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Cooper-Staats-Ellsworth family screen, 3 wooden sections, 78" x 19", hinged together, covered with coarse cloth onto which engravings are mounted.; yellow paint. Originally five panels, the remnants of the Italian screen display prints from a series published in Paris purchased on the way home to America. The prints depict places in Italy the Cooper family had visited, including the Sorrento Peninsula outside of Naples, where the Cooper family lived for four months in 1829, and Rome, where the family spent the winter of 1830. James Fenimore Cooper particularly loved Italy, once writing in a letter, "Italy... haunts my dreams and clings to my ribs like another wife." It was in Italy that Cooper wrote most of his novel The Water Witch, and he later recalled his experiences there in a book Gleaning in Europe: Italy, published in 1838. The Italian screen was placed in the central hallway of Otsego Hall, the Cooper family home in Cooperstown, New York.
height 78 in ; length 57 in ; width 0.75 in