Art work
John H. Millspaugh etching
To the Highest offer. Closing date 07/01/2014
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Etching done in 1890 - Size: 20" x 29"
MIlspaugh.jpg (10979 bytes)



Etching is in its original frame. It is aged and damaged.
Frame will be included in sale. Shipping to be added to the price.

John Hill Millspaugh, born at Crawford in New York State, became a painter and etcher in the late 19th century and earned much respect for the quality of his work. However, he is little known today.

He was raised at Crawford on the Hudson River. At age 16, he went to New York City to apprentice as a stereotyper, which was highly detailed work creating relief plates of metal from original woodcuts. By the mid 1840s, he was working in Waverly as a stereotyper, and then moved to Ithaca where he met his wife, Marion Elizabeth Cornell. Her uncle, Ezra Cornell became exceedingly wealthy from the telegraph business and founded Cornell University.

John had a brother, Edward, who showed early talent as an artist and studied with Henry Inman, a leading Hudson River School painter. He died at age 31 from smallpox. Hoping to carry on his brother's work, John began studying art, and his most influential teacher was George Lafayette Clough (1824-1901), also a Hudson River School painter.

John Millspaugh's career between 1851 and 1871 remains undocumented, but according to his obituary, he considered himself an amateur artist. It is thought he made his living during this period as a stereotyper. A description of one of his oil paintings shows a family picnic, and one person reported seeing an etching of Cornell University. The only known painting in a public collection is dated 1872 and is titled "Autumn in the Susquehannock." It is a pastoral landscape in the Hudson River School style and is in the Palmer Art Museum at Pennsylvania State University.

In 1872, Millspaugh left Ithaca for New York City to take a job for an undetermined period of time at the Customs House. However, his family suffered when a severe depression, the Panic of 1873, hit a year later, and his son had to leave college.

By 1882, he reportedly was getting attention in New York City for his etching, an art form that was extremely popular at that time and tried by many artists. Millspaugh was invited to join the New York Etching Club, the country's first organization specifically devoted to that medium. His etchings are highly detailed, and most of them depict quiet landscapes. The earliest one published was likely "Evening on the Delaware," by fine-art publisher Christian Klackner. One of these works is in the Parrish Art Museum at Southampton, Long Island.

Millspaugh collaborated with Boston painter and etcher Louis K Harlow to publish works through Klackner. After 1889, Millspaugh did mostly self publishing. At an undetermined date, he left Manhattan and returned to Ithica to live. He and his wife spent the winter of 1893-94 in Denver, Colorado, and he died on the return trip to Ithaca.

Notices About John H. Millspaugh

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  1. Mickelson, Jim & Joan - - Billings, Mt.-U.S.A
       We have a signed, J.H. Millspaugh etching that portrarys a harbor scene that includes 6 sailing vessels and a jetty.  The etching is dated 1889.  Can anyone give us some idea of what we have?  Jim & Joan

  2. benson, joan - - hayden, idaho-usa
       we have a Millspaugh etching from 1891 -- old country home & barn on meandering river.  looks like a pen & ink.  approx size is about 13x20.  where can we get more info on this artist?

  3. Lewis, Judith - - Toney, AL-USA
     In researching Millspaugh I found the exact picture of my large first run etching at the top of your page! Does it have a name? I found mine in the loft of the old family barn in 1980.  The ornate frame decorations were deteriorating, so I had the frame refinished and the etching rematted.  Now I am considering selling.  Can anyone tell me how to find information on its value?

  4. Gillan, Rebecca - - Exton, PA-US
     I have a Millspaugh double signed etching dated 1889 of a lake copyrighted by Radtke Lauchner & Co., NY in 1889. Approx. 18 X 10 in a Walnut frame. Any information and value would be appreciated.

  5. Sonja Miller,   USA
     I have a JH Millsbaugh print as well, it is harbor scene about 6 by 8 in an ornately carved walnut? frame.  Just wondering about worth and history of artist.

  6. Hughes, Leatrice Ann Hughes - - Potomac, MD-USA
     Found what looks to be a copy of a Millspaugh signed etching done in 1889.  It is on what looks like medium weight cardboard. Says Copyright 1889 by C. Klacknel, 5 E.17th st.NY in the left uper corner of the print.

  7. Manchester, Jim - - Carthage, NC-USA
        I have an old Etching print by John H. Millspaugh titled "Late Summer" and stamped No.480 (not sure about the number and it has a copyright date of 1889.  I would like to know the value.  I have a photo I can email. (I don't see anyplace to attach here)
  8. Webster, Ruth - - Encinitas, CA-USA
     I too have an etching by Jm. H. Millspaugh dated 1889 of a landscape of a lake with trees.  I wonder about the artist and its value.
  9. Posted by Mike Jennings - We are trying to find out information on an etching that we have. The etching is approximately 21 inches long by 7 inches high. It is signed in the bottom left corner by what looks to be Jur (?) H. Millspaugh,-1889 Etchir. In the bottom right corner is the pencil signiture Of what looks to be Jurst or Jurot Millspaugh. The print itself looks like an old country road with a horse and wagon in the distance and a small house on a small hill to the right of the road. Very faintly,in the top left corner above the print, you can see with a magnifing glass- Copyright 1890, by what looks like it might be, Paris Etching Society. If anyone has information on this etching or the Paris Etching Society it would be greatly appreciated. Please e-mail me at Thank you for any help that can be offered.

  10. J D McGlothlin Boone , N.C.
  11. Michael McCue
     I own the same huge Millspaugh etching from 1890.  Very little is known about this artist, except that he was active as an etcher in NYC in the 1880s, where he was member of the famous NY Etching Club.  A painting of his dated 1872 is in the Palmer Museum at Penn State Univ.  Millspaugh's etchings were self-published, and also by Max Jacoby and the famous Klackner firm.   Millspaugh specialized in landscapes, and did noteworthy etchings based on the watercolor paintings of Boston artist Louis K. Harlow (1850-1913).  There is as yet no artist file on Millspaugh in any museum library to my knowledge, nor at the National Museum of American Art which maintains the Inventory of American paintings prior to 1914.  It is believed that John H. Millspaugh lived in New Jersey, but as of May 1999 my research has not yet confirmed birth/death dates.  I own a copy of the Klackner catalog in the Smithsonian and can title any Millspaugh etchings published by that firm.
  12. Mary Celano    youngstown, ohio 
    I have bought an print, etching of millspaugh, double signed dated 1889. Very interested in the value of this etching or print, orginal and in excellent condition. Need more info, print sold in 1990 for 1700.00 at an auction, davidson in massachuets. A print sold in Philly this month, picture of a tree, auction and price not known.  My picture is a pond, creek, barn, and animals in a landscape setting.  Any info would be appreciated greatly.  thank-you

  13. Kathy Dwyer ,   
         Hi there! I have a gorgeous LARGE etching on silk done by John H Millspaugh in a very ornate mahogany/walnut frame...It is dated 1886 and is a harbor scene with sailboats, etc. How do I go about finding its value and where I would go to sell it...?Thank-you.

  14. McLeavey, M. _ _ Morristown, NJ
    I have a john millspaugh etching of a pond or lake scene with a house & 3 small houses surrounded by trees. There is a steeple type church also set in the background. It is signed and dated 1889 in the left hand corner and signed again in the right hand corner. Can u give any info as to it's worth. Thank you
  15. Combs, Ron - - , -
     I have nicely framed and matted  black and white double sighed (one signature in pencil) etching by John H. Millspaugh. The scene is trees without leaves and a small stream. It has a copy right by Max Jacoby in 1886. My phone number is 386-423-4713

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