The History of Rocky Neck
The Rocky Neck Art Colony is one of the oldest working art colonies in the country, and has been luring artists to its picturesque shores for more than 150 years.
Among others, these artists include Fitz Henry Lane in the 1840s, Emile Gruppe, who made The Neck his home and painted into the 1970s, as well as Childe Hassam, Milton Avery, Maurice Prendergast, Cecilia Beaux, John Sloan, Stuart Davis, Frank Duveneck, Nell Blaine, and Jane Peterson.
Today the area is still home to many working artists and to galleries showing paintings, batik, photography, jewelry, prints, sculpture, ceramics, and fine gifts.
In addition to viewing the arts, one may snack or dine at unique restaurants that feature fine food and fabulous views.
Rocky Neck Art Colony 1850–1950
Written by Judith A. Curtis, designed by Stephen Bridges
Cradle of painters, poets and visionaries, Gloucester, Massachusetts, has played a vital role in the nation’s art history since the mid-1800s.
For more than a century, beginning with marine artist Fitz Henry Lane, this bustling seaport—the oldest working harbor in the nation—has inspired myriad creative souls. The harbor, coupled with Cape Ann’s unique luminescent glow and rugged topography, offered everything the plein air painter could possibly want.
In addition, the dichotomy between the hardy fishermen and the genteel summer visitors of East Gloucester resulted in the artists banding together to form their own sense of community. So was born the Rocky Neck Art Colony.
Over the years—beginning with Lane’s Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck in 1844, through Winslow Homer’s first visit in 1873, the arrival of Frank Duveneck and his friends and followers, and the presence of the New York contingent headed by John Sloan and Stuart Davis—Gloucester’s Rocky Neck evolved into a microcosm of American art that has never been surpassed.
Judith A. Curtis is a freelance writer specializing in art-related themes. Ms. Curtis lives on Cape Ann, and is a regular contributor to the American Art Review. She has also written several books, including Anthony Thieme, The Life and Art of Paul Strisik, N. A., W. Lester Stevens, N. A., (1888-1969), and Harry A. Vincent and His Contemporaries.
Title is also available for resale. Please call 978-515-7004 for wholesale information.