Pastoral Landscape with Hay Wagon

Julie Hart Beers (1834–1913)
Date: c. 1860s
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 26 1/4 H x 38 1/4 W

Signed lower left: Julie H. Beers 186[?]

Provenance: Sotheby's, July 2021
Credit: Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase, Sargent Fund
Accession Number: 2021.34

Julie Hart Beers was a landscape painter of the Hudson River School style and the sister of William and James M. Hart, also landscape painters. She was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on December 28, 1834, and came to Albany, New York, with her family the following year.

She received art training from her brothers after she moved to New York City in 1860, following the death of her first husband, George Washinton Beers (1829-1860), a journalist for the Albany Evening Journal. Beers likely began painting as a way to support herself and her two daughters, even though she resided with both brothers at different times. She first exhibited in December 1863 at the Brooklyn Art Association. She was then living in Brooklyn with her brother William. Beers frequently accompanied her brothers on sketching trips and she and her daughter Marion taught female artists on plein air sketching trips in Vermont and the Adirondacks.

In 1876 she married Dr. Peter Tertius Kempson (1814-1890) and moved with her daughter Kathryn to Kempson's house in Metuchen, New Jersey. She lived there until Kempson's death in 1890, at which time she and Kathryn moved to Mount Vernon, New York, to be nearer her other daughter Marion. In addition to Brooklyn, Kempson exhibited in Boston, Philadelphia, and the National Academy of Design in New York. She is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Trenton, New Jersey.