"Stream in the Mountains" by George Inness. Collection of the Dallas Museum of Art.
For more than 80 years, curators at the Dallas Museum of Art were stumped by an unsigned painting they called "In the Woods." They guessed it might be by Asher B. Durand, a 19th century landscape painter affiliated with the Hudson River School, but no one knew for sure.
Then, on a hunch, American art expert Sue Canterbury did some research and solved the mystery. The painting, dating to about 1850, is an early work by George Inness, one of the century's leading American landscape painters. He was influenced by the meticulous work of Durand, but went on to pioneer more experimental and luminous styles.
Canterbury knew she had cracked the mystery when she discovered in an Inness catalogue a drawing that closely matched the painting. Dallas staff have renamed the picture "Stream in the Mountains." Canterbury joined the Dallas museum's staff last year after losing her curatorial post at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in a budget cutback.