We have a print of the John Bartram House in our conference room and thought we’d find out more about it. Says Bartram’s Garden curator Joel Fry, “This is an aquatint printed in 1913 by Frederick William Härer, a Bucks County/New Hope-area artist best known as a frame maker for the group of Pennsylvania impressionists. What hangs in the conference room is a modern inkjet print from a scan of the original print. However, we own three copies of the original print, and one of them still has the original printed folder that enclosed the print when sold in 1913.”
The cover folder has the artists title, and says 75 copies were printed for the “Society of Raim Tuppani.” This was an art club sponsored by the Pennsylvania Museum, ca. 1910-1920 (this was the original Pennsylvania Museum of Art, located at Memorial Hall).
Adds Joel, “The print is attractive for the coloring, but perhaps not a very accurate rendering of the house. Those large green shrubs in front of the house are old boxwood that have grown into trees. There was a row of boxwood in a line parallel to the front of the house, with a boxwood at each corner. In the Eastwick period they would have been small, short round balls, maybe two-feet tall. We know this because we own a number of photographs of the house from the same angle. I expect this aquatint might have been created from a photo, rather than an actual visit.”