Spend the Weekend Visiting the John D Barrow Art Gallery

Visitors to picturesque Skaneateles, New York often find time to stroll through town and take in the local cultural offerings. The town is small, but does have its share of cultural icons. One such icon is The John D. Barrow Art Gallery on East Genesee Street. The Gallery is maintained by the Skaneateles Library Association and is adjacent to the Library building. Our Skaneateles luxury rentals are located within easy distance of this unique art gallery which should be included on your “to do” list on your next visit to the Finger Lakes.

Who is John D. Barrow?

John D. Barrow was a portrait and landscape artist. Born in New York City, he moved to Skaneateles with his family in 1839. As a young man he was sent to study in England for a short period. This is where he gained his lifelong passion for painting. Skaneateles would be a source of deep inspiration in his work over the course of his lifetime.

Upon his return to America Barrow took up residence in New York City. He opened an art studio next to another influential artist from Skaneateles, Charles Loring Elliott. During his early days in New York he was fortunate to be there to sketch Abraham Lincoln as he spoke at Cooper Union in 1860. This portrait now hangs in the Chicago Historical Society.

Barrow became interested in landscape painting after being influenced by another artist, George Inness. Barrow’s landscapes are considered to be “second generation” Hudson River School. During the 1880s, Barrow returned to Skaneateles for good. He taught fine art at Syracuse University. He also wrote poetry and became an art critic.

Barrow designed the statuesque Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the Skaneateles Lake View Cemetery. It still stands there today in all its dignified glory. In 1900 he designed the addition to the local library using his own money to have it built. He wanted it to be a place to display his artwork.

Most of his work is displayed in the Gallery. Other works are in private collections.

What Will You See at the Gallery?

The John D Barrow Art Gallery displays over 200 portraits and landscape paintings depicting local people and scenery from the Skaneateles community. The artwork reflects life as it was in the 1800s when Barrow was inspired by what he saw and felt.

Walking into the Gallery is like stepping back through time into a simpler world of grace and natural beauty. Gazing at the paintings puts you in the mood of thoughtful reflection. The paintings are in four categories: Forest, Meadow, Lake and Portrait.

While the portraits are interesting, Barrow really shines in his landscape depictions. There are splendid scenes of Lake Skaneateles with calm and rougher waters. You can see that even back then, people were out boating on the lake. The forest paintings make you feel as if you are walking along and simply stopped to admire its quiet beauty. Meadow scenes show people, cows and rural living as it was during Barrow’s era.

Visiting the John D. Barrow Gallery is a nice escape into another time and place. Contact the Fingerlakes Luxury Rentals staff to reserve your stay and see all that Skaneateles has to offer.


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