Fellow Hudson River school artists Jervis McEntee, along with Robert Ferguson Weir, Worthington Whittredge and Richard William Hubbard carried Gifford's casket to the cemetery. McEntee writes about it in his diaries: "As I came home in the twilight, I looked at the beautiful mountains where we had been so much together and which glorify so many of his canvases."

Sanford Gifford's Funeral

From the Diary of Hudson River School Painter Jervis McEntee

digitized and online at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Jervis McEntee, a fellow Hudson River School painter and one of Sanford Gifford's best friends, kept a diary from the early 1870s until 1890, just before McEntee's death.

McEntee writes of the funeral of Sanford Gifford in 1880. People referenced include:

Weir: John Ferguson Weir, painter
Whittredge: Worthington Whittredge, painter
Hubbard: Richard William Hubbard, painter
Church: Frederic Edwin Church, painter
Richard Butler: New York businessman, Gifford patron and friend
Gertrude: Gertrude McEntee, Jervis' deceased wife

Tuesday, Aug 31, 1880 Weir and I went to Hudson to attend Gifford's funeral, by the 11 o'clock train. Major Wilkinson met us at the train. A party of friends was to come from N. Y. to arrive there at 2 and we went to the hotel and awaited them and had lunch there. Platt and his wife, Mr & Mrs. Wheeler, Guy, Mr. Wilson, Blauvelt, Richard and Cyrus Butler, Hubbard, Whittredge. The services were at his fathers house at 2 oclock and Dr. Bellows's discourse was a most appreciative exposition of Giffords true and noble and simple life and character. One thought struck me forcibly, that the face of the dead reflected the whole life and bade all look upon Giffords serene and hopeful and contented face. He read a letter Gifford dictated to his mother, who is a professor of religion and always wished he might be. He told her he was happy, ready to die and had the consciousness of having done his duty as he understood it. His faith in immortality was strong and settled and he was entirely prepared to die. Platt, Richard Butler, Weir, Whittredge, Hubbard and I acted as bearers and placed him in his grave. It was a beautiful day and as Dr. Bellows remarked it was fitting that the painter of the summer should go to his rest on this last beautiful day of the summer. He was buried in the cemetery in the family plot just outside the city. His father and mother his wife, and his sisters and brothers were all present and bore themselves with the greatest calmness. It was death in its fairest guise. After the funeral we all, some fifteen or twenty of his immediate friends went to the house where dinner was prepared and at six we left for home. Mrs. Church and Church were present and wanted me to go home with them to pass the night, but I felt I ought to go home. Dr. Bellows went with them. As I came home in the twilight I looked at the beautiful mountains where we had been so much together and which glorify so many of his canvases and felt how henceforth they would be sacred ground to me in memory of him and dear Gertrude.