Beautiful lighthouses in Gloucester, Cape Ann
Do you have a favorite here or elsewhere?
Esteemed conservationist and bird and insect authority, Chris Leahy discussed recent multi-year surveys of Essex County islands for Mass Audubon and Mass Fish & Wildlife with humor and depth as only he can having resided on the North Shore, in Gloucester, and championed this Important Bird Area for some 50 years.
The islands range in size and offer different kinds of nesting habitat. There are great shoals for fishing. Islands include familiar names like Tinkers, Straitsmouth, Thacher, Children’s, Kettle, House, Eagle, Ram, Cormorant and Ten Pound. Leahy recalled visiting some in the 1960s-70s for the first ever field counts with Dorothy “Dottie” Addams Brown, Sarah Fraser Robbins & others, and readily compares data then and now.
Some of the bird species making the count: gulls, egrets, herons, cormorants, harlequin duck, geese, loon, coots, purple arctic sandpiper, common eiders, and snowy owls. There are not a lot of songbirds due to restricted habitat although so many song sparrows he quips, “it almost feels like they’re going to attack.” Predators do and did. Gulls and rats stuck in my mind, and our ruinous plume hat trade. At that time “Snowy egrets– in FLA and elsewhere south– were slaughtered for plumage developed solely at breeding time, leaving any young to die and rot.”
Climate is partly a factor and population dispersement in the birds they find. Sometimes there are great “fallout” of migratories which are unpredicatable and awesome. Various species are easier to count especially those perched amid low tree shrubs. Guess which ones? Forgot the burrowers! Forecasts are exciting. He predicts we might see Manx shearwters maybe nesting here in the coming years.
Kindness of organizations and people with boats helps make this happen. And one steel hulled sailboat that makes access to these rocky isles a bit more possible.
Chris Leahy presented Treasure Islands for Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library. Mary Weissblum has endeavored to host evenings for Leahy’s numerous publications and projects, so many that she’s lost count. “Always a treat to be educated and charmed by his incredible store of knowledge,” she writes. Look for Chris Leahy’s next talk.
Learn more about Thacher Island Association (Paul St Germain) here
Learn more about Birdlife International here
photos below ©Linda Bosselman Sawyer Free Library- thanks for sharing Linda!
We snapped a wiper scraping snow off our car windshield. I headed downtown to Consumer Auto Parts, Whistle Stop Way, Gloucester, Mass. for replacements. They were happy to re-attach them if I ran into trouble which was nice to hear. I especially enjoyed the view of St. Ann’s framed through the window at nearly the approximate orientation of vistas depicted in Gloucester works by artist, Edward Hopper.
I don’t suggest that the treacherous bridge needs to be “preserved” or want to impede progress. However, I believe there is still time to repeat my pleas (since 2012). Great design impacts future investment. Is there a small way that the design can tip its hat to Edward Hopper, Gloucester, and New England for this landmark and beacon for Cape Ann, this cherished vista across the Great Marsh?
See GMG POST September 9, 2017 for design nod aesthetic suggestions (rather than structural) The budget is good! “Does the MBTA new design for the Annisquam River Bridge look like a prison tower to you?”
Here’s how the bridge and new condos looked November 9, 2018 (double click to enlarge photos from the wordpress mosaic format)
the design plans illustrated are the same as published previously
The 1929 painting, Chop Suey, by Edward Hopper, sold for $91,875,000 (including auction and buyer premiums) on November 13, 2018. It was the premiere lot at Christie’s November sale of American art, and provided quite a return for the heirs dispensing the Barney A. Ebsworth marquee collection. A native of St. Louis, Ebsworth made his fortune in the travel industry (Royal Cruise Lines). He maintained ties with museums across the country because of his stellar collection. Reportedly, Ebsworth promised to gift the painting to the Seattle Art Museum about 2007 and contradicted those statements in later years. Even if it’s spelled out directly, wills and contracts can be broken.
The hammer price for Chop Suey was 85 million net which fell squarely within its presale auction estimate range of 70 million to 100 million. The buyer is unknown. There was a bidding war, and initial rumors suggest it was acquired for a public collection.
Hopper’s prices have raced since 2000. Hopper’s former record at auction was 40.5 million- also at Christie’s– for East Wind Over Weehawken, a 1934 oil painting sold on November 26, 2013. That sale toppled Hopper’s prior record of $26.9 million (for Hotel Window). Just ten years ago, the Cincinnati art museum purchased one of Hopper’s masterpieces, Prospect Street Gloucester, 1929, for 2 million from yet another Christie’s sale. That selection was one of the countless smart acquisitions led by a superb curator, Jane Glaubinger. Hopper’s 1934 oil painting of Sun on Prospect Street had been part of the museum’s collection as a result of the Edwin and Virginia Irwin Memorial since 1959. (At 8.4 million, Cape Ann Granite was a savvy purchase from the sales last spring.)
Last spring a Homer image of Gloucester boys in a dory fetched $400,000. Relatable, though not Gloucester: Life Brigade is expected to fetch 4x that amount at Sotheby’s; another classic motif , Gathering Wild Blackberries, is estimated to sell for $150,000-$200,000. There is a smashing Marsden Hartley of Dogtown.
Besides Stuart Davis, artists featured include Jane Peterson, Martha Walters, Hayley Lever, and George Bellows. There’s a classic Nahant work by William Stanley Haseltine and a marine themed WPA mural study by Lyonel Feininger.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge the photo and see descriptions. I’ll post results after the sales.
Haskell’s House, 316 Main Street, is one of more than 110 homes and vistas in Gloucester, Massachusetts, that inspired artist, Edward Hopper (1882-1967).
Gloucester merchant, public official (city councilor / state representative), and Master Mariner, Melvin Haskell (1848-1933), commissioned the house in 1884.
Hopper and artist, Jo Nivison (1883-1968), were married in 1924. They nicknamed the fancy house high atop the hill the Wedding Cake House. The famous drawing was originally purchased by American master painter, George Bellows (1882-1925), from a sensational Hopper solo exhibition held in the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery in 1924. The watercolor changed hands and was eventutally gifted to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, by Mr. and Mrs. Herbert A. Goldstone in 1996. Hopper depicted the house in two other works, both side views from Prospect street rather than this view from Main Street.
The house was listed for sale at $830,000 throughout the spring and summer of 2018. Landscaping today involved major brush and tree removal. The result will be a scene closer to the one experienced by artists Edward Hopper and Jo Nivinson in the 1920s. The scenic locale is a power spot: down the block from the Crow’s Nest and across the street from Gloucester’s Inner Harbor, Beauport Hospitality’s Cruiseport and Seaport Grill venues, Cape Ann Whale Watch, and Gorton’s.
Tree and heavy brush removal underway September 26, 2018, 316 Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, revealing a scenic vista closer to the one that inspired Edward Hopper back in 1924 ©Catherine Ryan
Aymar, Jimmy, Edgar and Pedro were some of the adroit and brave tree climbing removal crew with ALZ Landscaping and Tree Service out of Lynn, Massachusetts. The unwieldy trees grew threateningly high.
short video: Edward Hopper Haskell’s House in Gloucester Mass is easier to view after tree removal Sept 2018 © catherine Ryan
Archival documentation of a federal grant awarded to Gloucester and nationally recognized for its innovation at the time: reclaiming the City dump for an atheletic field at the High School. Photographs of the project included a sweeping vista from atop Hovey Street.
Contact Mayor Romeo Theken’s arts & culture hotline email@example.com by Febraury 28 to add to a list of potential projects for Gloucester for this NEH Deadline, March 15, or to consider as other funding opportunities arise.
Mayor Romeo Theken shares the 2018 press release from the Commonwealth:
Activities supported by National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant funds include:
capital expenditures such as the design, purchase, construction, restoration
or renovation of facilities and historic landscapes;
the purchase of equipment and software;
the documentation of cultural heritage materials that are lost or imperiled:
the sustaining of digital scholarly infrastructure;
the preservation and conservation of collections; and
the sharing of collections.
The grant below is a new grant from NEH and could be a great opportunity to enhance your local cultural or historical organizations. Please share it far and wide. And let us know if we can provide a letter of support for an application from your community. Regards, Rick Jakious
The National Endowment for the Humanities has just announced a new grant program to support humanities infrastructures. Cultural institutions, such as libraries, museums, archives, colleges and universities, and historic sites, are eligible to apply for grants of up to $750,000.
These challenge grants, which require a match of nonfederal funds, may be used toward capital expenditures such as construction and renovation projects, purchase of equipment and software, sharing of humanities collections between institutions, documentation of lost or imperiled cultural heritage, sustaining digital scholarly infrastructure, and preservation and conservation of humanities collections.
The application deadline for the first NEH Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grants is March 15, 2018. Interested applicants should direct questions about grant proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org 202-606-8309.
Please consider sharing this exciting new funding opportunity with cultural institutions in your district.
Thank you,Timothy H. Robison
Director of Congressional Affairs
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 7th Street, SW 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20506
Innovative and worthy contemporary Gloucester possibilities abound: shared Archives (NSAA, Rocky Neck, Sargent House, City Archives, CAM, Legion, Libraries, Wards historical societies, etc); Digitize City Archives; Digitize Gloucester Daily Times archives; building and historic landscape projects city owned (City Archives, City Hall, Legion, Fitz Henry Lane, Fire Station, Stage Fort, beaches, etc) or in partnership; DPW work; on and on.
Additional grant opportunities, news, and deadlines: Continue reading “$750,000 #NEH grant opportunity for Gloucester…so many possible ideas and projects!”
“What was an important early personal acquisition?
“The Hopper painting. It’s called “Hodgkin’s House.” I was really nervous about it. It was at the time certainly the most expensive thing by far I had ever bought. It belonged to David Geffen. It’s one of the things that’s skyrocketed in value. There are just so few in private hands.”
Hodgkin’s House was one of nine Gloucester paintings included in the 1933 Museum of Modern Art Edward Hopper retrospective. The eight other paintings were: Cape Ann Granite, Houses of Squam Light, Haskell’s House, Marty Welch’s House, Adams’s House, Freight Cars at Gloucester, Italian Quarter, and Box Factory Gloucester
Christie’s auction house has released more information about one of the upcoming Rockefeller sales. It includes a good reproduction of Cape Ann Granite.
Several European museum shows in 2018 contain examples or are devoted to American 20th century artists and modernism like the ones curated for the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, the Royal Academy, Tate Modern and British Museum.
Massachusetts loans boast the Edward Hopper painting Manhattan Bridge Loop from the Addison Gallery of Art collection, Phillips Academy, Andover, selected for America’s Cool Modernism at Oxford. Three Hopper etchings (The Cat Boat, Night Shadows, and The Railroad) are on the checklist. Hopper depicted Gloucester in over 110 works of art. Besides Hopper, notable artists and writer with various Gloucester connections selected are: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, e e cummings, and Louis Lozowick.
Upcoming at Turner Contemporary – “Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ a major exhibition (Sat 3 Feb – Mon 7 May 2018) considering Eliot’s watershed poem through visal arts, and Margate. I hope they turn to Gloucester and Cape Ann, unspoken in the final poem yet approachable (and specified in excised iterations). From the museum’s press release:
“Presenting artworks from the 19th century to the present, including film, photography and artefacts, the exhibition explores how contemporary and historical art can enable us to reflect on the T. S. Eliot poem, The Waste Land, and its shifting flow of diverse voices, references, characters and places.
If Not, Not (1975-6), R.B. Kitaj, National Galleries of Scotland
In 1921, T.S. Eliot spent a few weeks in Margate at a crucial moment in his career. He arrived in a fragile state, physically and mentally, and worked on The Waste Land. The poem was published the following year, and proved to be a pivotal and influential modernist work. Building on Turner Contemporary’s extensive experience in participation and engagement, the exhibition is being co-curated with a research group of 30 volunteers from the community, supported by the programme team at Turner Contemporary and external curator Professor Mike Tooby. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is being funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the John Ellerman Foundation.”
Christies, the New York auction power house is currently marketing the Peggy and David Rockefeller art collection across the (art)world–Hong Kong, London, and Los Angeles– before the spring 2018 live sale back in New York. The collection includes a painting by American artist, Edward Hopper (1882-1967), that was inspired by Gloucester: Cape Ann Granite is one of the rare Hopper paintings remaining that’s not currently held in a museum. There are more than 110 Gloucester houses and vistas depicted by Edward Hopper.
Advance promotion of Christie’s upcoming Rockefeller auction have yet to illustrate the painting, although the artist’s recognizable name is mentioned in every press release and the painting is included in the world tour highlights exhibit. The catalogue for the sale is not ready.
Billionaire and philanthropist, David Rockefeller (1915-2017), was a Harvard graduate and longtime CEO of Chase Manhattan bank (later JP Morgan Chase). His art appreciation began early, influenced by both parents and the Rockefeller family collections. His father was the only son of John D. Rockefeller, a co-founder of Standard Oil Corp. His mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-1948), helped establish the Museum of Modern Art, and the fund in her name helped secure Hopper’s Corner Saloon for the permanent collection. Several family members were Trustees. After his mother’s death, David took her Trustee seat.
Like David Rockefeller, the first owner to acquire Cape Ann Granite was a Harvard graduate, art collector and financier, about the same age as Rockefeller’s parents, and Hopper. Benjamin Harrison Dibblee (1876 – 1945) was the scion of California businessman, Albert Dibblee. The family estate “Fernhill” was built in 1870 in Ross, California (later the Katharine Branson School). Benjamin H Dibblee was a Harvard graduate (1895-1899), an All-American Crimson football player (halfback and Team Captain), and head coach (1899-1900). W.H. Lewis, a famous center rush, was the Assistant Coach. (Harvard football dominated under this coaching team. See the standings below the “read more’ break.) In 1909, Dibblee donated his father’s historic papers concerning California’s secret Civil War group “The Home Guard of 1861” including its muster roll and pledge of loyalty to Lincoln and the Union cause. Dibblee was an alternate delegate from California to the Republican National Convention in 1912. As a Lt. Col. he was listed as one of five California committee members for the American Legion in 1919. He was a big wheel investment banker at EH Rollins & Sons, a firm impacted by the Wall Street crash of 1929.
It’s fun to think about Dibblee possibly visiting Gloucester during his time at Harvard, like so many students and faculty; then, decades later, acquiring a major Hopper because it was both a modern masterpiece, and a Gloucester landscape.
The Hopper Cape Ann Granite painting has me itching to research all Crimson team photos– not simply varsity nor football circa 1895-97– because of the (remote) chance of another Gloucester-Harvard and athletic connection. In 1895 Dibblee was involved with sports at Harvard at the same time as author and Olympian, James Connolly. In 1899 both were involved with football; Dibblee as the Harvard coach and Connolly as Gloucester’s athletic director and football player**. Maybe they scrimmaged. Maybe they scrimmaged in Gloucester.
Hopper’s artist inventory log pages for ‘1928 oils’ itemizes Cape Ann Granite as follows: “Sent on from Gloucester September 27, 1928, 3 canvases. Cape Ann Granite, 29 x 40, Green picture on hill with rocks. Fresh green in foreground. Slanting shadows cast by rocks and boulders. Sky blue with clouds. Small tree on R. BH Mr. Dibblee 49 Wall Streeet of San Francisco (Lived near 14 miles from San Francisco. Knows Alex Baldwin in Calif. (SanFrancisco) 1500 -1/3. 1000 on June 5, 194 ”
The pencil annotation “Modern Masters EH 1933” accompanying the thumbnail sketch for the painting on the right of this entry may be mixed up. There was a “Modern Masters” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) held in 1940 but it did not include this painting on the checklist. There was an Edward Hopper Retrospective held at MoMA October 30–December 8 in 1933 that did list this Gloucester painting, and the lender, Dibblee. (Incidentally, two other 1928 oils catalogued on that same inventory page, Manhattan Bridge Loop and Freightcars Gloucester, would both end up in the Addison Gallery collection at Phillips Academy.)
Excerpts from the 1933 MoMa Hopper retrospective exhibition catalogue:
“…When Hopper went to art school the swagger brushstroke of such painters as Duveneck, Henri, and Chase was much admired. Perhaps as a reaction against this his own brushwork has grown more and more modest until it is scarcely noticeable. He shuns all richness of surface save where it helps him to express a particular sensation…in spite of his matter-of-factness, Hopper is a master of pictorial drama. But his actors are rarely human: the houses and thoroughfares of humanity are there, but they are peopled more often by fire hydrants, lamp posts, barber poles and telegraph poles than by human beings. When he does introduce figures among his buildings they often seem merely incidental. Perhaps during his long years as an illustrator he grew tired drawing obviously dramatic figures for magazines. Hopper has painted a few pictures in which there are neither men nor houses. The pure landscapes Cape Ann Granite (9), Hills, South Truro (16), Camel’s Hump (22) occupy a place apart in his work. they reveal a power which is diconcertingly hard to analyze. Cezanne and Courbet and John Crome convey sometimes a similar depth of feeling towards the earth and nature…” Alfred Barr, 1933
“In its most limited sense, modern art would seem to concern itself only with the technical innovations of the period. In its larger and to me irrevocable sense it is the art of all time; of definite personalites that remain forever modern by the fundamental truth that is in them. It makes Moliere at his greatest as new as Ibsen, or Giotto as modern as Cezanne.” Edward Hopper, 1933
Yale owns a related watercolor by Edward Hopper, Cape Ann Pasture
Proceeds from the sale of the Peggy and David Rockefeller art collection at Christies next spring will benefit 10 selected charities. Perhaps a magnanimous collector might consider this Hopper Dogtown purchase for the Cape Ann Museum, a philanthropic twofer in this case, and needed. Cape Ann Museum does not possess a Hopper Gloucester painting and if any musuem should, it’s CAM. We need to eventually guide back the Hopper painting Gloucester Street, too.
To date Christie’s auction house has promoted primarily a Picasso and Matisse as the star lots from this collection of masterpieces because of their hefty valuation. The presale estimate for the Matisse Odalisque couchée aux magnolias (1923) is 50 million. The Picasso painting, Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (1905), a “Rose period Masterwork”, is estimated to top 70 million. The presale estimate for the Hopper is 6 million to 8 million.
The Picasso was diplayed in the libary of the Rockefeller Upper East Side mansion at 146 East 65th Street. Its first owners were Gertrude and Leo Stein. Gertrude Stein hated it though her brother bought it anyway. After Alice B. Toklas (Stein’s partner) died in 1965, MoMa trustees drew lots and were offered first pass on the legendary Stein collection. David Rockefeller won first pick, and selected the Picasso. I wonder how it will fare in this #metoo awakening. At the time of her death, Toklas had long been evicted from their Paris home as she had no legal standing nor benefit from any estate sales.
Reminder- Dogtown could be eligible for the National Register. A team of archaeologists began surveying and reviewing Dogtown the week of November 13. Come to a special public presentation TONIGHT – November 29th in Kyrouz Auditorium, Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, at 7pm.
Oct 28 GMG post announcing tonight’s public meeting: Before Dogtown was Dogtown: archaeological survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye lyme disease
“Presenters at City Hall on Nov 29th will include Betsy Friedberg from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, who will explain how the National Register program works and what it does and does not do, and Kristen Heitert from the PAL, who will present an initial plan for defining the boundaries of Dogtown as a National Register District. People attending the meeting will be asked to respond to that plan and to express their views about what makes Dogtown special. What should be the boundaries of the proposed National Register District, and what cultural features should be included in it? What would be the benefits of National Register status, and are there any drawbacks?”
The Edward Hopper etching The Lonely House was the star lot going into the sale and in the live auction last night. The print sold for $310,000 vaulting past its pre auction estimate of $150,000-$200,000.
Hopper’s Les Poilus circa 1915 surpassed its $15000-$20,000 pre-sale estimate as well, selling for $42,500. I’ve sold an impression of the Lonely House before but I’ve only scene Les Poilus in the Whitney collection.
The sale featured Old Master through Modern prints by American and European artists.
Besides Edward Hopper, there were prints by artists with Gloucester connections (or topics of interest such as a 1680 engraving of a beached whale).
Records were achieved for other prints like Martin Lewis, Relics, $55,000
a rare Odilon Redon 1892 lithograph sold for $47,500
and a Rembrandt 1631 etching, Self portrait with Cap Pulled Forward, that sold for $65,000.
See more highlights below the “read more” break from the nearly 500 prints that were sold at the November Swann Galleries auction.
Head to the Cape Ann museum Fitz Henry Lane exhibition Drawn from Nature and on Stone: The lithgraphs of Fitz Henry Lane to experience a great print show in person. Continue reading “Rare Edward Hopper print The Lonely House fetched record auction price @SwannGalleries”
mikejudd65 YouTube video of a soothing ride under the Annisquam River train bridge. The boat reaches the bridge at 2:50. I’m looking for video heading the other direction.
The tower and the scale of the concrete column brought to mind the opening scenes of Dr. Zhivago with Alec Guinness looking for his niece. Here’s a TCM film clip to give you some idea of what I mean despite cutting off right before the pan up to the guard tower.
Here’s how the Annisquam bridge looks today.
Mostly great gorgeous marsh.
Its scale suits the site and often disappears. American artist Edward Hopper painted a close up in 1923.
There are four significant Edward Hopper artworks that are related to the commuter train he took from NYC to Gloucester, MA. I sent the images to Fay Spofford & Thorndike for their reference as in my professional experience any architects and engineers that I’ve worked with were keen on historic links. They couldn’t have known this one. Until I corrected the records in 2011, the Hopper watercolor was misattributed as an unidentified landscape, likely Maine or Massachusetts. It’s definitely Massachusetts–the Annisquam River train bridge in Gloucester, MA, to be precise. If you live here, you know that scene by heart. Hopper captured most every gateway to Gloucester. A 2012 photograph by Allegra Boverman reporting on bridge damage for the Gloucester Daily Times, zoomed in just so, helped me illustrate the match.
I also shared the exciting Hopper news and connections with then Mayor Kirk, community development, Senator Tarr, the Gloucester Daily Times, and the Boston Globe. I wasn’t speaking to them about the design as I felt the state and the architects and engineers would be on that.
I have no idea when that distinct yellow shack–a mini me Cape Ann motif– was no longer there: perhaps it could be recreated, or a nod to the A Piatt Andrew bridge could be referenced with some planning? Maybe some of the diagonals of the old structure, or some other New England elements at the abutment sides could be incorporated into the design?
A couple of years later, I found an old Good Morning Gloucester post by Fredrik D. Bodin. There’s no mistaking that two level shack! I wish I could have spoken with him about the Curtis photograph.
I don’t suggest that the treacherous bridge needs to be “preserved” or want to impede progress. However, if there is a small way that the design can tip its hat to Hopper, Gloucester, New England…why not? It is a landmark, a beacon for Cape Ann. It’s very exciting that the project is going out to bid. I hope the winning firm mitigates the design to temper any possible prison comparison. Leave the pier-column design but adjust the tower? Can it be both structurally sound and inspiring?
On July 28, 2017, the Whitney Museum announced the receipt of 4000 items (300 letters, personal photographs,exhibition ephemera, and some of my favorite archival material dealer correspondence) comprising the new Arthayer R. Sanborn Hopper Collection Trust. The Whitney has the world’s largest holdings of Hopper art and archives.
Meanwhile the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) has mounted an exciting Hopper exhibit celebrating an unprecedented though ideal gift and match for the museum. Great news for MA. I can’t wait to go!
Provincetown Art Association and Museum
Edward and Josephine Hopper from the Permanent Collection: drawings, diaries, letters, watercolors
460 Commercial Street
August 25 – October 15, 2017
From the printed matter about this historic acquisition and exhibition:
“We are thrilled to announce our recent acquisition of 96 drawings by Edward Hopper, 69 drawings and watercolors by Josephine Hopper, and 22 diaries dating between from 1933-1956 chronicling the Hoppers’ lives on Cape Cod and beyond. This unprecedented donation was made through the generosity of Laurence C. and J. Anton Schiffenhaus in honor of their mother Mary Schiffenhaus (a close and personal friend of Josephine and Edward Hopper), and two anonymous donors.”
Legions of fans visit local, national and international museums to see icons of American 20th century art by Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer. Some of this art was inspired by Gloucester, MA. One more Hopper or Homer Gloucester scene in any collection would be welcome, but in Gloucester it would be transformative.
The City of Gloucester boasts a world class museum that would be the ideal repository for a major Hopper and Homer of Gloucester. It hasn’t happened, yet. It should! I feel not enough of a case has been made for having originals right here in the city that inspired some of their most famous works and changed their art for the better.
Edward Hopper Captain’s House (Parkhurst House), one of the few original Hopper works remaining in private hands, is slated as a promised gift to Arkansas’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges opened in 2011 and will have acquired 4 examples of Hopper’s art — 2 paintings, 1 drawing and 1 print–with this gift. (I think Arkansas would have been ok with 3.)
The only known Winslow Homer seascape painting still in private hands is a great one inspired by Gloucester. Bill and Melinda Gates own Lost on the Grand Banks, 1885. I saw it at the auction house back in 1998 just before the sale. What a fit for Gloucester and Homer if it found its way back here!
Edward Hopper’s Gloucester Street also went to the west coast, purchased by Robert Daly. I’d love to see this one in person! The corner hasn’t changed much since 1928 when Hopper painted the street scene.
Hopper’s downtown Gloucester scene, Railroad Gates, is not on public display.
I’m surprised and hopeful that there are paintings of Gloucester by Hopper that could be secured. There are tens of drawings including major works on paper. I saw this Gloucester drawing, Circus Wagon, by Edward Hopper at the ADAA art Fair back in March 2016.
Davis House (25 Middle Street) was sold at auction in 1996.
I’m keeping tabs on most of them. The only way they’re going into any museum is through largesse. Why not Gloucester?
Homer and Hopper watercolors in private collections can’t be on permanent view due to the medium’s fragility. (Exciting developments in glazing and displays are being developed that go beyond the protective lift.) The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, MA, cares for works of art as well as any institution.
Available now: 160 Prospect Street, Gloucester, MA / Parkhurst House (Captain’s house)
Lee’s – 2 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA 5AM – 1PM (978) 281-3873
At least one of us orders an apple cheddar omelette