Twilight in the Catskills Artist: Sanford Robinson Gifford (American, 1823–1880)


American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 2nd floor, American Art before 1900

When it was first exhibited in New York in 1861, this panoramic view of Kauterskill Clove in the Catskills made Sanford Robinson Gifford’s reputation. The critics praised the expressive intensity with which Gifford responded to a quintessentially American place, much beloved by him. The fiery palette, dead trees, dangerous ledge, and treacherous drop of the waterfall into the valley also seem to mirror the agitated mood of the nation as it faced the outbreak of the Civil War.


Oil on canvas


27 × 54 in. (68.58 × 137.16 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Joanne and John Payson in memory of Joan Whitney and Charles Shipman Payson, Class of 1921, and in honor of Joan Whitney Payson, B.A. 2009

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



John Bundy Brown (1804–1881), Portland, Maine, by 1874; by descent to Sally Carroll Brown Payson (1867–1948); by descent to Charles Shipman Payson (1898–1985) and Joan Whitney Payson (1903–1975); by descent to Joanne and John Payson (1940–); given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2009
  • American Art: Selections from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2023), 138–39, no. 60, ill
  • Evie Terrono, "The Art and Politics of Chicago's Sanitary Fairs," Chicago History (2015), 15, ill
  • Eleanor Jones Harvey, The Civil War and American Art, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2012), 30, no. 3
  • "Acquisitions, July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008," in "Recent Acquisitions," special issue, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2008), 181, ill
  • Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 54–55, 354, pl. 29
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

landscapes (representations)


Signed and dated, l.r.: "S R Gifford. / 1861."

Technical metadata and APIs


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