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See the painter’s North Shore-inspired watercolors now through December.

This summer, the Cape Ann Museum exhibits some 50 original works by renowned American artist Winslow Homer. The exhibition, Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869-1880, is the first close examination of the formation of this great artist as a marine painter. The exhibition includes loans from some 40 public and private collections is on view through December 1, 2019.  The Cape Ann Museum will be its sole venue.

In 1869, Winslow Homer (1836–1910) exhibited his first picture of the sea. He was an ambitious New York illustrator—not yet recognized as an artist—and freshly back from France. 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, where he enjoyed the most productive season of his life, composing more than 100 watercolors of astonishing beauty. Homer’s journey forever changed his life and the art of his country.

This exhibition will reveal new aspects of Homer, for the first time placing these paintings, drawings, and even ceramic work in their rich geographic, cultural, and historical settings, on the 150th anniversary of Homer’s first paintings of the sea. Textiles from the period, including women’s day dresses, straw hats, and a bathing costume; ship models; and historic photographs and prints will add context to the work.

In addition to paintings from private collections, works on loan to Homer on the Beach include pieces from Addison Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and many others.

A full schedule of related programming can be found here.

Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869-1880 at the Cape Ann Museum will run concurrently with Winslow Homer: The Eyewitness at the Harvard University Art Museums, a complementary exhibition opening August 29th.

Cape Ann has long been recognized as one of this country’s oldest and most important art colonies and the collection of the Cape Ann Museum contains examples of works by many of the artists who put the community on the map including Marsden Hartley, Cecilia Beaux, Edward Hopper and John Sloan.  At the heart of the Museum’s holdings is the single largest collection of works by early 19th century artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865).  A native of Gloucester, Lane worked as a lithographer and a painter and his works on display at the Cape Ann Museum capture the town’s busy seaport in its heyday.