Sanford Gifford

The son of an iron foundry, Sanford Gifford was born in Greenfield, Satratoga County, New York but spent most of his childhood in Hudson, New York. Gifford was a part of a second generation of landscape painters who were members of the Hudson River School. His paintings of the Hudson River area and Adirondack Mountains highlighted mood and serenity, now known as luminism. Luminism is characterized by hazy atmosphere with soft sunlight. Unlike some of the other landscape painters of his time, Gifford did not believe in replicating European styles while creating his paintings.

Like many of his counterparts, Gifford travelled the world in search of beautiful landscapes to paint. He travelled New York, New England, the Rocky Mountains, the Middle East, and Europe. He kept and eventually settled in a studio in New York City where he painted much of what he saw during his travels. Gifford referred to his best paintings as his "chief pictures," some which include: Lake Nemi (1856-57), The Wilderness (1861), A Passing Storm (1866), and Ruins of the Parthenon (1880).

Gifford passed away on August 29, 1880 of malarial fever at age fifty-eight. Soon after his death, the Metropolitan Museum of Art honored Gifford with a memorial exhibit showcasing over 160 of his paintings.


Explore the Kaaterskill Clove Experience and create your own self-guided tour or choose from one of four itinerary options.
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About the Experience
Learn more about the writers, naturalists, artists and others whose love for Greene County lives on through their works, as well as their choice of traveling to America’s First Vacationland.
Palenville The Hamlet
Hunter Foundation
Town of Hunter
Village of Tannersville
NY-NJ Trail Conference
Mountain Clove Scenic Byway
Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District
I Love NY
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700 Rte 23B, Leeds, NY 12451
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The Kaaterskill Clove Experience is comprised of several attractions, each require varying levels of physical exertion. Please follow all safety rules posted at each location and mentioned on this site.