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Short Cut, Watchung Station, New Jersey

George Inness, American, 1825 - 1894

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

37 5/8 x 29 1/8 inches (95.6 x 74 cm) Framed: 47 5/8 × 39 1/8 inches (121 × 99.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1895

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In a bucolic landscape of northern New Jersey, Inness’s carefully manipulated vantage point places rural life and modern technology on a collision course. An elderly man leaning on a walking stick makes his way across a rickety bridge in the foreground, appearing to confront a train speeding in his direction in the background. The precarious position of the figure over a dark chasm conveys the artist’s sense of the vulnerability of historic tradition in the modern era, a concern that resonates with his admiration for the old masters.