watercolor on paper
National Gallery of Art, Washington
However it grew! It now covers:
- a mass of links to resources which can be found on two art gallery websites,
- a new 'Making A Mark Award' (to be awarded at the end of 2008); and
- a new resources for art lovers site!
The two websites are:
- The Art Institute of Chicago -Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light - an amazing exhibition which runs until 10 May 2008. It provides a huge amount of resources for all of us who are interested in his work. Those of us with a forensic inclination when it comes to the unpicking and 'how did he do THAT?' will be in ecstasies! Those who want to learn more about watercolour will find they have an incredible amount of material to view on this site - you may not come off your computer for a long time.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington - Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art - which is a web feature of the part of the National Gallery of America site which highlights work by Winslow Homer in its permanent collection and which also supported an exhibition of representative works in 2005-6.
Art Institute of Chicago - Watercolors by Winslow Homer - the Color of Light
Homer never received much formal artistic training. Instead, he learned to draw as an apprentice lithographer and then by working as an illustrator for the popular press. He taught himself to paint in oils in the 1860s, making a name for himself with striking portrayals of the Civil War. It was not until 1873, when he was thirty-seven year old, that he began to use watercolor for independent works of art. From that time, the medium played a central role in his artistic practice and he applied himself with great seriousness and deliberation to learning its secrets.
Winslow Homer: Behind the Scenes > Behind the Scenes > Background
Opaque watercolor over graphite on medium weight, slightly textured, gray-green wove paper, altered to brown, laid down on board
7 x 8 3/8 in. (17.8 x 21.3 cm)
This is one for the forensically inclined amongst us! Links are as follows:
- exhibition website
- exhibition themes - provides an insight into
Many of the artist’s first Prout’s Neck watercolors explore the varied nature of the surf along the shore. The portability of his drawing and watercolor materials allowed him to seek out locations where the rocky shelves were bombarded by incoming waves. There is great variety in technique and coloration among these works; just as each storm, sunset, or wave is unique, so is each of Homer’s investigations. In its near abstraction and reliance on subtle color gradations, Prout's Neck, Evening suggests that Homer may have looked closely at both Japanese painting and the inking techniques used to produce 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints.
AIC - Winslow Homer exhibition - Prout's Neck theme
Take an in-depth and detailed look at Winslow Homer’s tools, techniques, and watercolors through the eyes of curators, researchers, conservators, and conservation scientists.
- Behind the Scenes - This is an absolutely fascinating project to look at the more technical aspects of Homer's watercolours. It looks in particular at how he used pigment and colour, graphite and subtractive techniques.
- tools and techniques - gives you an insight into
- Homer's Locations - click on the marker and you can see lists of works associated with the location, including Cullercoats in north east England
- The Resources section is in effect the site map for the monumental amount of information accessed via menus and sub-menus in the different parts of the exhibition. It can also be accessed from the menu for either aspect of the exhibition. Particular items of note include:
- technical glossary
- Recommended reading
- his sketch block (which is very similar to what I sometimes use)
- a pigment chart including an explanation of how they worked it out plus a pdf file of the colour chart - which identifies specific colours to to specific paintings,
- Digital simulations - These relate to works which have faded due to the colours used. Move the slider under the image taking current colours back to original colour - and prepare to start reviewing the lightfastness of your watercolours!
Over 240,000 people saw this exhibition in 239 days in 2005-06. Many more will have seen images from it since due to this web feature.
These are shortcuts to:
From the late 1850s until his death in 1910, Winslow Homer produced a body of work distinguished by its thoughtful expression and its independence from artistic conventions. A man of multiple talents, Homer excelled equally in the arts of illustration, oil painting, and watercolor. Many of his works—depictions of children at play and in school, of farm girls attending to their work, hunters and their prey—have become classic images of nineteenth-century American life. Others speak to more universal themes such as the primal relationship of man to nature.
Highlighting a wide and representative range of Homer's art, this Web feature traces his extraordinary career from the battlefields, farmland, and coastal villages of America, to the North Sea fishing village of Cullercoats, the rocky coast of Maine, the Adirondacks, and the Caribbean, offering viewers the opportunity to experience and appreciate the breadth of his remarkable artistic achievement........A number of images in the Winslow Homer feature have been tagged with individual "zoom" buttons to faciliate in-context viewing, and thirty-five works are included in a high-resolution slideshow. Image enhancements and video clips require Flash, and browser "pop-up" windows must be enabled.
- this includes photos and videos - most enjoyable (even if the videos would now be regarded as somewhat small).
- Click the links to see close-ups of the paintings.
- This page provides a video of the sea at Scarborough Beach on Prout's Neck in Maine where Homer had his home - and where the painting at the top of this post was painted. It looks very different from the day I paid a visit to Prout's Neck and Scarborough Beach in September 2006.
- when you get to the end there's a link to a slideshow of selected images
- Exhibition checklist of works in Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art
The Making A Mark Award for the best online website supporting an exhibition
Personally I think that the AIC site is one of the best exhibition resource websites that I've ever seen - EVER! It sets a standard and raises the bar. I don't think it's any reflection on the NGA to say that as the digital presentation of exhibition material online is improving all the time - and the chicago exhibition comes two years after that in Washington.
I think it's really great that some museums - like the AIC and the NGA - have actually grasped that there are absolutely huge numbers of people who make up an audience for their collections and exhibitions which goes far beyond those who actually manage to get through the doors. I know that not all museums have yet realised this - which is sad. In the meantime - three cheers for those that have!
Plus I know what makes me want to visit a museum is the amount of effort they put into communicating online. I know that if I have a great experience online then it can only be even better if I visit as well.
Well done AIC and NGA - you are now very definitely part of a small group at the top of my list of great museums I want to visit in the future.
In fact, I'm now minded to have an end of year Making A Mark Award for the best online website supporting an exhibition in 2008. Any other museum /exhibition is going to have do really well to beat the Winslow Homer exhibition in Chicago! It seems fairest if it's limited to sites relating to exhibitions in the year in question as these sites seem to keep getting better and better every year. I've set up a round-up post for December to make sure people can suggest any they've come across which are really good. Keep your eyes peeled!
Winslow Homer - Resources for Artists
This exhibition prompted me to start a site for my links relating to Winslow Homer which you can find at Winslow Homer - Resources for Art Lovers. This is very much a start - I'll be adding new links as I find them and will be using this site in 2009 when I'm expecting to study more about Winslow Homer. I've learned that I get much more out of the study if I start my research and homework well in advance!
- Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street.
- AIC Permanent Collection - Winslow Homer - works on paper
- AIC Permanent Collection - all works by Winslow Homer
- AIC: Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light February 16–May 10, 2008
Regenstein Hall and Galleries 271–273
- National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art July 3, 2005–February 26, 2006 (extended from February 20, 2006)
- NGA permanent collection - all works by Winmslow Homer