvey has shown, these studies functioned as aides mémoire for Bierstadt and certainly played an important role for the artist when painting a composition as large as The Emerald Pool.39

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Fig. 6: Albert Bierstadt, Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool), 1869. Oil on paper on board, 13 1/2 x 19 1/4 inches. Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection, Juniata College Museum of Art, Huntingdon, PA.
Painted Studies for The Emerald Pool
There are currently three known painted studies for The Emerald Pool including a recently discovered work at the Juniata College Museum of Art, Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) (fig. 6).40 An intimate, carefully detailed study done in the late summer to early autumn, Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) is signed and dated.41 Recent conservation work on the study revealed two handwritten notations by the artist on the reverse. In the top left corner "White Mts" is inscribed while the bottom left corner reads: "White Mountains / Emerald Pool / 1869"; the left corner notation is consistent with Bierstadt's sketch-making practice.42 An oil on paper, mounted on board, this study measures 13 1/2 x 19 1/4 inches and reveals small tack holes in all four corners of the paper, suggesting, as was Bierstadt's practice, that the work was produced out-of-doors, on site, and affixed to the lid of his sketch box.43 Many of Bierstadt's sketches average 13 x 19 inches, approximating the dimensions of his sketch box, which suggests that the artist would have been able to take advantage not only of advances in prepared pigments for working out-of-doors, but also of artist's board with prepared paper, cut to fit the size of the artist's sketch box. This would have facilitated the transportation of the sketches and their drying while outside.44 However, the degree of finish on this study suggests further work in the studio.
Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) is a masterful study with quick, wispy brush strokes visible in the foliage behind the waterfall. From a distance, the overall effect of light is subtle and diffuse, yet also focused on the waterfall and rock elements which pull the viewer's eye to the background revealing Bierstadt's use of impasto. Dabs of quickly applied pigment suggest leaves and sketchy tree trunks which fill the composition, blocking the viewer's sense of space or distance. Bierstadt used highlights of greens and ochre on rocks on the left to parallel those on the right. There is no subtle blending of tones and the layers of pigment reveal a tactile roughness in keeping with the rocky scene. As well, the use of impasto in the water simulates the appearance of movement and a splashing current, giving the image a three-dimensional quality. The perspective in the sketch is low, as if the artist were at a vantage somewhere on the water which advances no higher than the rocks framing the waterfall. There is no horizon line and one is fully ensconced in nature here as a distant view remains closed due to the soft and loose depiction of dense summer foliage. While flecks of white paint move the viewer's attention vertically through the center of the composition, one is fully aware of being completely surrounded by woods as the rocks create framing devices.
This small work becomes the visual focus of The Emerald Pool, as the eye is drawn to the same waterfall that reappears in the right middleground of the final painting, inviting the viewer to explore the scenery from this location as a seemingly random snapshot of the natural environment. Bierstadt demonstrates the value of detailed, descriptive studies of wooded interiors and secluded glens, with or without easy visual access into the composition. Though he used the imagery from the painted study with great fidelity, he altered the angle in the final work by roughly ten degrees to the left instead of showing a straightforward view of the falls, a device which leads the viewer's eye back into an expansive sky surrounding a somewhat fanciful depiction of the White Mountains. Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) is a very small component of the finished work yet reveals a great deal about Bierstadt's painting process, the importance of the painted study in general, as well as the long-lasting influence of both Thomas Starr King and the Düsseldorf art community who widely promoted the idea that landscapes were to be seen as multiple views and examined in great detail.
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Fig. 7: Albert Bierstadt, White Mountains—Study of Ferns above Emerald Pool, c1860. Oil on paper on board, 12 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches. Collection of the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT. Bequest of Henry Schnakenberg, 1971.2.21.
There are two other extant studies related specifically to The Emerald Pool. One is a small 12 1/4 x 9 1/4 inch composition, White Mountains—Study of Ferns above Emerald Pool (Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont) (fig. 7).45 It is also an oil on paper mounted on board, which has variously been given dates of c1860 and 1869.46 This vertical composition of ferns between two rocks is similar in technique to the study Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool). The application of paint is thin—typical of plein-air work, brushstrokes are present throughout, and slight impasto highlights suggest the presence of light. But truly this work is a focused botanical study of ferns reinforced by the loose depiction of surrounding rocks in various earthen hues. Given the profusion of fern growth around the pool, the precise location for this study is not easily found within the finished composition. As this is a generalized study, its location could have served as an aide mémoire for several places in The Emerald Pool as the flowerless fronds are found throughout the heavily shaded forest; however, the title, as inscribed on the reverse of this study, verifies its relationship to The Emerald Pool.
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Fig. 8: Albert Bierstadt, Shady Pool, White Mountains, New Hampshire, c1869. Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 22 1/2 x 30 inches. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966. Photograph: Lee Stalsworth.
Shady Pool, White Mountains, New Hampshire (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution) (fig. 8), an oil on paper on canvas, is the third identifiable study associated with this location.47 Although undated, this sketch was most likely made during one of Bierstadt's visits between 1860 and 1862 or later when he returned in 1869.48 Measuring 22 1/2 x 30 inches, and signed in the lower right corner, this is the largest of the three known studies. The size suggests that it was not made in situ but rather composed back in the studio, perhaps with assistance from stereographs taken of the site by Bierstadt's brothers. While the title is generic, the scene of a gentle pool of shallow water matches the central foreground of The Emerald Pool where the water level in the pool changes in depth amidst a ledge of silt and stones. This is the detailed area of floating autumnal leaves near the highlighted rock on the shoreline, to the right of the approaching deer. The transparency of the water revealing the smooth river rocks below demonstrates Bierstadt's penchant for precise study of minutia. As in the other known studies, flecks of white pigment suggest the presence of light and the overall application of paint is thin except for highlights of impasto. In terms of perspective, this study, like the others and the final composition, appears visually wider than it does deep and is comprised of two-thirds water to one-third forest as the density of the foliage in the background impedes our view of depth and receding space. Of the three studies mentioned here, only Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) relates to the middleground of the finished composition whereas White Mountains—Study of Ferns above Emerald Pool, and Shady Pool, White Mountains, New Hampshire are foreground elements. For an artist who was often criticized for contrived scenery, the studies related to The Emerald Pool demonstrate the artist's proclivity to observe and capture the nuances of an actual site.
Several newspapers reported the existence of some two hundred sketches Bierstadt claimed to have made for The Emerald Pool.49 This information was undoubtedly provided to reporters by Bierstadt himself who had a tendency toward self-promotion. Moreover, an inflated number of studies might have served to increase the value of the finished composition due to the perceived amount of labor involved in its production. No one ever claims to have seen that number of studies and Bierstadt may have been reacting to criticism of his painting The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak (1863) by American pre-Raphaelites who, in the New Path, found that for such a large composition, it lacked studied detail.50 While the actual number of studies Bierstadt made for The Emerald Pool remains unknown, his home and studio at Malkasten in Irvington on Hudson, and his New York City studio at the Tenth Street Studio Building contained hundreds of studies and sketches, whether hanging in frames upon the walls, or stacked as part of Bierstadt's elaborate filing system.51 The lack of documented studies related to The Emerald Pool may be accounted for in part by the fiery destruction of Malkasten in 1882 which resulted in the loss of many paintings and studies, in addition to items collected by the artist over decades.52 A large number of untitled studies identified simply as "Rocks and Trees," "Rocky Pool," and "Ferns and Rocks on an Embankment" may also be related to The Emerald Pool, however, without precisely locating their placement within the composition, and without the artist's inscription, such studies will remain generic in nature until further information comes to light.53 Given the number of paintings Bierstadt produced of White Mountain scenery, such unidentified studies could relate to any number of some sixty-plus New Hampshire paintings.54
While the known painted studies for The Emerald Pool are true to the site and have a Ruskinian quality to them, the final painting does not characterize the pool precisely as it exists. Bierstadt has added features and views inconsistent with the location. The view of the mountains in the distance cannot be seen from the vantage of the viewer at the pool. Additionally, in the finished painting, Bierstadt has widened the scope, creating an almost panoramic sweep as if to rival his western scenes. In person, the site itself is quite intimate, not nearly as grand as depicted by Bierstadt. The degree to which accuracy exists between studies and finished works was a topic addressed by the critic James Jackson Jarves. With regard to Bierstadt and Frederic Church, Jarves wrote, "with singular inconsistency of mind, they idealize in composition and materialize in execution, so that, though the details of the scenery are substantially correct, the scene as a whole often is false."55 However, one must remember that Bierstadt was working in a tradition where embellishment was an accepted practice. As Cole would write to his patron Robert Gilmor, "He who would paint compositions, and not be false, must sit down amidst his sketches, and combine them, and so have nature for every object that he paints."56 While Cole created masterful studies from nature, he too let the veil fall over nature's eyes in order to create well-ordered compositions. Unlike Cole however, Bierstadt took advantage of certain advances in photography that allowed him to recreate scenes with topographical accuracy back in the studio. Fortunately for Bierstadt, his brothers were leading figures in the field of stereographic photography and their collaboration would prove to be beneficial for Bierstadt's work on The Emerald Pool.57
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Fig. 9: Demonstration of stereoviews from 1875 Bierstadt Brothers publication, Gems of American Scenery Consisting of Stereoscopic Views Among the White Mountains, 1875. Image courtesy of the Catherine H. Campbell papers in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

The Use of Stereographs and the Influence of Photography
Bierstadt's encouragement of and cooperation with his brothers' photographic interests undoubtedly served him well while composing The Emerald Pool. It is likely that he first learned of stereographs, which increased in popularity from the 1850s through the 1870s, while in Düsseldorf in the early 1850s.58 After his return home in 1857, Bierstadt had the opportunity to pursue the compositional assistance afforded by photography while on the Lander expedition from late spring to early fall in 1859, with which he was involved in documenting the lives and customs of Native American Indians, encampments, and the landscape.59 The stereographs that he took, or at least assisted with, appeared in the earliest publishing venture of the Bierstadt Brothers—their 1860 Catalogue of Photographs.60 Included in the catalog were views of New Hampshire described thusly, "Our New Hampshire Views were all procured during the present season, and extra care taken to secure picturesque spots, which we think will make them valuable for Artists Studies as well as to all lovers of the wild and beautiful scenery for which the State is so justly celebrated."61 Clearly, Edward and Charles were fully aware of how their views could assist their brother Albert and perhaps the assistance was mutual as suggested by attention given to the efforts of the Bierstadt Brothers in an 1861 notice in The Crayon:

We would call the attention of admirers of photographs to a series of views and studies taken in the White Mountains, published by Bierstadt Brothers of New Bedford, Mass. The plates are of large size and are remarkably effective. The artistic taste of Mr. Albert Bierstadt, who selected the points of view, is apparent in them. No better photographs have been published in this country.62

The Bierstadt Brothers published many collections of stereographs such as Stereoscopic Views Among the Hills of New Hampshire, first offered for sale in 1862. As stereographs are paired photographs seen as one three-dimensional image through the use of a stereoscope or prismatic lens, the brothers ingeniously designed the book with glass prisms set within the inside flap of the cover.63 For five dollars, one could delight in the forty-eight scenes within as they were meant to be viewed (fig. 9). Instructions for proper viewing were provided:

Hold the book as shown above.
Place the lenses close to the eyes, keeping both open.
Secure a position where the light strikes the picture.
Adjust the focus to suit your eyes by moving the adjustable flap, which holds the lenses, forward or back, remembering that but one picture is to be developed out of the two in the illustration, and until this is secured, you fail to obtain that beautiful natural effect which the Stereoscope will produce.64

By the 1860s the Bierstadt Brothers were becoming prominent photographers in their field. One observer noted that the Bierstadt Brothers of New Bedford "are earning a reputation as landscape photographers second to no other persons in this country, and rivaling the best pictures by French artists."65 According to Helena Wright, it was the mass-production and dissemination of such photographs, stereographs, and photo-mechanical reproductions that allowed the widest audience possible access to the American landscape.66

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Fig. 10: Bierstadt Brothers, "Boatman at Pool, Franconia Mountains, N.H.," n.d. Stereograph. Photographic History Collection, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

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Fig. 11: Bierstadt Brothers, “Glen Ellis Falls, White Mountains, N.H.,” n.d. Stereograph. Photographic History Collection, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

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Fig. 12: Bierstadt Brothers, "Emerald Pool, Glen, White Mountains, N.H.," c1865. Stereograph. Private Collection.

The Bierstadt Brothers' 1865 Catalogue of Stereoscopic Views contained over two hundred views of New Hampshire (as well as images of camps, hospitals, and prisoners from the Civil War). Of those views pertaining to the White Mountains, a variety of tourist attractions was included such as the "Boatman at the Pool, Franconia Mountains, N.H." (fig. 10). The scene depicts a local philosopher, John Merrill, who rowed sightseers around the Pool between 1853 and 1887.67 Closer to the site of Emerald Pool, "Glen Ellis Falls, White Mountains, N.H.," (fig. 11) offered viewers a sense of the scale and magnitude of nature's power as the well-dressed tourists in the foreground appear miniscule by comparison, perhaps a romantic reference to the insignificance of humankind compared to the vastness of Nature. The Emerald Pool was captured by the brothers in this 1865 publication and would have assisted Albert while composing the structure of his painting. "Emerald Pool, Glen, White Mountains, N.H." (fig.12) is, like the painted version, a late summer view of the pool.68 The photographic view, which matches the Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) study, would appear even more three-dimensional when viewed through the prismatic lens. The eye is drawn toward the waterfall and the background dissolves into a haze of light. The reflection of light on water is the elemental subject in the stereograph, just as it is in the painted study. With regard to the focused foreground and blurred distance, Elizabeth Lindquist-Cock explains this visual phenomenon thusly:

This use of rocks, logs, sharp branches, and other debris in the immediate foreground is typical of the compositional tricks of the stereograph, which could achieve its strongest effects of three-dimensionality in the near distance… the foreground would leap out toward the eye, the spectator would feel plunged into space, the middle space would seem to be compressed, and the background would appear as a series of flat planes against a deep sky.69

Bierstadt's desire to view the landscape stereographically was actualized in his canvases. Similar to a stereograph viewed through a prismatic lens, Bierstadt depicted large foreground elements in The Emerald Pool with heightened detail while the background becomes hazy, almost abstract. The foreground of the "Emerald Pool" stereograph compares visually with the rocky foreground of the Shady Pool, White Mountains, New Hampshire painted study. As stated, the artist's use of impasto adds a three-dimensional quality which replicates the stereographic effects achieved by his brothers' photography. Their isolated view of the pool without human interference would have been desirable to Bierstadt back in his studio, an ideal example of the collaborative vision between the brothers. Similar views to the Bierstadt Brothers' 1865 stereograph were taken by photographers such as John Soule. However, Soule's composition focused on a rocky embankment in the foreground, thus eliminating the deeper sense of space achieved by the Bierstadt Brothers. As well, Soule included figures, acknowledging the existence of tourists, while Albert and his brothers consciously chose to deny their presence in their own work, favoring pristine views of the site.

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Fig. 13: Bierstadt Brothers, "Emerald Pool," 1875. Stereograph from Gems of American Scenery Consisting of Stereoscopic Views Among the White Mountains. Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library, Hanover, NH.

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Fig. 14: Bierstadt Brothers, "Emerald Pool," 1878. Stereograph from Gems of American Scenery Consisting of Stereoscopic Views Among the White Mountains. Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library, Hanover, NH.

Additional stereographs by the Bierstadt Brothers of the Emerald Pool appeared in their publications after The Emerald Pool was completed suggesting the sustained popularity of the site as a tourist attraction. "Emerald Pool" (fig. 13) appeared in Gems of American Scenery Consisting of Stereoscopic Views Among the White Mountains (1875) while a third and different stereograph of the pool (fig. 14) was included in the 1878 edition of the same book. Both views offered the following descriptive passage on the preceding pages noting the achievement of their brother Albert:

EMERALD POOL. On the Peabody River, which flows directly in front of the Glen House, there are numerous pools among the rocks which form its bed. The largest of these is within a mile of the house, in the direction of Pinkham Notch. The depth of the pool and the shade of the surrounding trees lend to the water a delightful green color, that has given it its name. The beauty of this forest gem has often been the subject of the artist's pencil. It is easily reached, not being far from the road.70

The reference to the Glen House and accessibility to the site suggest a sensitivity to the tourist trade. One further photograph of the Emerald Pool, taken perhaps by Edward, was found at a Bierstadt family auction in 1905; Lot #74 was listed as "Emerald Pool, photograph, finished in crayon-56 x 39, covered in heavy plate glass." This unlocated work could have been a collaborative effort between Albert and Edward. The lot read:

The wild scenery of the mountains is caught with the fidelity of the camera, and by enlargement it is prepared for the crayon of the artist. In this case it was finished by one to whom the mountains were well-known, and their wild spirit fully appreciated. The pool mirrors the mountains and the overhanging skies.71

Albert, Edward, and Charles had similar visions of the landscape and shared their experience through different media. The stereographs allowed a larger audience to travel visually through the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the photographic efforts of the Bierstadt Brothers undoubtedly met with success as the growing tourist industry in New Hampshire proved profitable for innkeepers, tour guides, photographers, and artists alike. Certainly, their brother Albert would take advantage of such stereographs while composing his largest painting of eastern scenery, allowing the artist to capture detailed effects of geography, light, and depth.


The Emerald Pool and Critical Response
Although it was a popular tourist destination, Bierstadt painted The Emerald Pool as a scene of secluded beauty. Here, still, quiet nature is the subject—a fallen branch, highlighted rocks, even the gentle inclusion of deer. As in his studies, the use of impasto in white pigment creates the effect of light reflecting against solid forms. The framing trees reminiscent of the Claudian tradition create a central focus for the composition; following the tree tops brings the eye to the water feature and, as in the painted study, Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool), Bierstadt is able to make the waterfall a visual destination resulting from the same formal principles. Areas of reflection in the pool appear almost abstract and murky as the eye is drawn to patches of light and color, also accomplished through thicker applications of paint.72

The Emerald Pool pays homage to Bierstadt's place within the Hudson River School tradition. He depicts the cyclical aspects of nature through foliage in various stages of growth, death, decay, and rebirth as well as through the change of season from late summer to early autumn as demonstrated by the tonal variation in the foliage. Trees have fallen of their own accord, not felled by the clean edge of man's axe; no suggestion of the machine is seen in this garden, and a small group of deer makes its way through the woods on the far left, undisturbed except for one who looks out across the pool, attentive but not concerned.73 This is a celebratory scene of the American landscape.

In April of 1870 Bierstadt had "almost completed the largest painting he has attempted for many years." In anticipation of the finished work, a writer for The Aldine continued:

It is an ambitious work and will no doubt receive much attention. A discriminating knowledge of works of art gains ground so rapidly with us that praise, even for work which implies much technical skill and years of labor, is no longer readily given. We grow fastidious and ask something more than the mastery of technique and industry. We begin to realize that there is that in Nature which is not interpreted simply by the translation of form and color—that there is a soul in things which we have been accustomed to call inanimate. And we begin to feel that the landscape without this is but the body without the spirit. But we ask for both and it remains to be seen when this great canvas of Mr. Bierstadt is brought out into the light, whether or not he gives them to us.74

By May The Emerald Pool was complete and on display at the Tenth Street Studio Building in New York.75 He then sent the painting to Child's Gallery in Boston where it was exhibited for at least eight weeks and then to Earle's Gallery in Philadelphia at the beginning of 1871.76 Bierstadt recalled to a friend in Boston about its production, "I never had so difficult a picture to paint, as this White Mountain subject the Emerald Pool, my artist friends think it my best picture and so do I."77 Despite the difficulty, the Boston Transcript noted, "No previous picture by this artist has excited so much comment and so much adverse as well as favorable criticism as the Emerald Pool."78 Indeed, a later review of the work while it was in Boston noted that "Its truthfulness to nature is so great that the gazer almost imagines he is among the solitudes of the White Mountains."79

An abundance of critical attention, sometimes negative but mostly positive, would follow The Emerald Pool as it was exhibited between 1870 and 1873, when, despite a boycott by American artists over space allocation, Bierstadt sent The Emerald Pool (along with Donner Lake from the Summit, 1873, The New-York Historical Society), to the 1873 Vienna Exposition where it was awarded a medal.80 Although the painting was shown in three major cities on the East Coast: New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, the picture failed to sell as there were few buyers for such large works. The painting was entered (and listed as The Diamond Pool) in the annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design for 1870 and the reviews were harsh. A New York Times critic wrote, "Wonderfully elaborate and cleverly handled throughout, the picture yet lacks something to be entirely complete. On reflection the nature of this deficiency becomes clear. What is wanting is mystery, the suggestion of hidden beauty, and of poetic feeling."81 Further, the Daily Evening Mail found that after several viewings, "We regret that a still closer acquaintance does not enhance its value in our eyes…It lacks pictorial effect, and Bierstadt is nothing if he is not pictorial. It is beautiful in parts, but they are badly put together."82
Why the lack of popularity for The Emerald Pool? Bierstadt completed this decade-long project of a view of eastern scenery parallel in magnitude and size to his western views. While the panoramic format for western landscapes was popular and appropriate—the landscape was vast, dramatic, and new to audiences—the same was not true for the landscape tradition back east. As one reviewer from New York noted, "we question very much if the subject was worthy of so large a canvas, and it may be that the artist, recognizing this too late, endeavored to make up for it."83 In addition to this criticism, Bierstadt was already engaged in a battle to redeem his reputation. In December of 1869, a number of his early paintings were to be sold from the estate of a Boston collector, Thomas Thompson. Given the weak nature of some forty paintings attributed to Bierstadt, the artist denied authorship of many of the works, resulting in an embarrassing relay of newspaper reports. Criticism from the New York Tribune included such barbs as, "Here are some forty pieces by Albert Bierstadt, all done in his earliest manner, crude, cold, flat, interesting examples of beginners' work, but containing no indication of future brilliancy." And even more jarring, the New York Sun wrote, "They are not only among the worst, but they are the very worst of the collection."84 The sale took place in February of 1870 as Bierstadt was completing The Emerald Pool; some of the paintings sold for as small a sum as thirty dollars. The very public nature of his dispute over the Thompson estate may have not only bruised his ego, but compromised his chances of finding a willing buyer for an uncharacteristically large eastern landscape composition.

In search of a sale, and perhaps anticipating a buyer nostalgic for eastern views, Bierstadt sent The Emerald Pool to San Francisco in late July, 1871. It was displayed at Snow and Roos' Art Gallery which advertised the work as early as July 29 as part of an exhibition "with One Hundred and Fifty other Oil Paintings, Water Colors, etc, etc."85 The exhibition catalog accompanying the show described The Emerald Pool thusly:

The scene is laid in the White Mountains near the Glen House, eight miles from Gorham, New Hampshire, and takes its name from a pool in the foreground—a favorite resort for tourists… The foreground has been worked up with the greatest fidelity to nature. Indeed the whole picture has required more labor than any other of the same size ever painted by Mr. Bierstadt. It was commenced some ten years since, but was not finished until after Mr. Bierstadt's recent visit to the White Mountains. More than two hundred studies were made for it, the larger number of which were used in painting the foreground.86

The catalog entry makes reference to Bierstadt's 1869 visit to the Glen House and the tourist industry as well as the two hundred studies Bierstadt purportedly made for the final composition.

Despite tepid reviews in New York, the majority of reviewers in San Francisco responded enthusiastically and advocated seeing The Emerald Pool while on exhibition. The Alta concluded, "the great attraction of the whole number being, of course, the magnificent Bierstadt, before described by us. We question whether the artist has ever painted a better picture."87 Further, a praiseworthy discussion of The Emerald Pool appeared in the San Francisco Bulletin:

In some respects it is even better than the famous Storm in the Rocky Mountains, which brought the enormous price of $25,000 and was exhibited to thousands of persons in the leading Eastern cities. The scene of The Emerald Pool is laid in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, near the Glen House. The dark pool in the foreground, from which it is named, is a favorite resort of tourists, and looks as tempting to a troutfisher as it might have been to a naiad…We have seen no painting that came nearer our ideal of the best landscape art, combining perfect truth with freedom, largeness and sentiment. It should be often visited and carefully examined.88

How striking that the reviewer makes a point of singling out Bierstadt's commitment to physical and atmospheric verity when that would become the greatest source of criticism about his western scenes— that they were formulaic composites. Associating the White Mountains with nationalistic qualities ("combining perfect truth with freedom") ties the eastern landscape to post-war reconstruction, as landscapes of the 1870s served in part, one can argue, as visual salves to unify the wounded nation. To tout The Emerald Pool over Bierstadt's more famous Storm in the Rocky Mountains, however, truly signifies the excitement the Bulletin's author was attempting to generate. Surely these accolades must have helped to heal the insults inflicted by critics back east. Clearly, just as western views fascinated east coast audiences for their mystery and newness, this very large painting of a New Hampshire forest appealed to a west coast audience, if purely on nostalgic grounds.89

The Emerald Pool is not, like Bierstadt's western views, about Manifest Destiny—layered with propagandistic calls to examine, glorify, and claim the West. Bierstadt's view of an intimate wooded interior is about a region already claimed, even haunted, by thousands of annual summer tourists and year-round residents. Its "newness" was lost decades before. But Bierstadt did make a conscious effort to display this corner of nature as untouched. Just as earlier artists chose not to include trails and fences, so too did Bierstadt retain the vestiges of a romantic sensibility. The viewer sees no hint of the rail system, luxury-enabling hotels, or the very commercial tourist industry just minutes from this scene of natural splendor. Albert, fully aware of the power of photography to capture both the beautiful and the brutal, utilized this technology when composing his vision of the American landscape. By employing the panoramic mode in his final composition, Bierstadt controls the viewer's visual experience and revitalizes this scene in the White Mountains, setting it on a par with the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains. After completing The Emerald Pool, Albert's visits to the White Mountains became less frequent; he returned in June of 1874 and for the last time in 1886.90 It is interesting to contemplate the potential significance the White Mountains held for the artist. The repeated nature of his visits combined with the numerous painted sketches he made suggest an obvious attraction to the scenery. But perhaps the White Mountains represented more important but less tangible qualities for him as well. Bierstadt returned to the White Mountains after having traveled in the countryside of Europe and the western territories of the United States and stayed repeatedly (took refuge?) in the area in the early 1860s during the Civil War years. Although other artists joined the war effort, Bierstadt did not. His longest visit came in 1869, a period of reconstruction for the nation and construction for Bierstadt in terms of work on The Emerald Pool. Perhaps this painting, for Bierstadt, was a culminating sentiment about the East Coast—rivaling the West in terms of grandeur and beauty— and demonstrating the Edenic potential of the American landscape.


Numerous individuals have been instrumental in assisting me with this project. My sincerest thanks to Nancy Anderson, Curator of American and British Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, for generously sharing her Albert Bierstadt research, in addition to her careful read of this manuscript in its various forms. Her advice and continued support are truly appreciated. Helena Wright, Curator of Graphic Arts and Photographic History at the National Museum of American History provided great insight and expertise with Bierstadt Brothers' stereographs while sharing her resources and time; at the Chrysler Museum, Jeff Harrison, Chief Curator/European Art and Acting Curator of American and Contemporary Art and Martha Hagood, Researcher and Coordinator, American Art Luce Grant provided valuable assistance; at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Phyllis Rosenzweig, Curator of Works on Paper, kindly took time from a hectic exhibition schedule to provide me with access to the Hirshhorn's Bierstadt study and research files; Margaret Tamulonis, registrar at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum was so helpful locating information on Bierstadt's study of ferns; Rich Remington, stage driver at the Mt. Washington Auto Road at Pinkham Notch provided valuable local history; Michelle Delaney, Collections Manager at the National Museum of American History, and the staffs at the Archives of American Art in Washington, DC, and at the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College were particularly helpful. Special thanks to Phillip Earenfight for traveling with me to the White Mountains and pulling me out of the Emerald Pool. Finally, my appreciation to Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Martha Lucy, and Robert Alvin Adler for their editorial comments and direction.

1. Snow and Roos' Art Gallery, Catalogue. Exhibition of "The Emerald Pool," White Mountains, by A. Bierstadt, and Other Paintings (San Francisco: Snow and Roos, 1871).

2. San Francisco Bulletin, July 29, 1871, 3. Gordon Hendricks papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

3. The existing documentation regarding Albert's travels in the White Mountains includes reference to Edward but not to Charles specifically. This does not mean that all three brothers were not involved in the composing and making of stereographs together. The exact nature of their partnership remains unknown. My thanks to Nancy Anderson and Helena Wright for information on the relationship between the Bierstadt brothers.

4. Bierstadt to "Russell," June 5, 1870. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

5. The bibliography on Bierstadt is vast. The exhibition catalog by Nancy K. Anderson, Linda S. Ferber, and Helena E. Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1990) is clearly the most exhaustive and extensive research on the artist. Additional important resources include: Dennis Anderson, Three Hundred Years of American Art in the Chrysler Museum (Norfolk, VA: Chrysler Museum at Norfolk, 1975); Nancy K. Anderson, "The European Roots of Albert Bierstadt," The Magazine Antiques 139 no.1 (1991): 220-33; Matthew Baigell, Oil Sketches by Albert Bierstadt (New York: Davis and Langdale, 1982); Matthew Baigell, Albert Bierstadt (New York: Watson-Guptill, 1981); Catherine H. Campbell, "Albert Bierstadt and the White Mountains," Archives of American Art Journal 21 no.3 (1981): 14-23; Gerald L. Carr, Bierstadt's West (New York: Gerald Peters Gallery, 1997); Gerald L. Carr, "Albert Bierstadt, Big Trees, and the British: A Log of Many Anglo-American Ties," Arts Magazine 60 no.16 (June 1986): 60-71; Gerald L. Carr, Albert Bierstadt: An Exhibition of Forty Paintings (New York: Alexander Gallery, 1983); Anneliese Harding and Brucia Witthoft, American Artists in Düsseldorf: 1840-1865 (Framingham, MA: Danforth Museum, 1982); Eleanor Jones Harvey, The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature 1830-1880 (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1998); Gordon Hendricks, Albert Bierstadt: Painter of the American West (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1973); Donald D. Keyes, The White Mountains: Place and Perceptions (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1980); Florence Lewison, Man, Beast, and Nature: Oils and Drawings by Albert Bierstadt (New York: Florence Lewison Gallery, 1964); William C. Lipke and Philip N. Grime, "Albert Bierstadt in New Hampshire," Currier Gallery of Art Bulletin 2 (Summer 1973): 20-37; Barbara Cyviner Listokin, "A Bierstadt Sketchbook," Master Drawings 18 no.4 (1980): 376-78; Helena E. Wright, "Partners in the Business of Art: Producing, Packaging, and Publishing Images of the American Landscape 1850-1900," in Pioneers of Photography: Their Achievements in Science and Technology (Springfield, VA: SPSE, Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 1987): 274-85.

6. Lipke and Grime, "Albert Bierstadt in New Hampshire," 25.

7. Randall H. Bennett, The White Mountains: Alps of New England (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2003). This was particularly true after the Willey disaster of 1826. On August 25, 1826, a great storm blew through Crawford Notch in the White Mountains triggering an avalanche that swept away nearly everything in its path. Unfortunately, at the base of the notch lived the Willey family who were tragically killed during this event. Fearing for their lives, the Willeys with their five children and two employed workers ran from the house only to be overcome by the rushing torrents. Curiously, the avalanche had actually parted to either side of the house, leaving the structure intact. If only they had remained indoors. News of this loss of life spread quickly and the site became an early tourist attraction in the area. The event was popularized in publications such as Lucy Crawford's classic History of the White Mountains (1846) and Benjamin Willey's Incidents in the White Mountains (1856) ensuring the presence of curiosity seekers for decades to come.

8. Hawthorne, for example, first visited the White Mountains including the Willey House in 1832 which became the basis for a series of published essays on the region in the 1840s-60s during the growth of the tourist trade. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tales of the White Mountains, intro. By John T.B. Mudge (Etna, NH: Durand, 2001). See also, Keyes, The White Mountains: Place and Perceptions, 24, 44; Robert L. McGrath, Gods in Granite: The Art of the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Syracuse University Press, 2001); John F. Sears, Sacred Places, American Tourist Attractions in the Nineteenth Century (Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, 1989); and Robert L. McGrath and Barbara J. MacAdam, "A Sweet Foretaste of Heaven:" Artists in the White Mountains, 1830-1930 (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1988).

9. For a thorough and fascinating account of White Mountain tourism, see Eric Purchase, Out of Nowhere: Disaster and Tourism in the White Mountains (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 45; quote at 17.

10. The Glen House was established in 1851 when proprietor Joseph Bellows built a small inn to accommodate travelers in Pinkham Notch; he sold the property to Joseph M. Thompson in 1852 who enlarged the building. Thompson responded to the increased tourist trade by offering affordable lodging as well as building secure paths to nearby tourist attractions such as waterfalls and picturesque views. The property was sold to Charles and Weston Milliken in 1869. See Bennett, The White Mountains, 90-91.

11. The Millikens enlarged and ran the Glen House until fire destroyed the property in 1884. A second Glen House operated from 1885 to 1893 and held up to 500 guests. This too burned down; between 1901 and 1924 a third structure served as the Glen House, albeit in a much smaller capacity. A fourth and final Glen House was destroyed by fire in 1967. For a history of the Glen House, see Bennett, The White Mountains, 29-30, 93, 121; and Bruce D. Heald, Stereoscopic Views of the White Mountains (Charleston: Arcadia, 2000), 98-99.

12. Charles R. Milliken, The Glen House-White Mountains, Season of 1889 (Cambridge: John Wilson and Son, 1889), 52-53.

13. Ibid., 53.

14. Lipke and Grime, "Albert Bierstadt in New Hampshire," 25-26.

15. W. Pembroke Fetridge, Harper's Handbook for Travelers in Europe and The East (New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1862), 447.

16. Ibid.

17. Ibid., 448.

18. Ibid.

19. Thomas Starr King, The White Hills; Their Legends, Landscape, and Poetry (Boston: Crosby and Nichols, 1862 edition of 1859 original), preface, 2.

20. Ibid., 8.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid., 176.

23. Ibid., 176-177.

24. Although members of the famous Crawford family, Abel and Ethan Allen, cut the first trail and made the ascent to the top of Mount Washington with thrill-seekers beginning in the 1820s, the Mount Washington Road Company was chartered in 1853 which began construction of the Carriage Road the following year. Two miles of roadway were completed in the first year alone, and by 1856 four miles of the eight mile drive were finished. The company went bankrupt but reorganized as the Mount Washington Summit Road Company. Under its authority, the Carriage Road was completed and opened to the public on August 8, 1861. The route by horse took visitors four hours to reach the summit of Mount Washington from the Glen House but a mere two hours to return. A cog rail system was in place by the summer of 1869, allowing larger numbers of tourists access to the summit with greater ease. See John H. Spaulding, Historical Relics of the White Mountains (Littleton, NH: Bondcliff Books, 1998 edition of 1855 original), 72-76; see also Bennett, The White Mountains, 38-53. Information also provided by the Mount Washington Auto Road stage office, Jackson, NH.

25. The Summit House burned down in 1884. A second house was built the following year but also burned, in 1893. A third Summit House stood until 1968. The Tip Top House was added in 1853 for additional lodging. See Bennett, The White Mountains, 32 and Heald, Stereoscopic Views of the White Mountains, 99.

26. Bierstadt studied casually in Düsseldorf associating with Emanuel Leutze and Worthington Whittredge and toured Europe (Switzerland, Italy, Germany) before returning home in August of 1857. Harding and Witthoft, American Artists in Düsseldorf, 9, 18.

27. Catherine Campbell exhibition catalog entry in Keyes, The White Mountains: Place and Perception, 79. The reference to William Cullen Bryant is from his 1829 sonnet "To Cole, the Painter, on His Departure for Europe." The Bierstadt family was originally from Solingen, Prussia, where Albert was born on January 7, 1830. The family left Europe, moved to the United States in 1832, and settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts in August of 1832. For a complete biographical account, see Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 115.

28. Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 143-144. See also Elizabeth Linquist-Cock, "Stereoscopic Photography and the Western Paintings of Albert Bierstadt," Art Quarterly 33 (1970): 365.

29. Charles (1819-1903) and Edward (1824-1906) left their woodworking business in 1859 after a fire on August 24 to devote themselves to the lucrative photographic market. Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 145-146.

30. New Bedford Standard, November 8, 1859, cited in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 146.

31. The Cosmopolitan Art Journal, September, 1860, 126, cited in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 147. Edward and Charles worked together, collaborating at times with Albert in New Bedford, Massachusetts, from 1860-1866. Charles became a stereograph photographer in Niagara Falls, NY, while Edward moved to New York City working with Albert and promoting his work through reproduced views of his brother's paintings. Edward experimented with various processes for reproducing images such as the Albertype. For a full discussion of the history of the Bierstadt Brothers, see Wright, "Partners in the Business of Art," 276-277.

32. Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 147. Copies of Bierstadt's hotel registration are available in the Catherine Campbell papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

33. NY Leader, January 17, 1863, cited in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 149.

34. Boston Transcript, August 14, 1862, cited in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 149.

35. Excerpt from The San Francisco Daily Alta, July 29, 1871. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

36. Boston Transcript, September 27, 1870. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

37. Samuel Adams Drake, The Heart of the White Mountains (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1882), 148.

38. Milliken, The Glen House, 58.

39. While the artist's more detailed studies were important to complete his large compositions, notes Harvey, "Bierstadt's oil sketches serve as a barometer of his fortunes as a painter. His gradual willingness to place his finished sketches in exhibition halls, donate them to charity sales, and sell them outright increased with his rise to prominence." Harvey, The Painted Sketch, 69.

40. The recently discovered study is Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) which was given to the Juniata College Museum of Art in 1998 as part of the Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection. The collection, which is weighted heavily in nineteenth-century American landscape paintings, is comprised of over four hundred works of art. For the history of the Stottlemyer Collection see, "Curator's Choice," Pennsylvania Heritage (Winter 2003): 41. Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) was first shown in 2003 as part of a touring exhibition. See Nancy Siegel, Along the Juniata: Thomas Cole and the Dissemination of American Landscape Imagery (Huntingdon: Juniata College Museum of Art in Association with University of Washington Press, 2003) which highlights the Hudson River School paintings from this collection.

41. Many of his painted sketches were signed after his death by either Sylvester Köhler or Bierstadt's wife Mary Stewart Bierstadt. Conversation with Nancy Anderson, May, 2005.

42. Conservation was performed on Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool) during the winter of 2002-2003 by Christine Daulton. Gerald Carr notes that the presence of additional notations and inscriptions on the reverse of works is typical for Bierstadt as well as the dating of works before the early 1870s. See, Gerald L. Carr, Albert Bierstadt: An Exhibition of Forty Paintings (New York: Alexander Gallery, 1983): introduction.

43. The work was mounted on board before it was given the Juniata College Museum of Art. It is unknown whether Bierstadt mounted the work himself or if a dealer was responsible.

44. Harvey, The Painted Sketch, 26-27. For a discussion of artists' supplies, see also, Alexander W. Katlan, American Artists' Materials Suppliers Directory: Nineteenth Century, New York: 1810-1899; Boston, 1823-1887 (Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes, 1987). Bierstadt benefited from developments such as the collapsible paint tube and while out west, he invented a tin canister fitted with slots to hold his sketches so that they might dry without touching other sketches. He certainly could have made use of this device in the White Mountains as he produced studies of the area.

45. My thanks to Margaret Tamulonis, Registrar at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, for her help with curatorial files and gaining access to the study. This study was formerly in the collection of H.D.G. Rohlfs, Jr., purchased by the Florence Lewison Gallery, NY in 1964 and sold to Henry Schnakenberg who bequeathed the painting to the museum in 1972.

46. Catherine Campbell dated the work to 1869, the same year as Mountain Pool (Emerald Pool), although a date of c1860 was given by its last place of sale, the Florence Lewison Gallery. See, Campbell, "Albert Bierstadt and the White Mountains," 17. The study appeared in Lewison, "Man, Beast and Nature," catalog entry no. 11.

47. My thanks to Phyllis Rosenzweig, Curator of Works on Paper at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, for providing me with access to the study and curatorial files. The study was given to the museum by Joseph H. Hirshhorn in 1966. Previously, the work belonged to Count Ivan Podgoursky of Boston; Vose Galleries of Boston; and the Robert S. Sloan Gallery, New York, from whom Hirshhorn purchased the work in 1964. While the study is undated, Gordon Hendricks provided a circa 1869 date for the work. In the 1980 catalogue by Donald Keyes for the exhibition, The White Mountains: Place and Perceptions, Catherine Campbell, uses Hendricks's date. It may have been executed while Bierstadt was staying at the Glen House in Pinkham Notch while making other sketches for The Emerald Pool. Correspondence in the Catherine Campbell papers from Judith Zilczer to Campbell (June 30, 1976) also suggests a potential link.

48. While no date was found on the front of the study, there may be evidence of title and date on the reverse of the canvas. The study was relined (curatorial files, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden) and covered with backing board making this observation not possible. However, the Juniata College Museum of Art study provided similar information on its reverse.

49. For example, see The San Francisco Daily Alta, July 29, 1871; The San Francisco Bulletin, July 29, 1871; and Snow and Roos' Art Gallery, Catalogue. Exhibition of "The Emerald Pool."

50. New Path, April 1864, 161, cited in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 194 in addition to conversations with Nancy Anderson, May, 2005 with regard to the lack of documentation for said two hundred sketches. See also, Lance Mayer and Gay Myers, "Bierstadt and Other 19th-Century American Painters in Context," Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 38 no.1 (1999): 62.

51. Harvey, The Painted Sketch, 55-57, 91. Harvey's research is seminal to the discussion of painted sketches.

52. The fire occurred on November 10, 1882. Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 250.

53. See Catherine Campbell papers, for notes on other studies. Ferns and Rocks on an Embankment was published in Linda Ferber's, The New Path: Ruskin and the American Pre-Raphaelites (Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum, 1985), 234. There is correspondence between Nicholas Clark and a private collector on its possible relationship to The Emerald Pool in the curatorial files at the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA.

54. Campbell, in "Albert Bierstadt and the White Mountains," 19-23, has identified fifty-eight works plus four probable paintings and sketches of the White Mountains by Bierstadt ranging in dates between 1858 and 1886. However, this number is not completely reliable as it lacks documentation.

55. James Jackson Jarves, The Art-Idea (1864), ed. Benjamin Rowlandson, Jr. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1960), 191 as quoted in Angela Miller, The Empire of the Eye: Landscape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825-1875 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), 197.

56. Letter from Thomas Cole to Robert Gilmor, December 25, 1826. Quoted in Annual 2: Studies on Thomas Cole, An American Romanticist (Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art, 1967), 47. Also quoted in Harvey, The Painted Sketch, 48.

57. With the exciting prospects of an inexpensive and marketable product, photographers such as E. and H.T. Anthony, the Kilburn Brothers, in addition to Edward and Charles Bierstadt, made their way into the White Mountains during the 1860s. Tourist resorts and other famous sites were popular subjects for stereographs which served as advertisements, mementos, and sources of amusement, just as the landscape functioned for photographers as potentially saleable views. By the 1860s mounted paper photographs were becoming widely available and less expensive. William Culp Darrah, Stereo Views: A History of Stereographs in America and Their Collection (Gettysburg: 1964), 54-55.

58. Lindquist-Cock "Stereoscopic Photography and the Western Paintings of Albert Bierstadt," 363-364. Albert also worked with Peter Fales, a daguerreotypist. See Hendricks, Albert Bierstadt: Painter of the American West, 17.

59. Albert wrote a letter to The Crayon, which it printed in September 1859, describing his efforts: "We have taken many stereoscopic views, but not so many of mountain scenery as I could wish, owing to various obstacles attached to the process, but still a goodly number. We have a great many Indian subjects. We were quite fortunate in getting them…" quoted in Lindquist-Cock, "Stereoscopic Photography and the Western Paintings of Albert Bierstadt," 364.

60. The catalogue offered stereoscopic views on paper that could be purchased for four dollars per dozen, or on glass for fifteen dollars per dozen. Categories for views included: "Copies from Choice Paintings, Engravings, etc.;" "Views from Nature;" "Views in New Bedford and Vicinity;" and "Views in the Far West" which was comprised of Albert's fifty-one stereoscopic views ostensibly from the Lander expedition and featured scenes of Sioux and Shoshone Indians from Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. Wright, "Partners in the Business of Art," 276-277.

61. Bierstadt Brothers, Catalogue of Photographs (New Bedford, MA, 1860), section 14. A photocopy of the catalog was made at the Institute for Photographic Research by Joleeta and Tex Treadwell. My thanks to Helena Wright for sharing this material.

62. The Crayon, January, 1861, 22.

63. For a history of stereographs see, Darrah, Stereo Views: A History of Stereographs.

64. Bierstadt Brothers, Gems of American Scenery Consisting of Stereoscopic Views Among the White Mountains (New York: Harroun and Bierstadt, 1875), preface. Edward felt compelled to explain the deficiency while extolling the new "Albertype Process" allowing for less expensive pictures. In the preface, he wrote:

Nearly fifteen years ago an attempt was made to produce a book of stereoscopic views of mountain scenery, but failed for two reasons. First, the expense of producing the pictures was too great, which made the book too costly. Second, the arrangement of the lenses for viewing the pictures was faulty, making it impossible in many cases to see the stereoscopic effect at all. These difficulties have both been removed, and instead of five dollars—the lowest price for which the book sold when filled with ordinary photographs—we are now enabled to present a work superior in every respect for half that sum. For this cheapness we are indebted to the "Albertype Process."

For a discussion of Joseph Albert's Albertype, see Helena Wright's "Partners in the Business of Art," 277. Although the early publication Edward refers to was not a success due to faulty lenses, the 1875 edition of Gems of American Scenery Consisting of Stereoscopic Views Among the White Mountains contained corrected viewing prisms; Edward patented the format in 1876. Keyes, The White Mountains, 134, and Campbell, "Albert Bierstadt and the White Mountains," 15.

65. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

66. Wright, "Partners in the Business of Art," 274.

67. Bennett, The White Mountains, 98.

68. This stereograph, like other Bierstadt Brothers images, was often included in more than one publication.

69. Although Elizabeth Lindquist-Cock makes this comparison between stereographs and Bierstadt's western scenes such as Yosemite Winter Scene (1872) and The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak (1863), the visual comparison and resulting effects in eastern views are applicable. See her article, "Stereoscopic Photography and the Western Paintings of Albert Bierstadt," 366, 371.

70. Bierstadt Brothers, Gems of American Scenery, unnumbered page in the 1875 edition, and at 74 of the 1878 edition.

71. Catherine Campbell papers. The sale on April 27, 1905 was handled by the Anderson Auction Company of New York. Campbell refers to this in "Albert Bierstadt and the White Mountains," 17, as the estate sale of Edward but Helena Wright corrects this information—Edward did not die until 1906. See Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 288, note 32. Although no impression is known to exist, Wright suggests that the print may be a collotype, a hand-colored photograph, or perhaps an Albertype, which Edward began to use in late 1869. See Wright's discussion in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 279.

72. The Emerald Pool was accessioned into the collection of the Chrysler Museum in 1989 after the death of Walter P. Chrysler Jr. in 1988.The painting originally was given a date of 1871 and was published as such by Catherine Campbell. However, later examination of the painting reveals a date of 1870, along with the artist's signature, on the lower mid-center of the composition on a fallen log. The painting had previously been purchased by Chrysler from M. Knoedler, Co. in 1975. The full provenance of this painting is incomplete. It was exhibited at Snow and Roos in 1871; thought to have been purchased by Leland Stanford, but became part of the A.T. Stewart Collection in New York shortly thereafter and sold in 1887; Charles M. Atkins of New York loaned and then bequeathed it to Roy Carruthers of New York and Detroit (the painting hung in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel until 1926) (New York Times December 8 and 14, 1926. This article is located in the curatorial files at the Chrysler Museum as given by Nancy Anderson); Allien and Co.; Hirschl and Adler Gallery, New York; Collection of Huntington Hartford, New York until 1971 (Parke-Bernet sale); a private collection in Texas; M. Knoedler, Co., New York until 1975; purchased by Walter P. Chrysler in 1975 until 1988; and currently the Chrysler Museum, 1989-present. My sincere thanks to Jeff Harrison, Chief Curator/European Art and Acting Curator of American and Contemporary Art, and Martha Hagood, Researcher and Coordinator, American Art Luce Grant at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA for their assistance and collegiality in allowing me access to their curatorial files.

73. Reference here is to studies related to the intrusion of man in the landscape. Most notably, the reader should consult Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (London: Oxford University Press, 1964); Barbara Novak, Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980); and Nicolai Cikovsky Jr., "The Ravages of the Axe: The Meaning of the Tree Stump in Nineteenth-Century American Art," Art Bulletin (December 1979): 611-626. What has become general parlance in the field of landscape studies with respect to industrialization and artists' visual responses owes much to these and other scholars.

74. "Topics of the Month," Aldine, April, 1870, 8. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

75. New York Standard, quoted in the Mercury, New Bedford, May 23, 1870, cited in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 188-189.

76. "Bierstadt's Last Picture," Daily Evening Transcript, Boston, September 17, 1870. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file. See Anderson chronology in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 189.

77. Bierstadt to "Russell," June 5, 1870. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

78. "The Emerald Pool," Daily Evening Transcript, Boston, September 13, 1870. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

79. "The Two B's," Daily Evening Transcript, Boston, August 12, 1870. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

80. Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 226-227.

81. "The Fine Arts," New York Times, November 27, 1870.

82. "Art Gossip," Daily Evening Mail, December 1, 1870. My thanks to Nancy Anderson for sharing her transcriptions.

83. "Art Gossip," Daily Evening Mail, December 1, 1870. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

84. Quotes from New York Tribune, January 29, 1870 and New York Sun, February 1, 1870. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file. See also, Anderson's chronology in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt, Art and Enterprise, 174, 188.

85. Advertised in The San Francisco Daily Alta, July 29, 1871, through August 1, 1871. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

86. Snow and Roos' Art Gallery, Catalogue. Exhibition of "The Emerald Pool."

87. Alta, July 31, 1871. Nancy Anderson, curatorial file.

88. "The Art Gallery," San Francisco Bulletin, July 29, 1871. Gordon Hendricks papers.

89. Before The Emerald Pool was sold for $20,000 to "an eastern gentleman," most likely A.T. Stewart, in September of 1871, Bierstadt discussed the work publicly at Snow and Roos, answering questions from viewers including Governor Leland Stanford. The Alta, September 17, 1871 reports the purchase of the painting; San Francisco News Letter and California Adviser, August 5, 1871 on Stanford, cited in Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 223-224. The painting was also exhibited prior to sale at the San Francisco Art Association.

90. Anderson, Ferber, and Wright, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise, 227. Campbell "Albert Bierstadt and the White Mountains," 18, cites the 1886 date, but this is unconfirmed by Nancy Anderson's most thorough chronology.