The Museum will be closed Sunday, January 20, 2019 due to the expected snowstorm.

Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter's Journey, 1869-1880

Aug. 3, 2019 — Dec. 1, 2019

In the late 1860s, an ambitious New York illustrator—not yet recognized as an artist—made his first picture of the sea. Winslow Homer (1836–1910) was 33 years old, freshly back from France, and finding his way. Over the next 11 years Homer’s journey would take him to a variety of marine destinations, from New Jersey to Maine, but especially—and repeatedly—to Gloucester and other parts of Cape Ann. It was on Cape Ann that Homer made his first watercolors, and where he discovered his calling: to be a marine artist. And it was in Gloucester in 1880, at the end of these 11 years, that he enjoyed the most productive season of his life, composing more than 100 watercolors of astonishing beauty.

This August, forty public and private collections will share some of Homer’s finest marine works at the Cape Ann Museum, in the heart of Gloucester, for the first close examination of the making of this great marine artist. Homer’s journey forever changed his life, and the art of his country. This exhibition—running concurrently with a complementary Homer exhibition at Harvard—will reveal new aspects of Winslow Homer, for the first time placing these paintings, drawings and even ceramic work in their rich geographic, cultural and historical settings.


Winslow Homer (1836–1910), Waiting for Dad (Longing), 1873. Transparent and opaque watercolor on wove paper, 9 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches. Mills College Art Museum. Gift of Jane C. Tolman.

Current Exhibitions

Upcoming Exhibitions