The Hudson River

The Hudson River

Presented by Anderson as a diptych framed using thick black borders and the visual device of the column at center,  this very early pictorialist marine study by Paul Lewis Anderson (1880-1956) shows a Manhattan ferry boat around New York City on the Hudson River. Signed on the overmat and including a monogram for Anderson and date of 1909 in lower right corner of photograph, it was originally titled Mist on the Hudson when awarded first prize in the monthly competition sponsored by the journal American Photography late that year.

The magazine reproduced this photograph as a full-page halftone presented without the black borders, (1.) with the following editorial comment for it and other prize-winners:


Our subject this month is one which usually evokes considerable com
ment when the awards are made. We feel that the pictures this month
 show much greater appreciation of and power to reproduce the gray moods
 of nature than those submitted two years ago, or even last year. The origi
nals show a delicacy which inevitably suffers in reproduction, but the half-
tones are as good as we have a right to expect. First prize is awarded to
”Mist on the Hudson,” by Paul L. Anderson; second prize to “Moisty
 Morn,” by E. B. Collins; third prizes to an unnamed print by J. H. Field
and “Along the Highway,” by C. W. Christiansen. Honorable mention is
given to the following: “Early Morning,” by F. E. Bronson; “October
 Morning,” by D. H. Brookins; “Sun’s Rays,” by T. L. Mead, Jr.; “The 
Close of an Autumn Day,” by Grace E. Mounts; “An Autumn Morn,” by 
Richard Pertuch; “Smoke and Mist,” by J. Herbert Saunders; “Summer
 Morning Mist,” by F. F. Sornberger; “Coup de Soleil,” by H. Y. Summons;
”Fog in the Meadows,” by James Thomson; “Sunshine and Mist,” by G.
Harrison Truman. (2.)

Print information:

overmat recto: signed in graphite within ruled border: Paul L. Anderson – 1909

support verso:  white sticker (double blue-lined border: 7.6 x 12.7 cm) with following typed information:


Paul L. Anderson
36 Washington Street
East Orange
New Jersey
Print – Single gum


affixed above sticker is small collection label  for:

W.E. Dancy
Route 2, Box 56F
Wimberley, TX 78676  (3.)

1. see: American Photography: New York: December, 1909: Vol. III, No. 12: p. 735. Credit for photo states Anderson lived in Somerville (N.J.)
2. Ibid: p. 743
3. Wallace Edwin Dancy: 1905-1984

Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on June 13, 2013:

One of my fondest memories as a child was taking a Circle Line boat tour around the island of Manhattan. I was just getting interested in photography at the time as a pre-teen and was fascinated by the resulting photographs from the boat deck looking back on the magnificence of the New York City skyline. Alternately, consider this artistic view taken by Paul Lewis Anderson when he was 29 years old. An electrical engineer who became a passionate convert to amateur photography beginning in 1907 after being influenced by the Alfred Stieglitz journal “Camera Work”, Anderson’s sophisticated eye only two years after taking up the art is evident here. Employing the column from either another boat deck or launch at the center of the photograph, he chose to add a a wide black border in the darkroom for the purpose of this exhibition print to have a fuller diptych effect.

The Hudson River

Image Dimensions22.6 x 27.4 cm | laid paper tipped along upper margin to similar-sized piece of blank laid paper

Support Dimensions50.6 x 40.4 cm | manilla overmat: 49.5 x 39.6 cm | ruled window: 24.0 x 27.6 cm