This painting is an outstanding example of Cropsey’s dominant theme, the colors of fall in America. One of his largest canvases, it provides a panoramic view of a small town on the Hudson River. While most of his contemporaries concentrated on the romantic aspects of untamed nature, he turned his attention to that of the domesticated countryside. Through paintings such as this one, Cropsey demonstrated how man could live in harmony with nature’s wonders. While this canvas has remained in America, others found their way to England where a fascinated public marveled at the vibrant hues of an American autumn unknown to them.
Artist Jasper Francis Cropsey, American, 1823-1900
  • Indian Summer
Date 1866
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 53 × 95 inches (134.6 × 241.3 cm)
Framed: 74 5/8 × 116 1/2 × 7 1/2 inches (189.5 × 295.9 × 19.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund, James and Florence Beresford Fund, Gibbs-Williams Fund and Beatrice W. Rogers Fund
Accession Number 78.38
Department American Art before 1950
On View American W280, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed and dated, lower right: J. F. Cropsey | 1866
1867, H. H. Leeds and Miner and H. W. Derby.
Frank Johnston Jones.
1928-1977, University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA).
Hirschl & Adler (New York, New York, USA);
1978-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
New York Sunday Herald (November 11, 1866).

“Picture at U.C. Leads to Appreciation of Ohio Scenery.” Cincinnati Times-Star (October 8, 1928).

Tuckerman, H.T. Book of the Artists 1867. New York, 1966, p. 536.

Talbot, W.S. Jasper F. Cropsey. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Fine Art. Washington, D.C., 1970, no. 50 (ill.).

Talbot, W.S. Jasper F. Cropsey, 3 vols. Unpublished Ph. D. diss., New York University. New York, 1972, 1: pp. 183-184, 188, 2: p. 433, no. 147, 3: p. 639 (fig. 128).

A Gallery Collects. Exh. cat., Hirschl and Adler Galleries. New York, 1977, no. 24 (ill.).

Talbot, W.S. “Indian Summer by Jasper F. Cropsey.” Bulletin of the DIA 58, 3 (May 1980): pp. 150-152 (ill.).

American Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1991, pp. 61-63 (ill.).

American Beauty: Painting and Sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2002, pp. 58, 60, no. 40.