James Eights (1798-1882)

James Eights (1798-1882). Old English Church, Albany NY, c.1850’s. Ultimately this congregation evolved into St. Peter’s Protestant Episcopal church. Ink and watercolor glued down to cardboard. Image measures 8.5 x 11.25 inches; 16 x 18 inches framed. Unsigned. An almost identical example exists in the collection of the Albany Institute of Art, with the same backing board and penmanship in margins (depicted in last photo). Excellent condition with no damage or restoration. The ink has crystalized in a few areas, especially apparent in lower left.

Additionally depicted are Fort Frederick and Mayor Philip Van Rensselaer’s mansion. Incredible detail and delicate color application. A picture of this painting is illustrated in James Fenimire Cooper, a 1912 biography by Mary E. Phillips, published by The University Press, Cambridge. It is credited to Dr. Joseph Hooper, Durham, CT. Dr Hooper was Rector of The Church of the Epiphany in Durham.

Birth place: Albany, NY

Death place: Ballston, NY.

Addresses: Primarily in Albany, NY

Profession: Topographical and scientific draftsman

Comments: Best known for his series of views of Albany as it was in 1805 (first published c.1847-54), he was also a naturalist, physician, explorer, and scientific artist for the Erie Canal geological survey and for Emmons’ geological report on New York.

Sources: G&W; Cassiter, James Eights and His Albany Views,” 8 repros.; Portfolio (Nov. 1952), 64; Stokes, Historic Prints, pl. 37b; Colden, Memoir; Albany CD 1832-44.”