The Muskrat Hunter

William Langson Lathrop1908

Reading Public Museum

Reading Public Museum

In an early correspondence dating to 1927 concerning The Muskrat Hunter, between Lathrop and Dr. Levi Mengel, founding director of the Reading Public Museum, the artist reveals that, “I feel that in its painting I achieved a graver and finer expression than anything I have done since.” In the letter, Lathrop goes on to recommend the proper setting for the picture by suggesting that the Museum “try to give it a quiet wall and some elbow room and I think it will adequately do its part.” Primarily known as an impressionist and tonalist whose paintings verge on the poetic, with simplified, rustic landscapes produced with muted shades, Lathrop is also considered to be the dean of the New Hope art colony in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Lathrop often painted out-of-doors, but typically completed his compositions in the studio, drawing upon his memory and mood. The title of this work refers to the barely visible shadowy figure walking along the water’s edge near the center of the composition.

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  • Title: The Muskrat Hunter
  • Creator: William Langson Lathrop
  • Date Created: 1908
  • Physical Dimensions: 30"h x 40"w
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: Museum Purchase
  • Creator Death Date: 1938
  • Creator Birth Date: 1859