Monday, June 04, 2012

Portrait of James Ellsworth

Have you seen this elegant gentleman around Hudson lately? He is a famous Hudson resident, whose portrait currently resides outside Hattie's Cafe along Clinton Street in the center of town.

James Ellsworth was an influential resident of Hudson in the late 1800's and early 1900's, who helped restore the town after a series of fires and economic problems had left Hudson in serious trouble.

His life-size and life-like portrait has been donated by the Hudson Society of Artists to grace our downtown. The artists who painted and installed the artwork - Lucy Karslake, Paul Adams, and Shannon Casey - donated their time for several months to research the subject, prepare sketches, work with the building's owner and the Hudson Architectural Review board, plus do the actual painting.

The artists used a style called "trompe l'oeil", meaning "fool the eye". Paintings in this style are very realistic, giving the illusion of three-dimensional space.

The painting was done on outdoor signboard material with acrylic paint and then sealed with acrylic varnish. It was installed over an old boarded-up doorway that was one of the first sights visitors saw coming into town. Now, Mr. Ellsworth is waiting to greet them.

When you're in Hudson, stop by Hattie's Cafe for a snack, browse the gift shop, then pop around the corner and give a wave to Mr. Ellsworth. 

Click the map below for directions to Hattie's Cafe at the corner of North Main Street and Clinton Street: