More Paintings By Joseph Tubby Are Found
New York State in the mid-Nineteenth Century was rich both culturally and financially. The Industrial Revolution allowed the newly affluent to invest in artwork, which was no
longer an unattainable luxury. Interest in fine art increased, as did press coverage, which spurred a greater exchange between the public and the artists they admired. It was an excellent time to be an artist, if not for the income, at least for the appreciation — an appreciation that is still experiencing resurgence today.
In 2005, the Rondout, N.Y., artist Joseph Tubby (1821–1896) attracted the attention of Sanford Levy of Jenkinstown Antiques. Joseph Tubby, now considered a member
of the Hudson Valley School of painters, did not have an extensive amount of education or training in art, however his paintings were beautiful. After working with his father in
construction during the day, Tubby took evening classes under a portrait painter called “Black” and he also worked alongside his lifelong friends Jervis McEntee and Julia Dillon,
both at McEntee’s studio on the Rondout and at The Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City. Oil colors were Tubby’s favorite medium and he greatly preferred landscapes to portraits. Throughout his life, he worked mostly in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Tubby documents an advancing and transforming region, giving us unfamiliar, nostalgic views of familiar places.
In 2008, Levy curated a show and published a catalog discussing the approximately 30 known works by Tubby. When the exhibit finished, he couldn’t help but wonder how many more of the artist’s paintings would show up and where they would hail from. For years, no new paintings surfaced. Levy was amazed when, at the start of 2012, he was con-
tacted by a man in Stockholm, Sweden, who claimed to have found a work by Tubby at an estate sale. After a short negotiation, the painting was sent to New York. “I waited patiently for it to make the long trip back to Ulster County from so far away,” Levy said. The painting, “Morning Fog, Clearing Off,” shows a beautiful view near the Rondout area of Kingston — a landscape that Tubby painted often.
In the spring of 2012, Levy learned that three more works by Tubby had shown up at a local Hudson Valley sale. The paintings belonged to descendants of a family in Saugerties,
N.Y. Horatio Dewey of Greene County had left his right of inheritance to his wife, Catalina Van Deusen, when he passed away in 1857. After Van Deusen acquired the Tubby paintings, she bequeathed them to her daughter, Maude Helen Hasbrouck, who passed away in the late 1930s. Most recently, the paintings had accompanied the family’s last member to a nursing home in Kingston where they had hung for several years. The three paintings had their original frames and illustrated vistas in Ulster County, including the Rondout, the Catskill Mountains and the view from the Shawangunk Ridge. Along with the family provenance, there was also a letter written by the director of the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston, circa 1970, that discussed Joseph Tubby, his
paintings and the family that had inherited them. Levy was thrilled to bring Tubby’s works back to life — Yost Conservation LLC in Oxford, Conn., cleaned and restored
the paintings, and the frames were restored by a local artisan — and to offer them to art collectors. He looks forward to discovering more paintings by Joseph Tubby.
Editor’s Note: Lindsay Pietroluongo is a nightlife and lifestyle
writer in the Hudson Valley. Visit her website at lindsayonthe-
rocks.com.. Jenkinstown Antiques is located at 520 Route 32
South, New Paltz, N.Y. For information regarding the work of
Joseph Tubby, call 845-255-4876 or visit www.jenkinstownantiques.com
This essay originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of The Gallery section of
Antiques and the Arts Weekly.