It's been about 16 years since I've been to Glastonbury Library Annual Book Sale but each year I went I would find some gem of an art book for just a few dollar. . I can remember finding a beautiful full color 445pp art book "1900 Art at he Crossroads" marked for $10 with 1/2 OFF.... I scoffed it up so quick... tucked it under my arm along with a Hello Kitty book for one daughter, a Box Car Children book for another daughter and Magic Treehouse book for my son. Something for each one of us.... and all for less than $10.
And then headed over to McDonald's for Happy Meals that ended up costing over $25... go figure. Those were the days... I miss them so much.
One year while I was browsing through the Book Sale at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Harford, CT I found a catalog book published by the Art Museum, Princeton University on Winslow Homer in the 1870's - Selections from the Valentine-Pulsifer Collection. Published in 1990 for a special exhibit the catalog is filled with fascinating stories about Homer and his biggest collector, Lawson Valentine. And well over 80 images in both color and black & white.
Back story on the Painting: On the Fence was painted in 1878 at Houghton Farm near Mountainvile New York. Lawson Valentine owned the farm and invited Homer as his guest for a "working vacation".
Homer hired a boy and girl from a local family, the Babcocks to pose as sheepherders, and produced a large group of idyllic pastoral scenes in watercolor, from which twenty-three were submitted to the exhibit of the American Water Color Society (AWS) in New York the following February.
"Homer believed strongly in the necessity of painting outside to achieve a realistic rendering of light and it seems likely that in the works created at Houghton Farm he was trying to develop a more transparent style that would exploit the intrinsic luminosity of the white paper."
More on Homer tomorrow....
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