Dwight William Tryon (1849-1925), Moonrise Near the Shore, 1887, oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 52 ¼ inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of B. Prestmann Olsen, 1973.
A buttery sunset saturates the west-facing windows of the house, indifferent to an adjacent moonrise. Twilight’s in-betweenness tints the sky equally warm and cool, pink and blue, for just this moment. It won’t last. Paired trees present fall colors–the foremost nearly denuded while its companion refuses to follow suit. Foreground earthen tracks lead to the house. Surely the domicile’s interior is well-crafted, but why intrude when we have an architectural triumph to occupy us just steps away? Look at its mastery and magnificence, this serpentine megalith—this New England dry stone wall! It’s density (far right) looks nearly as wide as it is tall, delimiting this landscape from its southern neighbor. Does it form a question mark? If good fences really make good neighbors, this may be Utopia.