Art of fatherhood: Gloucester artists and writers

A small selection of images and words about and by fathers, with Gloucester ties. What would you add? Happy Father’s Day!

Edward Hopper portrait of artist's father
Edward Hopper, portrait of artist’s father, Whitney Museum

 

Air

They took my father’s father from the mines

and laid him, broken, on the kitchen table,

the wake singers lifting their lines

above the water heater he had often mended.

 

My father always dreamed of him alive,

able to whittle an oak peg for every split thing.

all my father lost at the age of nine

enclosed his life, his air.

 

In my flood dream, I carry my father

piggyback–easier than a kid’s coffin–

to safety from the Susquehanna River

as light as a dollhouse, now, or violin.

Joseph Featherstone, from his book of poems, Brace’s Cove

 

Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman's son
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman’s son.” Library of Congress, FSA collection

 

Caitlin

To be seven when a brother dies–

to have shared a room.

Her silence frightened us.

 

One night she rose from the table

and climbed to the top of the stairs.

We heard the small voice

 

singing each of the songs

from the funeral service.

The next morning in school

 

she announced to her class,

“I am ready for questions now.”

by Joseph Featherstone, from Brace’s Cove

 

Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father's home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration--including the chosing of an Imperator, and
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, MA. Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home…” Library of Congress

full title for the Gordon Parks photograph above: “Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration–including the chosing of an Imperator, and visiting, eating, drinking, and worship in the home, culminates in a parade and blessing by the priest–originated with ancient Portugeese fisherman, drought-stricken, who prayed for assistance and received it.”

 

John_hays_hammond_and_natalie_hays_hammond library of congress
John Hays Hammond with daughter, Natalie Hays Hammond. collection Library of Congress

Captain’s Courageous was published in 1897. “During the winter of 1897-98 I made another trip to South Africa, and on the same boat with me were Rudyard Kipling (Rudyard was named after a place where his father and mother first met), his wife, and his father, Lockwood Kipling, the artist. They proved excellent traveling companions and we have maintained our friendly contact ever sense.” – John Hays Hammond 

John_Lockwood_Kipling_és_Rudyard_Kipling
John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard Kipling

The Kiplings collaborated: the artist John Lockwood Kipling illustrated many of his sons’ books.

John Lockwood Kipling Jungle Book

jungle book 2

John Lockwood Kipling White Seal
John Lockwood Kipling, The White Seal

 

William Foster Biddle Cecilia Beaux PAFA gift of Sandwith Drinker
Cecilia Beaux, portrait sketch of William Foster Biddle, Pennsylvania Academy Fine Art, gift of Sandwith Drinker  (Biddle like a father to Cecilia)

 

William Morris Hunt Prodigal Son Brattleboro library
William Morris Hunt, Prodigal Son, Brattleboro Library

Hunt purchased a former barn and adjoining carpenter’s shop in Magnolia. “…in three weeks the old, unsightly buildings were converted into a picturesque structure with galleries on the outside, one of them ending in a seat in an old willow-tree. The carpenter shop was turned into a studio, the chief light coming from the wide-open door…The barn was two stories in height, the lower portion being occupied by the van, a phaeton and a dog-cart, as well as by stalls for two or three horses. The upper room was known as the “barracks”, and half a dozen cot-beds were arranged around the sides, as seats by day and beds by night…In a single afternoon his celebrated Gloucester Harbor was painted, and he returned to Magnolia aglow with enthusiasm. “I believe,” he exclaimed, “that I have painted a picture with light in it!…Go out into the sunshine, and try to get some of its color and light. Then come back here, and see how black we are all painting!”

William Morris Hunt Gloucester Harbor MFA 1877
William Morris Hunt, Gloucester Harbor, 1877, MFA Boston

 

sargent house museum john singer sargent portrait of father.jpg
John Singer Sargent portrait of the artist’s father, Sargent House Museum

 

Paul Manship and family Isabel Manship xSarah Janet x Elizabeth x Pauline x John Paul x Paul
Family portrait: Isabel Manship, Sara Janet, Elizabeth, Pauline, John Paul, Paul Manship

 

lee kingman natti002-001

Lee Kingman, Peter’s Pony, 1963, with illustrations by Fen Lasell

 

Leon Doucette
Leon Doucette, portrait of the artist’s father

 

Milton Avery March drypoint 1933
Milton Avery 1933 drypoint (March, his daughter)

 

Winslow Homer captures the waiting and watching experienced by so many families in Gloucester. Homer’s father, Charles Savage Homer, left for extended start-ups: to California for gold, to Europe.  Winslow Homer’s mother was a professional and gifted artist who raised three stellar boys solo, a lot. The Homer family remained tight knit.

Dad's Coming, 1873, NGA
Winslow Homer, Dad’s Coming, 1873,  National Gallery of Art

 

Friday Nights at the A&P

By Ruthanne “Rufus”  Collinson

When I was a kid

there were Friday nights to get lost in.

There was Mama

to take me shopping,

the smell of outdoors on her wool coat.

There was the A&P on Main Street,

the long spread out time

to wander the rolling floors

and smell the oranges and the coffee grinding.

There was no talking with Mama and me

She chose the food and I thought,

the long time of thinking away from Mama

in the A&P.

I watched the women

with heavy faces and deep frowns

weighing out their fruits

I thought about how bad they looked,

but I knew they didn’t want to die

because of the way they cared

about stacking the apples.

Sometimes I lost Mama and her sadness

but she would find me and take me

to the check out

where I picked up Daddy’s Pall Malls

and then stayed close to her wide sleeve

as we carried our lumpy brown bags

past Paul T. Reddy’s Dancing School.

I heard people dancing upstairs

Shadows in the window suggested music

and the end of time laid out like that.

wp-1465081378862

2 thoughts on “Art of fatherhood: Gloucester artists and writers

  1. Excellent late as I had to wait until I could focus on the blog and listening to podcast at the same time thank you for the walk back it get’s better each year the more we grow! 🙂 Dave & Kim 🙂

    Like

Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s