Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter's Journey, 1869-1880
Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter's Journey 1869-1880
Written by William R. Cross with a prelude by John Wilmerding
Includes chronology, exhibition checklist and index
This exhibition, on view at the Cape Ann Museum from August 3 – December 1, 2019, charted Winslow Homer’s (1836–1910) artistic formation as a marine painter, focusing on eleven seminal years (1869–1880) and a physical journey to six waterfront locations. This voyage from New Jersey to Maine—including multiple visits to Gloucester and other parts of Cape Ann—forever changed Homer’s life and was pivotal in his development as a nationally significant artist.
The time Homer spent on Cape Ann was critical to his development. It was in Gloucester in 1873 that he made his first watercolors, and during the summer of 1880 on Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor, his mastery of this medium reached new heights. Homer’s innate powers of observation captured the essence of the people he encountered and their sense of place—unique in each case, and distinctly American.
The catalog, mirroring the exhibit, documents Homer’s journey of artistic discovery, and provides the opportunity to view the artist’s work in relation to the location of its inspired creation and alongside a range of important contextualizing objects. Such period items including apparel, historic photographs, ship models and an actual boat, deepen the understanding of Homer’s remarkable talents, and fulfill the Cape Ann Museum’s mission to illuminate the diversity and interconnected stories between art and the rich geographic, cultural and historic settings so integral to Cape Ann.