Art and Literature

Mt Washington from Intervale by Benjamin Champney, 1872 (whitemountainart.com photo)

Mt Washington from Intervale by Benjamin Champney, 1872 (image courtesy of whitemountainart.com)

Art and literature have always exposed people to new places and ideas. They were particularly responsible for the quick rise in popularity of the White Mountains in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne increased public fascination with the White Mountains through stories like “The Great Stone Face” and “The Ambitious Guest” based on The Old Man of the Mountain and the 1926 Willey Slide respectively. The region’s premier lodging establishments kept artists-in-residence whose works traveled across the country and even the world, exposing people far-and-wide to the allure of the White Mountains. Even those who had never visited the White Mountains became intimate with their majestic image.  When the forests of so many famed paintings fell under attack from logging companies, public outcry was passionate.  Sites marked with this icon have a special significance in the history of art and literature in the White Mountains.

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