Oil on canvas
Framed: 63.8 x 74.3 x 7 cm (25 1/8 x 29 1/4 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 43.2 x 53.3 cm (17 x 21 in.); Former: 52 x 62 x 8 cm (20 1/2 x 24 7/16 x 3 1/8 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1967.125
North Conway, New Hampshire, markets itself as the birthplace of American skiing.
Johnson’s devotion to carefully observing nature is evident in his detailed rendering of a riverbed. Located in a village that provided a popular jumping-off point for tourists visiting the White Mountains, this untamed site features a haphazard arrangement of angled boulders, slippery moss, splintered tree branches, and dense undergrowth. Contemporary travel guidebooks often cautioned against the physical challenges—and the potential for injury—encountered by venturing into such inner recesses of the woods; one warned that “wild forest-clambering” could be akin to “fighting a phalanx of porcupines.”
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