Lefevre James Cranstone (active United States, 1859–60)
Made in England
Watercolor and gouache on off-white wove paper
12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.7 cm)
Purchase, Gifts of Mrs. Louise Lamson and Mrs. Alfred N. Lawrence, by exchange, 1984
Not on view
The English genre artist Cranstone visited the United States for less than a year shortly before the Civil War and produced hundreds of ink and watercolor views of Washington, D.C., Niagara Falls, and sites in Indiana and West Virginia. Most of the surviving drawings found their way into public collections in Indiana and Boston. Cranstone’s interest in steamboat traffic along the Ohio River could have been inspired by Charles Dickens’s account of travel along the waterway, published in his “American Notes” of 1842. In the 1840s, steamboats became the principal means of transportation on the Mississippi and its tributaries, which linked America’s western frontier.
Inscription: [on verso at upper left in graphite]: Ohio River/ nr. Wheeling Virginia