A View from the Shore: Winslow Homer’s Impressions of the Coast

October 15–December 17

Gloucester Harbor by Winslow Homer | Mitchell Gallery | St Johns College
Winslow Homer, Gloucester Harbor, 1873, engraving.

Winslow Homer (1836–1910) is regarded by many as the preeminent American painter of the 19th century, well known for his dynamic renditions of scenes from the coast. His rise to prominence was greatly due to his work as an illustrator for the then-booming pictorial press—an outlet that brought Homer’s imagery into hundreds of thousands of homes on a nearly weekly basis. During his tenure with such publications as Ballou’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, and Harper’s Weekly, Homer created more than 200 illustrations. His career as an illustrator began in 1857 and ended in 1875, at which point he dedicated himself solely to painting. Homer’s images were admired early for their engaging style and dynamic composition.

Following a trip to Europe, illustrated in the double-spread impression Homeward Bound (1867), Homer’s compositions for the press became noticeably more developed and sophisticated. Impressions including Gloucester Harbor (1873), Sea Side Sketches—A Clam-Bake (1873), and Seesaw-Gloucester, Massachusetts (1874) reflect a mature understanding and relationship to the engraving process. Though he did not participate in the printing of the block, Homer did have approval over the interpretation of his imagery and only used specific engravers for his impressions, maintaining his involvement in the process.

The prints on display are selected from the original newspaper editions. The pictorial press enlisted an army of artists, engravers, platemakers, and printers to publish these works. While it is the draftsmen we focus on, the unnamed craftsmen who engraved and printed these images deserve recognition for bringing these mass-produced publications into the homes of 19th-century families.

This exhibition is organized by Syracuse University Art Museum and curated by Andrew Saluti.

We thank the following for their continuous funding and support: Anne Arundel County, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, The Helena Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Estate of Elizabeth Myers Mitchell, the Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors, Members of the Mitchell Gallery, Mrs. Ruth Mitchell, the John and Hilda Moore Fund, the Lillian Vanous Nutt Mitchell Gallery Endowment, and the Clare Eddy and Eugene V. Thaw Fine Arts Fund.

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Programs and Events

All exhibitions and most programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Links to events will be posted on this page prior to the event.

October 15: Online opening of exhibition
A View from the Shore: Winslow Homer’s Impressions of the Coast

October 15–December 17: Online Lecture
“Winslow Homer: Printer and Painter” by Art Educator Lucinda Edinberg.
Prerecorded lecture. Premieres October 15, available through December 17.

October 20: Art Express, 12:15–12:45 p.m. ET
Lunchtime tour with Art Educator Lucinda Edinberg.

November 3: Discussion, 5:30 p.m. ET
“Illustrator to Artist: Winslow Homer and the Public” with American art scholar Wilford Scott.

November 14: Live-stream lecture by exhibition curator Andrew Saluti, 3 p.m. ET
This lecture, followed by a Q&A period, will provide insights into Homer’s career as an engraver and its importance in American art history. Watch the recorded lecture via YouTube.

Andrew Saluti Winslow Homer exhibition curator
Andrew Saluti

Andrew Saluti is assistant professor and program coordinator of the Graduate Program in Museum Studies at Syracuse University. Before joining the faculty of the School of Design, Saluti was the chief curator of exhibitions, programs and education for the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries, and the assistant director of the Syracuse University Art Galleries and Collections. Saluti’s creative research centers on the curatorship and history of printmaking, specifically the relationship to prints in social context. Current projects include the text The Preparator’s Handbook: A Practical Guide for the Prep and Installation of Collection Objects (Rowman & Littlefield), and the catalogue raisonné of the prints of Louisa Chase.

December 9:  Book Club, 2:30–4:30 p.m. ET
Online tour of the exhibition, followed by discussion of Winslow Homer in Gloucester by D. Scott Atkinson and Jochen Wierich. Please contact the Mitchell Gallery for this out-of-print book. Discussion moderated by the author Jochen Wierich. Registration required.
Book Club is now FULL.

Jochen Wierich Winslow Homer in Gloucester author
Jochen Wierich

Jochen Wierich holds a dual appointment as Associate Professor at Aquinas College and as Curator of Sculpture and Sculpture Exhibitions at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. He studied Art History and American Studies at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and at the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main and received his Ph.D. in American Studies at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. His teaching appointments in art history include Vanderbilt University, Whitman College, Free University in Berlin, and Belmont University. As a museum professional he has worked at the Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago, the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, and the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. In addition to a Terra Foundation Senior Visiting Fellowship in Berlin, Wierich had pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution as well as Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. His publications include two books published by Penn State Press: Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, and American History Painting(2012) and Internationalizing the History of American Art: Views (2009), an anthology co-edited with Barbara Groseclose. His essays cover a range of topics and artists in American art, including Richard Caton Woodville, Lilly Martin Spencer, Emanuel Leutze, Winslow Homer, the Taos Society of Artists, The Eight, Winold Reiss, and Plantation images in the American South.