"Shut the door not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the coziness." - Mark Twain

This picturesque winter scene was painted by accomplished local artist Joseph Walter (1865-1946). One of the first professional artists in Dubuque, Walter made his livelihood painting in churches after first being trained in Munich and Vienna. Over the course of his career, he created original paintings for 185 Catholic churches across the Midwest. His work included St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s, and Holy Ghost Catholic churches in Dubuque.

Walter had a studio at his home at 2625 Carroll Street, where he often worked on landscape paintings.  The house depicted in this painting is believed to be on Diagonal Street, which would have been visible from Walter’s home studio. The two young children with the sled are Walter’s children, Joseph Jr. and Marie, and the church in the background is Sacred Heart on Windsor Avenue.

This untitled piece is one of 18 original works by Joseph Walter in the collection of the Dubuque County Historical Society.