John Federick Kensett
Owning a work that is a recognized icon is a very appealing idea to a collector. Unquestionably, Kensett’s images of Bash Bish Falls in South Egremont, Massachusetts, were among his favorite subjects, in addition to Lake George, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island. Kensett painted eight examples of this scene between 1851 and 1857, four of which are in public collections: the Lyman Allyn Museum, the MFA in Boston, the National Academy of Design, and Yale University Art Museum. The work of J. F. Kensett is considered among the finest and the most sought-after of all Hudson River School artists. The very first dealer my father and I developed a working relationship with was Ken Lux and Hamilton Gallery. I doubt seriously that either my father or I understood the importance of this picture in 1966 when he purchased it from Ken Lux, proving that the passage of time can make one an extremely astute collector. Kensett was clearly a gifted artist but also a very gregarious, helpful, and well-liked person who attracted many of the finest artists of the day to visit his studio. There are two sides to good advice—the first is getting it and the second is taking it. In this instance Ken Lux gave it, and we, fortunately, took it.