Full Set of 20 Local Scenes by Gray’s Watercolors

We now have a full set of images of 20 local scenes from Gray’s Watercolors, thanks to the kindness of Wilda McConaughy, who formed Gray’s with her husband Paul in 1965 (see earlier post). The addition of these 18 images from the Gray’s corporate archives now means that there is at least one example of all the paintings documented in the Gray’s Catalog, with 13 scenes of Hopewell Borough and 7 scenes of Pennington.

18 different views of Hopewell and Pennington painted by Gray’s Watercolors

== View Gray’s Watercolors in the Hopewell Art Gallery == 

The new Gray’s images include scenes that we had not previously seen, including the Stony Brook Bridge in Pennington and the intersection of Route 518 and Carter Road in Hopewell. There’s also a Gray’s view of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Hopewell that was not listed in the catalog, but was used for the hundredth anniversary of the church in 1977.

Gray’s painting for the St. Alphonsus Church 100th Anniversary (1977)

The new images also include several works that were never reproduced, but which provide alternate renderings of local landmarks from the same view, including the Hart House and the Hopewell Museum. Plus there are four different views of the Hopewell Railroad Station, with views to the east and west and north. (OK, there’s a fifth(!) view of the station listed in the catalog, but not included in this collection.)

There are then 21 documented different works done by Gray’s Watercolors in Hopewell Valley (actually 20 without the missing 5th Railroad Station), which represent 18 different views of 15 local sites – and the Art Gallery currently has 30 examples of different versions of them:

– 14 Gray’s works / 8 sites in Hopewell: Old School Baptist Church, Hopewell Presbyterian Church, John Hart House (2), Holcomb House / Hart [Hopewell] Academy, Hopewell Museum (2), Hopewell Railroad Station (5), Route 518 & Carter Road, and St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.

Gray’s Stony Brook Bridge in Pennington

– 7 Gray’s works / sites in Pennington: Stony Brook Bridge, Toll Gate House, First Presbyterian Church [Wall], Pennington Prep Duck Pond, Railroad Station, Pennington Prep [Old Main], and Toll Gate School [now HVRSD].

It’s interesting to compare the multiple Gray’s works of the same scene, since the original works were done by different artists with clearly different styles. Similarly, compare the multiple examples in the Gallery of versions of the same original work (provided thanks to Gray’s and the other contributors). Since the individual watercolors were created at different times and colored by different artists, they show a variety of approaches to areas such as the sky and foliage and grass.

4 thoughts on “Full Set of 20 Local Scenes by Gray’s Watercolors

  1. Chris Bainbridge

    Awesome pictures

  2. […] E. B. (Ernest) Walden (1929 – 1995) was the most prolific of the Gray’s Watercolors artists, producing hundreds of original paintings. Gray’s Watercolors was a local studio based in Wertsville and run by Paul and Wilda McConaughy. Gray’s used production line techniques to produce large numbers of hand-painted but affordable watercolor reproductions of familiar scenes from 1965 through the mid 1980’s. The company originally focused on prints of college and university buildings, and then expanded into historic prints of towns and cities with the 1976 Bicentennial. More on E. B. Walden and Gray’s […]

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