The following material was adapted,
with permission, from an article in the Catskill Center
News, April, 2008.
The Pakatakan Artists Colony was
a turn-of-the-century gathering of artists who spent time
in the small hamlet of Arkville, NY. The colony began
prior to 1886 when a prominent landscape painter from
New York City, J. Francis
Murphy, found accommodation in Arkville and urged
Peter Hoffman, a local businessman and proprietor of the
house where he boarded, to build a hotel, today called
the Pakatakan Hotel. Murphy brought his painter friends
to visit the area. In 1887 Alexander H. Wyant arrived
here from the Adirondacks. Others who came on a regular
basis were Parker Mann, E. Loyal Field, Frank Russell
Green, H.D. Kruseman Van Elten, George Smillie, Walter
Clark, Arthur Parton, Ernest C. Rost, and J. Woodhull
Many artists stayed in the hotel,
but some purchased property and built their own studios.
They did not want their houses to dominate nature, but
attempted to blend them with the rounded tree-covered
mountains of the Catskills. What were built on a grand
scale were the artistsí studios, with windows often rising
two stories in height and facing north to bring in the
light. The artists of the Pakatakan colony were different
from their predecessors, the Hudson River School. Their
brush strokes emphasized delicacy, coloring and light.
In 1988, after five years of research
and documentation, the Catskill Center for Conservation
and Development was able to obtain the nomination for
the Pakitakan Artists Colony to be recognized by the National
Register as a historic district.