Among the great names of classic 19th-century Hudson River School artists, Jasper Cropsey ranks at the top. A trained architect, he became intrigued by the American landscape, especially the blazing reds and yellows of New England autumn, following in the footsteps of Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand. His success crossed the Atlantic as well, and he was highly acclaimed throughout Europe, especially England, where he lived for many years. The first of two Cropseys, entitled Autumn Conversation, was acquired from Kennedy Galleries in 1974 as a result of my frequent lunch-hour excursions up Madison Avenue. As a small picture, it fulfilled the requisite desire for the famous Cropsey colors with the added interest of figures, a bit of water, and the symbol of bucolic America—a cow (but never too large to dominate the landscape; the cow must fit gently into the scene). Some years later, the early 1980s, a good friend, a private dealer and an acknowledged “Cropsey expert,” was the source of the second example, a more expansive landscape with subtle wildflowers in the foreground and featuring Cropsey’s earlier, cooler palette of the 1860s.