"I’ve selected this particular painting for nostalgic reasons. When we first received the painting into the gallery the scene had yet to be located. As I walked down the stairs one day, glancing at the painting, I knew instantly it was a view from Gibbet Hill, Groton Massachusetts, the town I grew up in. After more research we were able to identify the buildings along main street and left no doubt about the location. A very special painting indeed.”
- Sara Allen, Accountant
More information about this painting...
Painted in 1905, View of Groton, Massachusetts, from Gibbet Hill demonstrates the artist’s talent for survey work in the detailed rendition of the buildings and homes of the historic town, with the summit of Mount Wachusett rising in the distance. While several of the structures have been lost to development or fire, others still stand over one hundred years later, including the Gothic Revival chapel of the Groton School at far left and the Waters House dormitory of Lawrence Academy near the center.
Frost was not a Groton native, nor did he attend either of the preparatory schools, but the painting was likely a private commission for General William A. Bancroft, a Groton native and ex-mayor of Cambridge who purchased the farm atop Gibbet Hill around 1900. It’s not known when Bancroft and Frost first met, but the landscape artist was also skilled portraitist and captured the likenesses of many prominent members of the Cambridge community, including those of General Bancroft and his wife. A June 1901 article in The Cambridge Chronicle describes Bancroft’s recent homecoming and his excitement over the construction of his new Groton home, with a special mention made of putting Frost’s talents to use: “In order to preserve the beauty of the rolling hills and sloping meadows as they are now, before being broken for the new house which is sometime to be built, George A. Frost, the artist, is busy at work, under General Bancroft’s direction, making landscape pictures of the farm from various points of view.”  Frost’s efforts resulted in this wonderfully meticulous painting of the historic town as it appeared at the turn of the century. The friendship between Bancroft and Frost lasted until the artist’s sudden passing in 1907, and Bancroft was noted as one of hundreds of mourners at his funeral in Cambridge.
 “Bancroft’s Unique Plan.” The Cambridge Chronicle 29 June 1901: 4. Print.
Collection, Dedham, Massachusetts
To private collection, Murrysville, Pennsylvania, 2006 to present
View of Groton, Massachusetts, from Gibbet Hill
by George Albert Frost (1843-1907)
30 x 50 inches
Signed and dated lower right: G. A. Frost / ?Circa 1905