Gloucester native Fitz Henry Lane painted abundantly on Cape Ann in the 1800s, capturing both its natural beauty and its maritime bustle. This Saturday (27th), the Cape Ann Museum is offering a walking tour of "Fitz Henry Lane’s Gloucester," focused on his particular neighborhood.
After establishing himself as an artist in Boston, Lane returned to Gloucester in 1847 and eventually bought land at the crest of Duncan’s Point with a view of the harbor. There he built a seven-gabled granite house and studio. He took advantage of the sweeping views of Gloucester and the harbor, painting with both an attention to detail and command of of the intangibles of shore light. Though greats like Homer and Hopper painted here as well, Lane can be considered the essential Gloucester artist. The Cape Ann Museum’s Lane collection includes 40 paintings, a rare watercolor (his first known work) and 100 drawings, plus all three lithographs that he did of Gloucester.
The uncertainties around his name - he was born Nathaniel Rogers, changed it to Fitz Henry Lane for unclear reasons, and was mistakenly called Fitz Hugh Lane by the art world for a century or so - just add a layer of intrigue.
The walking tour, which includes his neighborhood and the museum's Lane collection, will be led rain or shine by museum docents on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. It's $10 for members; $20 nonmembers. Reservations are required. To make a reservation, call Jeanette Smith at 978-283-0455, x11 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (As of 10 am today, pre-Irene forecasts haven't derailed the tour.)
Image courtesy Cape Ann Museum: Fitz Henry Lane, “Brace’s Rock, Eastern Point,” 1864, oil on canvas, 10” x 15” (Gift of Harold and Betty Bell, Accession #2007-10)
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