News Articles Library Event Photos Contact Search

Displaying items by tag: Weatherbeaten: winslow homer and maine

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:08

Two Exhibitions Focus on Winslow Homer’s Maine

Winslow Homer (1836–1910), one of the foremost figures in American art, is well known for his sea scenes and marine paintings. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Homer was an avid traveler and spent time living and working in New York City, Paris, and England, among other places. However, during his years in Prout’s Neck, Maine, Homer produced some of his most defining masterpieces.

Homer moved to Maine in 1883 and spent most of his time working in his studio, a former carriage house, just 75 feet from the ocean. Homer remained in Prout’s Neck on his family’s property until his death in 1910. Homer’s paintings from this period are defined by their crashing waves, rocky coasts, and his expert use of light; they are also the subjects of two current exhibitions.

The Portland Museum of Art’s show, Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine, focuses on Homer’s connection with his Prout’s Neck studio, which the museum now owns. The paintings on display feature the ocean views Homer saw from his home as well as the burly fishermen and statuesque women he often focused on. The exhibition’s range of paintings illustrates Homer’s transition from more populated works to stripped-down paintings that include just sea and land; Homer’s personal life followed a similar evolution.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is also hosting an exhibition of Homer’s work titled, Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and ‘The Life Line. The show is based around the museum’s own painting and Homer’s greatest success, The Life Line (1884), which features a woman being saved from the tumultuous sea by an anonymous hero. Shipwreck! Focuses on Homer’s changing relationship with the sea and includes tranquil marine paintings as well as bleaker scenes.

Weatherbeaten will be on view at the Portland Museum of art through December 30. Shipwreck! ends up its run at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on January 1, 2013.

Published in News

Best known for his dynamic and powerful seascapes, painter Winslow Homer (1836–1910) spent the last twenty-seven years of his life working diligently in a studio in Prout’s Neck, Maine. It was here, isolated on the craggy coast, that Winslow’s work matured and he created some of his most admired paintings. While in Maine, Homer became fascinated with the untold power of the natural world and often explored the theme in scenes of man versus nature, particularly the ocean.

Beginning September 25th, after a multi-year, $2.8 million restoration by the Portland Museum of Art, Homer’s studio will be open for public tours. After Homer’s death, the studio was passed down from family member to family member and ultimately landed in the hands of his great-grandnephew, Charles “Chip” Homer Willauer. Willauer, now 74, spent many summers living in his great-granduncle’s studio and began to worry about the future of the building. Hoping to preserve the significant piece of American art history, Willauer sold the studio to the Portland Museum of Art in 2006 for $1.8 million.

The Museum took the undertaking very seriously and went to work on renovations. The foundation was stabilized, the balcony and windows were replaced, the chimney was restored, and the exterior returned to its original green hue with brown trim. The museum ultimately raised $10.6 million to pay for the purchase and renovation of Homer’s studio as well as an endowment and educational programs and exhibitions.

To celebrate the renovation and opening, the museum will present the exhibition “Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine,” featuring 38 oil paintings, watercolors and etchings that Homer created in his secluded studio. “Weatherbeaten” will run through December 30th.

Published in News