In the summer of 1887, Abbott Handerson Thayer returned to the southwest New Hampshire town of Keene, where he had spent his childhood, to teach painting. One of his students, Mary Armory Green, offered to build a cottage and a studio for him on her property in nearby Dublin. Thayer and his family summered there until 1901, when they took up permanent residence. The move from Keene to Dublin brought Thayer closer to Mount Monadnock. Not only had Thayer known the compelling vista from his youth, as an adult he had embraced the transcendentalist philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote of climbing the mountain. The panoramic view from the summit revealed the vast potential of the physical world. Thayer painted the mountain at least fifteen times—this oil sketch, boldly colored and vigorously painted, was one of his earliest—seeing in its solitary grandeur a powerful metaphor for self-reliance.
From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Abbott Handerson Thayer, American, 1849 - 1921
  • Sketch of Monadnock Mountain
Date 1897
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Overall: 22 × 27 inches (55.9 × 68.6 cm)
Credit Line Museum Purchase, Funds from Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund and Dexter M. Ferry Fund
Accession Number 2014.9
Department American Art before 1950
On View American W285, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed and dated, lower right: Abbot H. Thayer 1897
Mary Amory Greene.
1999, Auction, Western Massachusetts.
Thomas Colville Fine Art.
2000, Dr. and Mrs. Francis de Marneffe.
2014-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Exhibition of Paintings by Abbott H. Thayer. Exh. cat., Carnegie Institute. Pittsburgh, 1919, no. 38.

Hobbs, Susan. "Nature into Art: The Landscapes of Abbott Handerson Thayer." American Art Journal 14, 3 (Summer 1982).

Merrill, Linda."The American Renaissance." Freer: A Legacy of Art. Washington, D.C., 1992.

The Magazine Antiques 157 (April 2000): p. 523.