Homer at Home
Published on November 26, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about the Winslow Homer exhibit "Weatherbeaten" at the Portland Museum of Art.

Here's an excerpt:

"I usually travel to my parents’ house in Maine for Thanksgiving, and this year was no exception.

And though my parents have only lived in this house for about eight years, it’s a place I know well: My grandfather grew up there, and we spent one or two weeks there each summer when I was a kid. On Friday we did one of my favorite activities: The Cliff Walk on Prouts Neck. Prouts Neck is a rocky peninsula just down the road from my parents’ house, and the cliff walk winds around the peninsula, over sandy beaches and rocks, offering an expansive view of the sea. The area is best known as the home of the great American artist Winslow Homer, whose studio on Prouts Neck was recently refurbished by the Portland Museum of Art and opened to tour groups. Many of Homer’s most famous paintings depict the rugged coastline of Prouts Neck and the pounding surf; his studio features a deck from which he could observe the ocean in all seasons and types of weather.

The first Homer painting I ever saw, the foreboding 1885 oil painting 'The Fog Warning,' belonged to my grandfather, whose parents knew Homer, and hung in his living room. My great-grandparents ran a hotel on Prouts Neck called the Checkley House and Homer stayed there before moving into his studio. I’m not sure how close my great-grandparents were to Homer, but the Checkley House did feed him; according to my father, Homer would lower a flag when he wanted food. This personal history probably helps explain why I’m such a big fan of Homer, but his work continues to touch and resonate with many people, as I discovered when I went to the Portland Museum of Art’s 'Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine' exhibit on Saturday.

Click here to read the whole thing.


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