Anyone familiar with the winter farm scenes of the famed Currier and Ives Company has probably experienced one of the paintings of George Henry Durrie.
He was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1820 and spent his entire career in New England. He was nicknamed the "snowman" for his use of winter weather in his farm scenes. He had discovered that a winter setting would greatly enhance the appearance of a traditional farm landscape in a painting or work of art. Durrie's snow scenes would create an entirely new, and quickly popular, type of landscape work.
He had studied with Nathaniel Jocelyn, a noted portraitist, and soon began travel from Connecticut to New Jersey taking commissions and painting still life and genre scenes. By the 1860s, Currier and Ives had taken note of the popularity of the snow scenes and of Durrie himself. They reproduced some of his works to great success, and continued to use his paintings even after Durrie died in 1863.
He did exhibit during his lifetime, including shows at the National Academy of Design in New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. His works are in many major museums, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the New York Historical Society collection.