Editor's note: The Portland
Museum of Art provided source material to Resource
Library for the following article or essay. If you have questions or
comments regarding the source material, please contact the Portland Museum
of Art directly through either this phone number or web address:
Winslow Homer and the Poetics
June 5 - September 6, 2010
The Portland Museum
of Art is presenting Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place, on view
June 5 through September 6, 2010. In honor of the centennial
of Homer's death in September, this exhibition showcases 28 works from the
Museum's collection of Homer watercolors, oils on canvas, and illustrations.
Based upon the extraordinary gift of 17 works by Charles Shipman Payson
to the Museum in 1976, the exhibition features paintings understood to be
national treasures, such as Artists Sketching in the White Mountains
(1868) and Weatherbeaten (1894), as well as The Sharpshooter
(1862), Homer's first oil painting and the gift of Bernard and Barbro Osher.
This is the first time since 1988 that all of these works are on view together
in the Charles Shipman Payson Building, due to their sensitivity to light.
(right: Winslow Homer (United States, 1836-1910), Weatherbeaten,
1894, oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 48 3/8 inches. Portland Museum of Art. Bequest
of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.1. Photo courtesy of meyersphoto.com.)
The relationship between Winslow Homer (1836-1910) and
the Portland Museum of Art is long-standing and intimate. Homer exhibited
at the Museum in his lifetime, and in the course of the 20th century, the
Museum has become a symbolic home for the artist with the recent purchase
of his studio. Long understood to be one of the most important painters
in the history of American art, Winslow Homer lived in an age when the United
States grew from a young country of small towns to modern industrial nation.
Throughout his career as a graphic artist, genre painter, and chronicler
of the rugged Maine coast, Homer provided his clients with images that helped
create a sense of place in this era of rapid change and growth.
In 2006, the Museum purchased the Winslow Homer Studio
in Prouts Neck, Maine, 12 miles from the Museum, and is currently involved
in a major conservation and restoration project at that storied site. The
Museum plans to open the Studio to the public in September of 2012.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum has created
a ground-breaking online resource for the study of Winslow Homer's illustrations.
Located on the Museum's website, www.portlandmuseum.org, this resource provides
searchable and zoomable access to 250 illustrations. These illustrations
are part of a gift of more than 450 Homer illustrations given to the
Museum by Peggy and Harold Osher in 1991, a nearly comprehensive collection
of Homer's graphic work. A computer station is also available in the
exhibition to allow visitors to view these works. This project is funded
in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maine Humanities
Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place is organized by Chief Curator Thomas Denenberg and is accompanied
by a catalogue written by Denenberg and designed by Portland-based graphic
artist Daniel Pepice. The hardcover catalogue will be available in the Museum
(above: Winslow Homer (United States, 1836-1910), Artists
Sketching in the White Mountains, 1868, oil on panel, 9 1/2 x 15 7/8
inches. Portland Museum of Art. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.4.
Photo courtesy of meyersphoto.com.)
To view wall labels for objects in the exhibition
please click here.
- All works by Winslow Homer (United States, 1836-1910)
- All works courtesy of the Portland Museum of Art. All
photos courtesy of meyersphoto.com.
- 1. An Unexpected Catch, 1890, watercolor on paper,
11 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.9.
- 2. after Winslow Homer, The Artist in the Country
from Appletons' Journal, June 19, 1869, wood engraving on wove paper,
11 1/16 x 7 5/8 inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.96.
- 3. Artists Sketching in the White Mountains, 1868,
oil on panel, 9 1/2 x 15 7/8 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson,
- 4. The Breakwater, Cullercoats, 1882, watercolor
on ivory wove paper, 13 1/4 x 19 3/4 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman
- 5. Bringing in the Nets, 1887, watercolor on paper,
13 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.14.
- 6. Boy in a Boatyard, 1873, watercolor and gouache
over graphite on off-white wove paper, 7 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches. Bequest of
Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.5.
- 7. after Winslow Homer, The Coolest Spot in New England-Summit
of Mount Washington from Harper's Weekly, July 23, 1870, wood engraving
on wove paper, 13 3/4 x 9 1/8 inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.105.
- 8. after Winslow Homer, The Fishing Party from Appletons'
Journal, October 2, 1869, wood engraving on wove paper, 10 13/16 x
15 inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.111.
- 9. Girl Seated on Hillside Overlooking the Water,
1878, watercolor and graphite on paper, 8 3/4 x 11 5/16 inches. Gift of
Lily W. Russell and Family, 1998.28.
- 10. The Guide, 1889, watercolor on ivory wove
paper, 13 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.8.
- 11. Guide Carrying a Deer, 1891, watercolor on
ivory wove paper, 14 x 20 1/16 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson,
- 12. Leaping Trout, 1889, watercolor on paper,
14 1/16 x 20 1/16 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.7.
- 13. Looking Out to Sea, Cullercoats, 1882, watercolor
on paper, 13 3/4 x 20 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.17.
- 14. after Winslow Homer, The Morning Bell from Harper's
Weekly, December 13, 1873, wood engraving on wove paper, 9 3/16 x 13
7/16 inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.118.
- 15. after Winslow Homer, The Nooning from Harper's
Weekly, August 16, 1873, wood engraving on wove paper, 10 11/16 x 15
15/16 inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.120.
- 16. after Winslow Homer, The Noon Recessfrom Harper's
Weekly, June 28, 1873, wood engraving on wove paper, 11 1/8 x 15 7/8
inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.119.
- 17. after Winslow Homer, On the Beach-Two Are Company,
Three Are None from Harper's Weekly, August 17, 1872, wood engraving
on wove paper, 9 1/8 x 13 3/4 inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.59.
- 18. Pickerel Fishing, 1892, watercolor on wove
paper, 11 1/4 x 20 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.11.
- 19. Portrait of Benjamin Johnson Lang, 1895, graphite
on wove paper, 16 x 13 3/8 inches. Gift of William D. Hamill, 1991.19.3.
- 20. Sharpshooter, 1863, oil on canvas, 12 1/4
x 16 1/2 inches. Gift of Barbro and Bernard Osher, 1992.41.
- 21. Taking an Observation, circa 1886, oil on
panel, 15 1/4 x 24 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.3.
- 22. Trappers Resting, 1874, watercolor on wove
paper, 9 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.6.
- 23. Two Men in a Canoe, 1895, watercolor on gray
laid paper, 14 x 20 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.12.
- 24. after Winslow Homer, Under the Falls, Catskill
Mountains from Harper's Weekly September 14, 1872, wood engraving on
wove paper, 9 1/8 x 13 13/16 inches. Gift of Peggy and Harold Osher, 1991.25.134.
- 25. Weatherbeaten, 1894, oil on canvas, 28 1/2
x 48 3/8 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.1.
- 26. Wild Geese in Flight, 1897, oil on canvas,
33 7/8 x 49 3/4 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.2.
- 27. Windy Day, Cullercoats, 1881, graphite and
gouache on tan laid paper, 11 3/16 x 20 1/4 inches. Bequest of Charles
Shipman Payson, 1988.55.15.
- 28. Young Ducks, 1897, watercolor on wove paper,
14 x 21 inches. Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, 1988.55.13.
Editor's note: Resource Library readers
may also enjoy these earlier articles and essays:
- Winslow Homer: American Scenes (6/24/08)
- Winslow Homer In America (10/25/07)
- Winslow Homer-American Illustrator (8/29/06)
- Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of
- Winslow Homer: Survival and the Sea (6/21/05)
- Winslow Homer: Making Art, Making History
- Winslow Homer the Illustrator: His Wood
Engravings, 1857-1888 (1/22/05)
- Winslow Homer and the Great Forest; essay
by David Tatham (7/20/04)
- Winslow Homer: Masterworks from the Adirondacks
- Winslow Homer - The Illustrator: His Wood
Engravings 1857-1888 (11/18/03, rev. 12/19/03)
- "The American Spirit: Frederic Church,
Winslow Homer, Thomas Moran" and "Leelanau: Michigan's Eden"
- Winslow Homer The Illustrator: His Wood
Engravings, 1857-1888 from the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida
- Winslow Homer the Illustrator: His Wood
Engravings, 1857-1888 (12/9/02)
- Americans Outdoors: Seasonal Prints by
Winslow Homer (with selected wall text) (7/5/01)
- Rab and the Girls: A Riddle in Paint, by
Sarah Burns (5/31/01)
- Winslow Homer: The Civil War Years and
Winslow Homer: The Gloucester Years (12/4/00)
- Winslow Homer: An American Genius at the
Parthenon (7/25/00) including an image of Rab and the Girls
- Winslow Homer Watercolors at Canajoharie
Library and Art Gallery (2/24/01)
- Winslow Homer: The Civil War Years and
Winslow Homer: The Gloucester Years (12/4/00)
- Winslow Homer and the Critics: Forging
a National Art in the I870s (8/30/00)
- A Fair Wind" - Maritime Paintings
by Winslow Homer (4/15/00)
- Winslow Homer Facing Nature (2/20/00)
- The Art of American Life: Winslow
Homer's Graphics (1857-1877) (10/18/99)
- Winslow Homer: Early Prints and Paintings
- Winslow Homer (1836-1910) (10/7/99)
- Winslow Homer: Works on Paper (8/11/99)
- Winslow Homer: Illustrating America
- Winslow Homer and the Elusive African-American
- Winslow Homer (1999)
- Winslow Homer: Facing Nature (4/7/98)
From TFAO's Topics in American Representational Art:
Also enjoy online multimedia:
a streaming slide show titled Winslow Homer's Right
and Left from the National Gallery of Art, which is a narrated show
interpreting one painting. Narration is by Nicolai Cikovsky Jr., senior
curator of American and British paintings. A transcript is included in the
from High Museum of
Art partnering with the Forum Network for Winslow
Homer's Watercolors: Markers in a Life Journey, (52 minutes) a lecture
by Elizabeth Johns, professor emerita, art history, UPenn. in which Dr.
Johns discusses the relationship of Homer's watercolors and some of his
oils to his life's journey. (Lecture contributed by WABE/AFN) [May 11, 2006]
from an online course by Dr. Liana Cheney of the Graduate
School of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell titled
"Art History and Film,"
the video Winslow Homer: An American Original, a 49 minute 1999 HBO
Artists' Specials series program directed by Graeme Lynch and produced by
from WTTW11, which
is producing a series of original "Artbeat"
segments, a regular feature on its nightly newsmagazine Chicago Tonight,
to help audiences learn about and connect to the variety of activities that
are part of American Art American City, the clip "Winslow
Homer 06:34 2/14/08." For more than 50 years, WTTW11 has served
the Chicago community and beyond as the nation's most watched public television
station, earning a reputation for providing outstanding programming in many
areas, including the arts. (text courtesy Terra
Foundation for American Art). Recent programs include:
- Vandepoel Art Collection 05:43 4/7/08
- Edward Hopper 12:13 2/21/08
- Winslow Homer 06:34 2/14/08
- Henry Darger 07:16 1/22/08
- Roger Brown 06:31 12/12/07
- jasper Johns 03:58 11/7/07
- Alfred Jurgens 07:42 10/18/07
and other online resources:
TFAO also suggests these DVD or VHS videos:
- Atlantic Coast of Winslow Homer, The Introduces painter
Winslow Homer (1836--1910) and shows his work featuring scenes along the
Atlantic Ocean. 35-minute video Description source: Amon
Carter Museum Teacher Resource Center. The Museum contains a comprehensive
lending library including many videos.
- Winslow Homer: An American Original is a 49 minute 1999
HBO Artists' Specials series program directed by Graeme Lynch and produced
by Devine Entertainment. The artist Winslow Homer
has become famous for his illustrations of battle scenes during the Civil
War, but he feels disenchanted with what he has experienced and withdraws
to a quiet farm. There he meets a pair of teenagers whose lives have been
shaken by the war. Together, Homer and the kids learn from each other and
move forward with life.
Winslow Homer: Society and Solitude is a 2007 full-length
documentary by filmmaker Steven John Ross, professor of communication, University
of Memphis. Excerpts from an April 6, 2007 press release from Colby-Sawyer
- Ross, a professor at the University of Memphis, worked on the Homer
documentary for six years. He is best known for his award-winning PBS documentaries,
"Oh Freedom After While!" (2000),"Black Diamonds, Blues
City" (1996) and "At The River I Stand," (1993), and the
literary adaptations "A Game of Catch" (1990) and "The Old
- Don Coonley, professor of humanities and communication studies at Colby-Sawyer
College, is one of the film's co-producers and sound recorders. Coonley
is also the on-screen and voice-over actor representing Homer in the re-creation
sequences filmed at the artist's studio on Prout's Neck, Maine. Coonley
and Ross have collaborated on each other's film projects over the last
- "Winslow Homer: Society and Solitude" exists in two forms:
as a feature length documentary (one hour and 49 minutes long); and as
two separate, 55-minute films, the first depicting Homer's life and work
up to 1880, and the second dealing with the last three decades of his life
- The new film depicts more than 180 Homer paintings, watercolors, etchings
and illustrations, which were filmed in the Homer family archives and museums
such as The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The National Gallery of Art, The
Portland Museum of Art and The Fogg Museum at Harvard University. Re-creations
of Homer in Maine were shot with the cooperation of his descendants at
his cliff-side studio in Prout's Neck. Other locations captured by 16mm
cameras for this project include Gloucester, Mass., and The North Woods
Club in The Adirondack Mountains.
- This documentary offers multiple perspectives on the artist through
interviews with artists and major Homer scholars. Noted scholars and artists
who appear in the film include Frank Kelly, Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Judith
Walsh, Sarah Burns, Linda Docherty, Elizabeth Johns, Gary Gallagher, Ted
Stebbins, Marc Simpson, David Tatham, Peter Wood, Tim Rollins, David Driskell,
Sue Welsh Reed, Carol Troyen, Roy Perkinson and Patricia Junker. Other
scholars who served as consultants include John Wilmerding, Bruce Robertson,
Katherine Woltz, Margi Conrads, Henry Adams, and Nancy Mowll Mathews.
- Winslow Homer: The Nature of the Artist is
a 29 minute 1986 video directed by Steve York from the National Gallery
of Art Series. The art of Winslow Homer is examined
in this profile of the American artist, from his early illustrations of
the Civil War and his picturesque scenes of the country and shore, to the
powerful images of nature that characterize his mature and late work. Commentary
by the American art historian John Wilmerding provides a guide to Homer's
artistic progress and to his achievements, particularly his transformation
of the watercolor medium from the purely descriptive into a highly expressive
- TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos.
for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs
listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format
rev. 3/3/11 RL expresses apprecaition to Kara Lewis for
suggesting additional information for this page.
Links to sources of information outside of our web site
are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use
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