Sketch for Mural in Post Office in Short Hills, New Jersey
This small landscape sketch was a study that Lawson made for a mural in the Short Hills, New Jersey Post Office. This four by twelve foot mural was painted during the last year of the artist’s life, and sadly, it no longer survives. However, in this charming little sketch Lawson encapsulated the vitality of this landscape scene through his loose energetic brushwork.
Ernest Lawson's paintings of New York and New Jersey may lack some of the grit of his fellow members of The Eight, but they brilliantly and candidly capture that distinct moment in American art history when artists first started investigating notions of Modernism. Lawson's unique approach to the landscape and his singular painting style make his works important contributions to the rich history of early modern American painting. That this little sketch is tied to a larger mural, although now no longer extant, makes the work all the more interesting.