The Bensley Farm
FES Title: The Bensley Farm
Alternate Titles: The Bensley Homestead, Dingman’s Ferry, Pa.
Date: 08/1945
Size: 28″H x 32″W
Medium: oil-on-canvas
Type: landscape
Published: Schoonover, Cortlandt. Frank Schoonover, Illustrator of the North American Frontier. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1976: 181.
caption: The Bensley Farm
Inscription: lr: Frank E. Schoonover / B 1945
Annotations: en verso on label hand written by Schoonover: “Pike County Homestead $400 / Bensley Farm near Dingman’s Ferry

en verso typed on label: “Illustration Part 2 Deer Stalker #1359 Part 2 Jim Evers former predatory game hunter for the …”

en verso on label: Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts Exhibition / Bensley House / Dingman’s Ferry / Frank E. Schoonover / 1616 N. Rodney Street

Exhibitions: 1945 WSFA
Comments: TP 6/19/03; form; conserved 2005 by Mike NeVille; index;
Commentary: In a letter to Herbert E. Riley of New York City on March 23, 1947 (in reply to Mr. Riley’s query about why the painting was priced at $400), Schoonover writes, “The painting …of the ‘The Bensley Farm’ is the result of years of interpretation of other pictures. It is not only factual…an effort to portray the farm, the hills, and the buildings, but an intimate knowledge of the people who live among the Pike County Hills. It isn’t enough to just put up an easel and paint. One must first get acquainted with the people who get their living from the soil – go down the hill and get their viewpoint – live in the kitchen for a little while and listen to the story of how the grandmother who as a bride came to the farm and…the husband ploughed the fields, dug, and placed in the…fence posts that you see in the picture.
Only once while I was working on that Pike County Highway (part way between Bushkill and Dingman’s Ferry) did she [the grandmother] manage to climb the road to watch me. She was extremely interested and made some gentle suggestions that I incorporated into the picture. She seemed to like the way the road wound up into the North and the way the house and barn slept in the valley. She liked the way the cows were ‘spotted in’ as she said, way up in the…stony field. For several days I lived and painted with the Bensley folk. They even put a rocker on the porch and left the horses in the barn yard.
So you see the landscape is not just a picture, but is a record in color of the Bensley homestead, their life and land and my deep feeling for them and the country.” (correspondence)
This image is painted over #1359 which was an illustration for The Deer Stalker.

Provenance: Sold by artist to John E. Person, Jr., Williamstown, Pennsylvania (September 7, 1951); inherited by Marcia Sauer, Yellow Springs, Ohio; Schoonover Studios, Ltd., Wilmington, Delaware; private collection (March 2005)
Current Owner: