Judith S. Pyle

Document Type



The painting that would become known as the “York Springs Graveyard” (see cover illustration) was sold to Connecticut folk-art collectors Jean and Howard Lipman in about 1939 by Joe Kindig, an antiques dealer from York, PA. The 18” x 24” oil painting on canvas, of mid-nineteenth-century people and carriages at a cemetery, with cattle in the middle distance, is signed “R. Fibich.” The New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, NY, subsequently acquired the painting from the Lipmans. It was cleaned, documented, studied, and then exhibited at various venues including the Primitives Gallery of Harry Stone (1942); the Union College of Art Gallery, Schenectady (1951); the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, Texas (1956); the M. Knoedler Gallery, NYC (1956); the Roberson Gallery, Binghamton NY (1966-67); the New York State Fair at Syracuse (1970); the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA (1972); the Whitney Museum, NYC (1974), and Smith College Museum of Art Collection ((1975). In addition to inclusion in The Flowering of American Folk Art: 1776-1976, which was published in conjunction with the 1974 Whitney Bicentennial Exhibit, it also appeared in American Primitive Painting (Metropolitan Miniature Series, 1953) and in Life magazine, where readers were solicited for any information about the artist. The Flowering of American Folk Art: 1776-1976 index of artists’ biographies states “R. Fibich (active c. 1850). Known for a single oil landscape of a York Springs, Pa., graveyard.” [excerpt]