Jasper Cropsey was born on a farm in New York state. He served an apprenticeship in architecture but then turned to painting. His first entry was displayed in the National Academy of Design Exhibition in 1842, and by 1844 he had been elected to membership in the National Academy. He first went to Europe soon after his marriage to Maria Cooley in 1847. After his return to the United States in 1849 he made sketching trips throughout New England, to Canada, and as far west as Michigan. He returned to England in 1856 and spent seven years there. When he returned to America he resided in Warwick, New York, and finally settled in Hastings on Hudson. Early in his career Cropsey achieved a reputation as "painter of autumn," and the American autumnal landscape continued to fascinate him throughout his his working years. He remained an active painter until his death in 1900. He exhibited almost yearly at both the National Academy of Design, New York City, and the American Watercolor Society in New York, an institution which he had helped to establish.