Many Centennial-era Americans took an interest in the colonial period, which from the distance of 100 years seemed to qualify as an authentic historical past. Undertaking this painting of an old apple orchard in the coastal setting of Newport, Rhode Island, the painter William Trost Richards commented to a friend, “It was a neglected looking place . . . [and] there were suggestions of the early life, struggles and deaths of those who had cleared the wood, fought the Indians, and planted the orchards.”
(Text by the Brooklyn Museum, CC BY 3.0).