There has been quite a bit of press lately regarding the St. Louis Art Museum’s Mississippi Valley Panorama (circa 1850) by artist John J. Egan. Many years ago, we purchased an interesting work by Egan’s contemporary American artist Otis A. Bullard. The work depicts a horse trading scene, where a sharp trader has just unloaded an unruly horse onto an unsuspecting man. The novice buyer is about to learn his new horse’s temperament as the horse embarks on some impromptu tailoring of the new owner’s pants. The scene depicts the small town of Cornish, Maine and was executed in 1853. Of significant interest is what we discovered after we had the work cleaned.
On the wall inside the tavern room of The Eagle Hotel in Cornish the artist painted an announcement of his famous Panorama of New York, which was a sensation in the mid to late 19th century. Unlike John Egan’s panorama Bullard’s panorama is now lost, presumed stored then decayed and later destroyed. Click here to read the extraordinarily interesting article by Peter West, professor at Adelphi University, which provides an informative glimpse into Otis Bullard’s lost treasure of American history. We are delighted to offer such a significant work by Bullard that is both a fantastic genre scene, as well as a clever promotional tool the artist employed in the days before Facebook and Twitter.