Oil on canvas, 23.5 x 17.5 inches/Signed lower left
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Decker was born in Troy, New York; however, his family then moved to Brooklyn, New York circa 1860 and in 1870, they moved to Maquoketa, Iowa where Decker established himself as a landscape painter. In 1875 Decker returned to Troy and later maintained a studio at a number of successive locations in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Clinton Hill. He studied under noted tonalist landscape and marine painter R. Swain Gifford in New York City. He and his wife bought a home/studio, called Woodbine, in Hague-on-Lake-George in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. The Deckers would summer at Lake George, where he painted small works for the annual influx of tourists, and spent winters in New York City. He was a very successful artist during his lifetime--his most sought after works were his serene interior forest scenes of the Adirondack Mountains and the Lake George area, often depicting fall and winter and he would often prolong his stay at Woodbine to paint the crisp, wintery scenes. The New York Herald once described his paintings as "notable examples of art subordinated to nature, as all true art should be..." He had among his patrons, which included professors, judges, public officials, business tycoons, and art collectors, Mrs. F.O. French, the mother of Mrs. Alfred Vanderbilt and the Peabody family. Decker was considered a prolific painter, but you would not know it—many of his works were destroyed by an unfortunate selection of storage space, while others were simply lost or forgotten. Decker was a member of the Brooklyn Art Club, Brooklyn Society of Artists, Brooklyn Institute, New York Art Guild and Brooklyn Academy of Photography. In addition to his Brooklyn studios, he exhibited at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association and J. J. Gillespie’s, both in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; National Academy of Design, Macbeth Gallery, the Sherk Galleries, the Lafayette Square Galleries’, Meyers Fine Art Gallery in New York City; State University College at Plattsburgh, N.Y; Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, N.Y.; Montauk Club, Brooklyn; Williams and Everett, Boston; Helman-Taylor Galleries, Cleveland, OH; Hillside House, Adirondacks; Williams & Everett, Boston; the Hillside House, Adirondacks; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.