Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823 - 1900)

Jasper Francis Cropsey Rossville was born in Staten Island in New York on February 18th 1883. He was the eldest of the siblings of eight children. As a growing up lad, he never had a good health. This largely affected his educational career. He learnt to draw through self-effort. He was popular for his drawings. Some early drawings you can see in his schoolbooks include landscapes, architectural sketches and so on.

He qualified as an architect and established his architectural office around the year 1843. He specialized on life drawing and watercolor. He studied under Edward Maury at the National Academy Design. He exhibited his drawing at the academy in the year 1844. In 1845, he turned to landscape painting after an exhibition called Italian Compositions.

He established his own family in May 1847 after marrying Maria Cooley. Two years after his marriage, he travelled to different European countries like Italy, Switzerland, France, and England. He became a full member of the National Academy Design in 1851. He was introduced to Henry Tappan, who was the president of the University of Michigan at the time. The relationship pushed Cropsey in his career as he produced prominent paintings, including the Detroit Observatory; this was regarded as the landscape of the great university. Afterwards he travelled to Europe where he spent seven years in London, England. While there, he sent great paintings to international exhibitions and the Royal Academy in 1862.

After spending seven years in England, he returned home and worked assiduously to grow the painting profession in New York. This motivated him to open a new studio in the state, which specialized in producing landscape painting about the northeastern part of the US. In conjunction with other artists of his time, he formed the American Society of Painters in Water Colors in the year 1866. A few years later, Cropsey built the Gothic Revival as well as the Warwick New York studio. He named the studio Aladdin. He later sold the mansion in the year 1884.

He moved to Hudson, New York after selling the mansion. Today, Newington Cropsey Foundation manages his Hastings on Hudson, Ever Rest and personal home. These, along with some of his permanent collections are managed by the Foundation.

Jasper Cropsey died on June 22 in 1900, collectors and galleries rediscovered him many decades after his death. His work is prominent in America, Europe and other countries of the world. Today it is common to see his artwork in prominent museums like the Metropolitan Museum, National Art Gallery, Detroit Institute of Arts, Los Angeles Museum, Princeton University Museum, Denver Art Museum, and Arts Museum in San Francisco as well as the Honolulu Museum of Art. His work is also available at the White House. 

Cropsey and his wife were interred at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery located in New York.

Although Cropsey died more than a century ago, his work remains forever. Some of his collections include Jedburgh Abbey and Pontaine Marshes, which he produced in 1847, others include the Backwoods of America, which he produced in 1857, and the other works are as follows:

●Richmond Hill 1862

●Indian summer 1866

●Greenwood Lake 1870

●Lake Nemi in Italy 1879

●Isle of Wight 1880

●Old Church at Arreton 1880

●Ramapo Valley 1881

●Autumn on the Hudson 1860

●Wawayanda Valley 1883

●Spring time in England 1884

●October in Ramapo Valley 1885

●Autumn on Lake George 1886

●And A Showery Day 1886

View Jasper Francis Cropsey Gallery