Thomas Cole’s 'The Woodchopper, Lake Featherstonhaugh,' painted in 1826, carries great historical significance. The painting is one of three surviving in the series depicting views of George William Featherstonehaugh’s New York estate, located west of Schenectady, New York. Featherstonhaugh, an English-born land developer, writer, and geologist, was Cole’s first patron. He invited Cole to spend the winter of 1825-1826 at his estate, promising accommodations and studio space in exchange for whatever
paintings Cole completed over the duration of his stay. Elizabeth Holmes Fisher donated The Woodchopper, Lake Featherstonhaugh to Fisher in her 1939 gift. The painting is nearly identical to View of Featherstonhaugh Estate near Duanesburg, 1826, which the Featherstonhaugh Family Trust still owns today.
[Madelyne Gordon, wall text "The Woodchopper, Lake Featherstonhaugh," in 'Staged Meaning/Meaning Staged: Landscapes from Fisher's Permanent Collection,' January 22 - April 13, 2019.]