Timber! Iconic Edward Hopper vista in Gloucester, Massachusetts, easier to see thanks to tree removal at 316 Main Street

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TIMBER 316 Main Street _2018 Sept 26_1PM_one of more than 110 Gloucester Massachusetts houses vistas inspired artist Edward Hopper _1924 painting National Gallery of Art, DC ©Cather

HOPPER FANS TAKE NOTE

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.

BEFORE 2011

 

 

BEFORE July 2018

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July 2018: 316 Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, obscured by towering pines and heavy brush The 1884 house inspired Edward Hopper to paint a watercolor in 1924 that is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Hopper painted more than 110 vistas in Gloucester, Ma. All photos ©Catherine Ryan

 

AFTER 2018

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

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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.

EDWARD HOPPER all around GLOUCESTER MA

short video: Edward Hopper Haskell’s House in Gloucester Mass is easier to view after tree removal Sept 2018 © catherine Ryan

 

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Art at Peabody Essex Museum: Hasten to Hassam! Last day

American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isle of Shoals at the Peabody Essex Museum closes today. It’s one of the best exhibitions I saw this year. Go  — there’s still time today. You will come nearly as close as any observer can to feeling the rapturous meeting of an artist’s take with the shimmering world.

Hassam’s paintings don’t reproduce well in books, or photography. They need to be addressed– sized up, walked towards. Inhaled.

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This approach is beneficial even if you study just one. But my, what luxury seeing so many in one place at one time.  Again and again, the show brought forth connections and insight.”Funny, I hadn’t seen that before,” I found myself thinking. Artists Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud came to mind.

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The exhibition features more than 40 Hassam oil paintings and watercolors of the eastern seaboard dating from the late 1880s to 1912–an Isle of Shoals painting reunion, with secrets revealed. The Peabody Essex Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art co-organized and partnered with marine scientists at Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University, and the University of New Hampshire. Their new research examined all the sites on the island, and Hassam’s painting process. I liked the research, the pacing of the installation, and the thoughtful viewshed. Besides the two museums, loans came from near and mostly far such as: private collections from coast to coast (which I’d never see);  the Portland Museum of Art; Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis; Yale (Sinclair Lewis gifted that one to Yale!); Wichita Art Museum; Toledo Museum of Art; Smith; Smithsonian; and the National Gallery of Art. Basically all painting is abstraction: I relished the chance to study so many in one spot.

I was not a fan of the piped in sound, nor all the wall paint choices as my senses were already acutely challenged by observation. My disdain for the canned ambient sound was so distracting, I had to leave. On my second visit, the scent of coconut wafted out the entrance. My goodness, have they piped in fake scent like a boutique hotel or experiential attraction, too? They hadn’t. It was my overreaction in the wake of another visitor’s adornment, a lingering fragrance, perhaps sunscreen on a summer day.

Tucked away within the Hassam exhibit was a good photo installation of Alexandra de Steiguer’s work as the Isles winter keeper– for 19 years! For anyone who wondered more about life as a keeper after reading The Light Between Oceans, de Steiguer wrote about her real experiences here, http://connected.pem.org/alone-on-an-island/. It’s beautiful!

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Today’s NY Times: Holland Cotter reviews Stuart Davis art exhibit at the Whitney Museum

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Stuart Davis, 1939, Sol Horn, photographer. Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian. 

Pulitzer prize winning critic, Holland Cotter, gives the Stuart Davis (1892-1964) show at the Whitney Museum a mostly glowing review in today’s New York Times. One thing is a given. If the art of American modernist Stuart Davis is mentioned, Gloucester will pop up somewhere in the text.

“Place was important to him, but the modern world was increasingly about movement and he wanted to picture that. A 1931 painting, “New York-Paris No. 2,” put us in both cities simultaneously, with a Hotel de France set against the Third Avenue El.

In the exuberant “Swing Landscape” of 1938, a mural commissioned by the Works Progress Administration for a Brooklyn housing project but never installed, we see bits and pieces of Gloucester — ships, buoys, lobster traps — but basically we’re in a whole new universe of jazzy patterns and blazing colors, a landscape defined not by signs but by sensations: sound, rhythm, friction…”

 

Sometimes big shows bring art to market. Last fall the Stuart Davis 1960 painting Ways and Means, 24 x 32,  sold at auction for $3,189,000 at Christie’s.

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the 1940 Composition June Jitterbug Jive for $689,000,

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and the Autumn Landscape Rockport, 1940, 8 x 12 for $905,000.

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Meanwhile, Sotheby’s sold New York Street, 1940, 11 x 16, $490,000.

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This month, Sotheby’s sold a 1960 Gloucester harbor scene for $100,000 on  June 9th, and the 1919 “Gloucester” painting measuring 24 x 30 fetched $51,000.

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