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MFA Images: Beach House

  • Bring the ocean indoors with warm images of nature and seascapes.

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  • The Blue Boat

    1892
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Provenance

    With Doll & Richards , Boston, 1892; Francis Shaw, Boston; William Sturgis Bigelow, Boston, by whom given to MFA by bequest 1926

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 38.6 x 54.6 cm (15 3/16 x 21 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    26.764

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Women on the Beach at Futami-ga-ura

    Japanese
    Edo period
    about 1803–04 (Kyôwa 3–Bunka 1)
    Artist Kitagawa Utamaro I (Japanese, (?)–1806), Publisher Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindô) (Japanese)

    Description

    Triptych: 11.14506 (right), 11.14507 (left), 11.14508 (center)

    MFA impressions: 06.2577-9, 11.14506-8, 21.7685-7

    Signed

    Utamaro hitsu (on each sheet) 歌麿筆

    Markings

    No censor's seal

    Provenance

    By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 – d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Asano and Clark 1995, #436; Ukiyo-e shûka 3 (1978), list #237.1-3; Shibui, Ukiyo-e zuten Utamaro (1964), 34.2.1-3; Ukiyo-e taisei 7 (1931), #331

    Dimensions

    Vertical ôban triptych; 39 x 78.6 cm (15 3/8 x 30 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.14506-8

    Medium or Technique

    Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

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  • Approaching Storm: Beach near Newport

    about 1861–62
    Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)

    Description

    Like many of the Hudson River School landscape painters, Martin Johnson Heade was highly attuned to meteorological phenomena. He produced this chilling scene of a thunderstorm at Point Judith, on the south coast of Rhode Island, as part of a series of compositions that depicted ominous weather at sea. Although Thomas Cole and the generation of artists who would follow him were intimately familiar with cloud formations and light effects [63.271], this scene of blackened water and eerily illuminated shoreline suggests a more potent meaning. A thunderstorm accompanying a storm-tossed boat was a common metaphor throughout nineteenth-century European and American painting for an imperiled or wrecked ship of state; the scene here is rendered with deadening calm. The three boats at full sail seem caught in imminent danger and unlikely to find a safe passage to shore. For a nation amidst the upheaval of civil war, the darkened appearance of the stormy sky also brought to mind the familiar black, sulphur-laden canopy that rose above the beleaguered nation’s battlefields.
    As the foment of war approached, popular preachers, including Heade’s life-long friend Thomas March Clark, the fifth bishop of Rhode Island, incorporated imagery of biblical deluge into their sermons, equating dark clouds lingering on the horizon with the infamy a civil war would bring. In contrast, sunlight symbolized the hope of God’s redemption. In Heade’s extraordinary scene, the blackened clouds give way to a small patch of blue sky at the upper right, and the roiling waves are juxtaposed with a supernatural glow that suffuses the promontory of Point Judith with an intense clarity.

    Of Heade’s half dozen variations on the theme of thunderstorms at the shore, this composition is the most severe and lacking in narrative details. Heade’s viewer is afforded little relief from the cloud cover and the relentless horizontality created by the ocean and the beach. Nature appears at her most terrifying and hostile, and the barrenness of the shore, which drops away from the viewer at the lower edge of the canvas, conveys the sense that there is no foothold on the edge of Heade’s abyss.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: M. J. Heade 186[?]

    Provenance

    By 1925, Henry Goddard Pickering (1848-1926), Boston; 1926, by inheritance to his niece, Susan W. (Mrs. Richard Y.) Fitzgerald, Boston. 1940, with Harvey F. Additon, Boston; 1943, with Castano Galleries, Boston; 1943, with Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1944, with Newhouse Galleries and A.F. Mondschein, New York; Stephen C. Clark, New York; 1945, with Macbeth Gallery, New York; 1945, sold by Macbeth Gallery to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1945, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 13, 1945)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    71.12 x 148.27 cm (28 x 58 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    45.889

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Sunset on Long Beach

    about 1867
    Artist Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)

    Description

    In an oeuvre of 650 known oils, Heade painted more than 150 salt-marsh landscapes. No two are identical. The earliest feature the area near Newburyport, Massachusetts, located north of Boston; further south and closer to the city, he worked in Lynn and Marshfield, as well as along the Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey shores. Heade continued to paint marsh subjects after he moved to Florida in 1883. His last two dated works are a northern and a southern marsh executed the year of his death, 1904 (locationsof both unknown). It can be difficult to determine the exact location of his landscapes, since Heade was less interested in the specificity of topography than in capturing the effects of changing light and weather. Sunset on Long Beach belongs to a group of marshes Heade executed between the mid-1860s and mid-1870s, a prolific period of work that resulted in some of his classic wetland scenes, including Salt Marshes, Newburyport, Massachusetts[47.1152]. This sunset is dated to around 1867 because of its similarity to another composition, Ipswich Marshes (New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut), that Heade signed and dated that year.

    Sunset on Long Beach came into the MFA’s collection with this title. It may be a view across the wetlands of southern Long Island, New York, toward the Atlantic Ocean (which is visible at the left dotted with sailboats) near the present city of Long Beach. In this scene, the landscape is bathed in the glowing pinks of the setting sun. Heade achieved this luminosity by carefully building up his colors with delicate, thin glazes (pigments diluted with oil). These are especially evident in the cigar-shaped clouds and the sun itself, where pink and lavender tones are applied over a thicker white. Heade’s individual brushstrokes are imperceptible in the faint clouds visible in the background over the horizon—a masterful suggestion of atmosphere. In the foreground, he tinged the grasses with flecks of orange and pink, contrasting them with the lush greens. He used long strokes of green and orange, partially blended together, to create the recession of the marsh into the distance. Small haystacks, unlike the larger specimens Heade featured in other compositions [47.1152], help to emphasize the vast expanse of the landscape. Fair-weather cumulus lenticularis clouds reinforce the horizontal nature of this painting, and Heade further emphasized the breadth of the marsh by the shape of the canvas he selected—it is more than twice as wide as it is high. A masterpiece of the subtle effects of light and color, this is one of Heade’s most serene and evocative works.

    Karen E. Quinn

    Inscription

    Lower right: M J Heade

    Provenance

    By 1944, private collection, Brooklyn, New York; 1944, with Victor Spark, New York; 1945, with Macbeth Gallery, New York; 1945, sold by Macbeth Gallery to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    25.72 x 55.88 cm (10 1/8 x 22 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1159

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Long Beach

    1920–23
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    Inscription

    Inscriptions: l. c. in brown ink, near bottom of picture: Prendergast

    Provenance

    The artist; to Charles Prendergast, 1924; to Mrs. Charles Prendergast, 1948; to (Kraushaar); to (Margaret Brown, Boston), 1950; from whom purchased 4-13-1950

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Clark, Matthews, Owens 1392

    Dimensions

    Sight: 39.4 x 57 cm (15 1/2 x 22 7/16 in.) Framed: 57.8 x 74.3 cm (22 3/4 x 29 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    50.652

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor, graphite pencil and ink on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Beach with Sun Drawing Water

    1872
    William Trost Richards (American, 1833–1905)

    Description

    Inscription

    Sigend lower left in brown ink: Wm. T. Richards 1872

    Provenance

    Maxim Karolik, Newport; Gift to MFA September 21, 1960

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Karolik cat. no 623

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 17.1 x 35.2 cm (6 3/4 x 13 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    60.1058

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor over graphite on moderately thick, slightly textured, light beige wove paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Fashionable Figures on the Beach

    1865
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    The advent of train travel in the 1850s brought seaside holidays within reach for middle-class Parisians, who flocked to new resort towns on the Normandy coast. Boudin began painting scenes of fashionable urban beach-goers in 1862 and found a steady market for luminous, light-hearted pictures like this one. Committed to painting outdoors—en plein air—rather than in a traditional studio, Boudin encouraged his young friend and pupil Claude Monet to work outside—from nature, in nature.

    Inscription

    Lower right: E. Boudin. 65

    Provenance

    Galerie Cadart et Luquet, Paris. Galerie Georges Petit, Paris; by 1932, probably sold by Georges Petit to Francisco Llobet (d. 1959), Paris and Buenos Aires [see note 1]; by inheritance from Llobet to his daughter, Mme. Inès Llobet de Gowland; sold by Mme. de Gowland to Fritz and Peter Nathan, Zurich, and Jacques Dubourg, Paris [see note 2]; 1962, sold by the Nathans and Dubourg to Mr. and Mrs. John J. Wilson, Boston; 1974, gift of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Wilson to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 9, 1974) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Peter Nathan to John Wilson (June 22, 1962), Dr. Llobet acquired the painting from the Galerie Georges Petit between 1920 and 1925. This, however, has not been substantiated and the date of its purchase is uncertain. However, it was in Llobet's possession by 1932, when he exhibited it in Buenos Aires. See Asociación Amigos del Arte, Exposición de Pintores Impresionistas: Colección F. Llobet (Buenos Aires, 1932), cat. no. 5, ill. (n.p.). [2] According to a letter from Peter Nathan to Perry T. Rathbone of the MFA (December 19, 1962).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Wilson

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.5 x 57.5 cm (14 x 22 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1974.565

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Winter Dory, King's Beach, Swampscott, Massachusetts

    about 1890
    Charles Edwin Lewis Green (American, 1844–1915 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: C.E.L. Green.

    Provenance

    The artist; to Charles Boden Green, his son; to Mr. Lyman, his nephew (by marriage); to Clara C. Lyman, his wife and great niece of the artist; to MFA, 1981, gift of Clara C. Lyman.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Clara C. Lyman in memory of Charles Boden Green

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.56 x 46.04 cm (14 x 18 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1981.724

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Figures on the Beach

    1893
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed and dated lower left: E. Boudin. 9[3?]

    Provenance

    1952, anonymous collection, France; December 2-3, 1952, "La Princesse de X..." and others sale, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, lot 33. Allard et Noël, Paris [see note 1]. By 1975, Antique Porcelain Company, New York (stock no. 11638); October 10, 1975, sold by the Antique Porcelain Company to William Appleton Coolidge (b. 1901 - d. 1992), Topsfield and Cambridge, MA; 1993, bequest of William Appleton Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993) NOTES: [1] According to Robert Schmit, "Eugène Boudin, 1824 - 1898" (Paris, 1973), vol. 2, p. 390, cat. no. 2338. Whether the gallery purchased the painting at the 1952 sale has not been determined.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William A. Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    36.5 x 59.1 cm (14 3/8 x 23 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.32

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • The Beach Afternoon

    American
    about 1910
    Artist Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts (American, 1871–1927)

    Description

    Inscription

    Verso, on the (original) stretcher, written in pencil: The Beach Afternoon $100 ERW [initials in monogram].

    Signed

    Signed lower right [in pencil, initials in monogram]: ERW

    Provenance

    The artist; to Polly Thayer Starr; by descent to her daughters, 2006; gift to MFA

    Credit Line

    Gift in honor of Polly Thayer Starr

    Details

    Dimensions

    Unframed: 10 x 20 in. (25.4 x 50.8 cm) Framed: 34.3 x 61 cm (13 1/2 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    2007.386

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Sandpipers on a beach

    Japanese
    Meiji era
    Artist Okuhara Seiko (Japanese, 1837–1913 Japanese)

    Description

    Signed

    Seiko 晴湖

    Markings

    Artist's seal: Seiko 晴湖

    Credit Line

    Gift of G. M. Long

    Details

    Dimensions

    24.2 x 25.1 cm (9 1/2 x 9 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    RES.41.33

    Medium or Technique

    Woodblock print; ink and color on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

    More Info
  • Fishing for Oysters at Cancale

    1878
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    In 1877 the twenty-one year old Sargent spent the summer in Cancale on the coast of Brittany sketching fisherfolk. He sent his first completed painting, “Fishing for Oysters at Cancale,” a finished sketch, to New York for display at the newly-formed, avant garde Society of American Artists from March 6 to April 5, 1878. Sargent submitted the second painting, “Oyster Gatherers of Cancale” (Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), a larger, more finished version of the same subject, to the 1878 Paris Salon, where it was awarded an Honorable Mention. Critics praised “Fishing for Oysters at Cancale,” the first Sargent painting to be exhibited in America, for its silvery hue and almost palpable marine atmosphere. Samuel Colman, a landscape painter twenty-fours years Sargent’s senior, bought it for $200 as a standard to emulate. Sargent’s choice of subject was not revolutionary - a similar scene of oyster harvesters had previously won a medal at the Salon. However, his ability to paint the reflections in the tidal pools and the light sparkling on the figures and clouds dazzled viewers, clearly demonstrating that his talents extended beyond portraiture.

    This text was adapted from an entry by Janet Comey in Erica Hirshler, “Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting,” exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, 2005.

    Inscription

    Lower right: J.S. SARGENT/PARIS

    Provenance

    The artist; to Samuel Colman, Newport, R.I., and New York, by 1880; to Susan Travers, Newport, R.I., by January 1903; to Mary Appleton, Newport, R.I., New York, and Boston, December 1904 (bequest of Susan Travers); to MFA, 1935, gift of Mary Appleton.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Mary Appleton

    Details

    Dimensions

    40.96 x 60.96 cm (16 1/8 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.708

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Gallery (Gallery 232)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Dory

    about 1904
    Arthur Wesley Dow (American, 1857–1922)

    Description

    Provenance

    Mack Lee, Medford, MA; purchased 1983.

    Credit Line

    A. Shuman Collection—Abraham Shuman Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 16.0 x 20.7 cm (6 5/16 x 8 1/8 in.) Sheet: 16.2 x 21.5 cm (6 3/8 x 8 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1983.187

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, cyanotype

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • White Clapboard House and Dory

    about 1900
    Arthur Wesley Dow (American, 1857–1922)

    Description

    A number of photographers of the Arts and Crafts period sought to create images of rural simplicity infused with poetic atmosphere. One of these was Arthur Wesley Dow, an artist best known for his prints and paintings, who found inspiration in the Japanese print collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he worked in the 1890s. In response to prints by Hiroshige, Hokusai, and others, Dow developed aesthetic principles of design that focused on the flat, formal relationships of compositions and emphasized a harmony of line, tone, and color. Through his teaching and his popular manual Composition, first published in 1899, Dow influenced American art for decades. In his experiments with photography, Dow particularly appreciated the cyanotype process for the ease with which prints could be made and for their decorative blue shade.

    Provenance

    By summer 1965, William Councilman Wigglesworth (b. 1918 – d. 1987), Ipswich, MA [see note 1]; summer 1965, gift of Wigglesworth to his sister-in-law, Anne Parker Wigglesworth (b. 1921 – d. 1999), Ipswich, Manchester, and New York; 1999, by inheritance to Philio Wigglesworth Cushing, Ipswich, and her son, Henry Coolidge Wigglesworth, Seattle, WA; 2006, partial gift and partial sale of Philio Wigglesworth Cushing and Henry Coolidge Wigglesworth to the MFA. (Accession date: June 21, 2006) NOTES: [1] William Councilman Wigglesworth, a surgeon in Ipswich, MA, received the album from a grateful patient at an unknown date.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Philio Wigglesworth Cushing and Henry Coolidge Wigglesworth from the collection of their parents Frank and Anne Wigglesworth in memory of their love for Ipswich. M. and M. Karolik Fund and Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 16.2 x 21.6 cm (6 3/8 x 8 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2006.1277.237

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, cyanotype

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • Swimming

    Yuei

    Japanese
    Taishô era
    1919
    Sugiura Hisui (Japanese, 1876–1965), Publisher Kamigataya, Ginza (Japanese)

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Ex. Jaeger Collection Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1169

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigment on card stock

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Postcards

    More Info
  • Starting Out After Rail

    1874
    Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)

    Description

    Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakins had many and varied interests, and they all found their way into his pictures. He was an eager student of anatomy, attending lectures at local medical schools even while completing his artistic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia’s doctors and professors of medicine figure prominently among the subjects of his portraits. He was fascinated by perspective, optics, and stop-motion photography, and used perspective studies and photography in planning his oils and watercolors. He enjoyed music and often painted rehearsals, home musicales, and professionals in concert. He was also an avid outdoorsman, and especially in the 1870s, when his career was just beginning, he painted a number of pictures of friends and family members hunting, rowing, racing sailboats or, as here, setting out in pursuit of rail, small game birds that were plentiful in the marshes along the Delaware River.
    The sailors in this picture were friends of Eakins’s, Sam Helhower and Harry Young; their names are inscribed on the watercolor version of this painting (1874, Wichita Art Museum, Kansas). Eakins was a highly disciplined artist and often made carefully crafted studies in one medium as preparation for a work in another. In the case of Starting Out After Rail, he made a perspective drawing and this oil in advance of the watercolor. The composition reflects his love of boats and his fascination with perspective: as Eakins himself said, “I know of no prettier problem in perspective than to draw a yacht sailing … tilted over sideways by the force of the wind.”[1] Here, the “yacht” is a Delaware ducker, a small skiff that came into widespread use in the 1870s. His perspective study enabled him to place the boat so that the viewer—presumably positioned on a wharf, for the men have just begun their expedition—can see into the boat and understand its simple construction. In his precisely realistic style, honed during years of study in France with Jean-Léon Gérôme [03.605], Eakins renders the expressions of the sailors and their telling poses—one intent on manning the rudder, the other leaning more casually against the side of the boat—as vividly as in a close-up photograph. The bright sky and shimmering, blue-brown water make the scene seem even more immediate.

    Eakins clearly thought highly of this image, for he sent the oil to Gérôme in Paris to gauge his progress. The watercolor was the first picture he submitted to the American Watercolor Society’s annual shows. Although praised for its originality, the watercolor did not sell; Eakins reportedly later traded it for a boat.

    Notes
    1. Thomas Eakins, typescript, p. 41, Philadelphia Museum of Art, quoted in Kathleen A. Foster, Thomas Eakins Rediscovered: Charles Bregler’s Thomas Eakins Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 132.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: EAK[INS]; on stern of boat: EAKINS/74.

    Provenance

    1874, the artist; 1915, sold by the artist to Miss Janet Wheeler (1866-1945), Philadelphia; 1935, with Clarence W. Cranmer, Philadelphia; 1935, sold by Clarence W. Cranmer to the MFA for $3,500. (Accession Date: December 5, 1935)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.59 x 50.48 cm (24 1/4 x 19 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.1953

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite

    On View

    Barbara and Theodore Alfond Gallery (Gallery 234)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Calm Morning

    1904
    Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862–1951)

    Description

    In the late 1890s Benson began to paint outdoors and over the next two decades he produced many of his most popular plein air paintings, primarily of his family at play during idyllic summers. The setting is the island of North Haven, Maine; the family rented Wooster Farm there, beginning in 1901, and later purchased it. In Calm Morning Benson depicted his three oldest children fishing over the side of a dory—Eleanor, the eldest, to the left in the stern of the boat; Elisabeth to the right; and George standing. Benson’s bright, luminous colors and long varied brush strokes give the effect of warm sun shining on the children and the inside of the boat, contrasting with the cool, quiet ocean. He skillfully captured the reflections on the stern of the boat and the deep green color of the water in its shadow. Although Benson usually composed and painted a finished oil directly on the canvas, for Calm Morning he took a more academic approach, making three oil studies which he combined into this larger work. Benson was pleased with the result, declaring it his “best out of door work.”[1]

    Notes
    1. Frank W. Benson to James Gest, May 11, 1905, Benson file, Cincinnati Museum of Art, Ohio.

    This text was adapted from Janet L. Comey’s entry in Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting, by Erica E. Hirshler et al., exh.cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005).

    Inscription

    Lower left: F.W. Benson/1904

    Provenance

    About 1905, sold by the artist to Charles A. Coolidge, Sr. (1858-1936), Boston; after 1936, descended in the Coolidge family; 1985, gift of the Charles A. Coolidge Family to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Charles A. Coolidge Family

    Details

    Dimensions

    112.71 x 91.76 cm (44 3/8 x 36 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1985.925

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Croll Gallery (Gallery 227)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Boats at Sunset

    Japanese
    Late Meiji era
    Artist Unidentified, Japanese, Publisher Japanese Postcard Association (Nihon hagaki kai) (Japanese)

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Ex. Jaeger Collection Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1432

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigment on card stock

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Postcards

    More Info
  • Dollarfish and Sheepshead

    1860
    William Aiken Walker (American, 1839–1921 American)

    Description

    In the decades before the American Civil War, still lifes of fish and game could be found in many of the finer homes of Charleston, South Carolina, where hunting and fishing were popular pastimes among wealthy gentleman. Such paintings announced the owner’s prosperity and his prowess as a sportsman. Walker, just twenty-one and limited in his formal art training, produced this highly naturalistic portrayal of two species of saltwater fish hanging on strings from square-headed nails. Shadows cast against the distinctive yellow of the Southern Pine planks suggest depth, completing the illusionistic effect.

    In the art of the United States, such convincing “trompe l’oeil” technique is more frequently associated with artists of the late nineteenth century, among them William Michael Harnett [39.761], John Frederick Peto [62.278, 64.411], and De Scott Evans [1984.86]. Working twenty years before those painters came to prominence, Walker’s still lifes responded to an established regional tradition. Most prominently visible in Charleston during Walker’s youth was the work of Charles Fraser. A generation older than Walker, Fraser had painted similar game scenes of birds or fish hanging from square headed nails against pine board planks. Fraser’s paintings were exhibited in Charleston in 1857 and two still lifes of Sheepshead were included in the display. Walker must have been familiar with Fraser’s examples, or others of this type. Such still lifes occupied Walker for only a few years. After the Civil War, Walker turned his attention to the genre scenes for which he is best known. While his unabashedly derogatory portrayals of African Americans are troubling for modern audiences, these views of agrarian life in the Old South found a ready audience in the late nineteenth century among white Southerners who were nostalgic for the antebellum past.

    Cody Hartley

    Inscription

    Lower left: WAW 1860. [WAW in monogram]

    Provenance

    The artist; sold at auction, Bedford Village, New York; with Arnold Seligmann, Rey, & Co., New York, 1943; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1943; to MFA, 1948, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.59 x 51.12 cm (24 1/4 x 20 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.485

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Forkner and Gill Family Gallery (Gallery 238)

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    Americas

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    Paintings

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  • Fisherman's Family (The Lookout)

    1881
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed and dated in brown watercolor l.l.: "Winslow Homer 1881". Verso: miscellaneous notations.

    Provenance

    John T. Spaulding (1870-1948), Boston; bequest to MFA, June 3, 1948.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 34.2 x 49.2 cm (13 1/2 x 19 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.726

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

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    Watercolors

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  • "Sur La Falaise - Robe d'été de Redfern," plate VII from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, No. 10

    French
    August 1913
    Francisco Javier Gosé (Spanish, 1876–1915), Illustrating design by John Redfern (English, 1853–1929), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    Robe de Redfern pour l’été en tulle de soie athénien rouge et blanc. Boucle de corail à la ceinture.

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.15.7

    Medium or Technique

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • Moon and Waves

    Japanese
    Late Meiji era
    Artist Unidentified, Japanese

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 8.8 x 13.8 cm (3 7/16 x 5 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.2650

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigment on card stock

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

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    Postcards

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  • Rising Sun

    Kyokko shoha

    Japanese
    Late Meiji era
    Artist Unidentified, Japanese

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Ex. Jaeger Collection Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1397

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; embossing; ink, color, and metallic pigments on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Postcards

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  • Ouananiche Fishing, Lake St. John, Province of Quebec

    1897
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed in black and blue watercolor at l.l.: "W.H. 1897/Lake St. John P. Q."

    Signed

    Signed

    Provenance

    Doll & Richards, Boston 1899; from whom purchased by MFAm 1899

    Credit Line

    Warren Collection—William Wilkins Warren Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.56 x 53.34 cm (14 x 21 in.)

    Accession Number

    99.30

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Lighthouse and Buildings, Portland Head, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

    1927
    Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right: Edward Hopper / Portland Head

    Provenance

    1920s, Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery (New York); to John T. Spaulding (1870-1948, Boston); 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding to MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 34.3 x 49.5 cm (13 1/2 x 19 1/2 in.) Framed: 59.1 x 72.4 cm (23 1/4 x 28 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.723

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa-oki nami-ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjûrokkei)

    Japanese
    Edo period
    about 1830–31 (Tenpô 1–2)
    Artist Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849), Publisher Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudô) (Japanese)

    Description

    MFA impressions: 06.1153, 06.1283, 06.2548, 11.17652, 21.6764, 21.6765, 34.317

    Signed

    Hokusai aratame Iitsu hitsu

    Provenance

    Spring 1913, purchased by William S. and John T. Spaulding from Frank Lloyd Wright in Japan; December 1, 1921, given by William S. and John T. Spaulding to the Museum.

    Credit Line

    William S. and John T. Spaulding Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Ukiyo-e shûka 16 (1981), p. 229, horizontal ôban #18.21

    Dimensions

    Horizontal ôban; 25.8 x 38 cm (10 3/16 x 14 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.6765

    Medium or Technique

    Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia, Prints and Drawings

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    Prints

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  • Fisherman's Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville

    1882
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Summertime often drew Monet to the English Channel coast, and in 1881 and 1882 he explored the area around Dieppe, situated about ninety-six kilometers to the east along the coast from Le Havre. For the purpose of giving focus to the scenes he painted in Pourville and Varengeville, west of Dieppe, Monet liked the stone cabins that had been built during the Napoleonic era as posts from which to observe coastal traffic. In Monet’s day they were used by fishermen for storage. The door and flanking windows anthropomorphize the cottage, giving it a nose and two eyes. We may see the cottage, but we cannot reach it, for there is no path. Indeed, all we can do is admire the view out to sea. The Channel, dotted with recreational yachts, sparkles in the distance. The cottage, especially its roof, is given an orange hue, which it may truly have possessed but which makes a striking contrast of complementaries with the blue of the water on the horizon.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 1882

    Provenance

    October 1882, possibly sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]; August 1883, possibly sold by Durand-Ruel to Galerie Georges Petit, Paris. 1890, Georges de Porto-Riche (b. 1849 - d. 1930), Paris; May 14, 1890, Porto-Riche sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 22, to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 357); July 4, 1890, sold by Durand-Ruel to Annette (Anna) Perkins Rogers (b. 1840 - d. 1920), Boston; 1921, bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 7, 1921) NOTES: [1] The provenance given here (through 1890) is taken from Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 2, pp. 299-300, cat. no. 808.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.6 x 81.6 cm (23 7/8 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.1331

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Untitled (Sailboat)

    Edwin Hale Lincoln (American, 1848–1938 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    verso of mount brown ink: "Iroquois setting spinnaker boom" typed label: "IROQUOIS SETTING SPINNAKER BOOM - LINCOLN SHIP PICTURES # 28" (28 is written in graphite) graphite: "x1367.13" graphite: "_ _ . Ce 150"

    Markings

    verso of mount black ink stamp: "Released by/Public Library/Detroit, Mich" black ink stamp: "DETROIT PUBLIC LIBRARY/FINE ARTS"

    Provenance

    Richard Morehouse, Brookline, MA; from whom purchased MFA. (Accession date: December 12, 2007)

    Credit Line

    Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 24.1 x 19 cm (9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2007.909

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, platinum print

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • Seascape (The Mediterranean with Mount Agde)

    1856–59
    Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820–1882 French)

    Description

    Inscription

    Not signed. Verso, in dark brown ink, l. r.: 12,702.

    Provenance

    André Jammes; Lucien Goldschmidt, New York, 1971; Charles W. Millard III, Chapel Hill, NC; gift November 1997.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Charles W. Millard III in honor of Alan and Nancy Shestack

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image/Sheet: 30.7 x 40.0 cm (12 1/16 x 15 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1997.240

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, albumen print from wet collodion glass-plate negative

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • Two Boats

    1919 (block cut 1919)
    Artist Blanche Lazzell (American, 1878–1956)

    Description

    Inscription

    recto: "1919 Blanche Lazzell. 1919" and in composition "Blanche Lazzell" verso: " Two Boats Blanche Lazzell Provincetown Mass / 40/1"

    Provenance

    Leslie and Johanna Garfield,NY; year-end gift to MFA Dec. 31, 2001

    Credit Line

    Gift of Leslie and Johanna Garfield

    Details

    Dimensions

    30.5 x 29.1 cm (12 x 11 7/16 in.) image

    Accession Number

    2001.873

    Medium or Technique

    Color woodcut

    Not On View

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    Americas, Prints and Drawings

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    Prints

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  • Textile sample

    Japanese
    Late Edo or early Meiji era
    Late 19th century

    Object Place: Japan

    Description

    Textile sample with design of two tortoises (kame) and bamboo (take) in light and dark gray, light and dark green, white and blue against a blue and tan pine bark pattern (matsukawabishi) background.

    Provenance

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection; gift of William Sturgis Bigelow to the MFA in August, 1898

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    29.1 x 34.4 cm (11 7/16 x 13 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    98.370

    Medium or Technique

    Silk plain-weave, hand drawn paste resist-dyed and painted (yûzen)

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts

    Classifications

    Textiles

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  • Waves in Moonlight

    Gekka no umi

    Japanese
    Meiji era
    about 1904–05
    Yokoyama Taikan (Japanese, 1868–1958)

    Description

    Provenance

    1941, gift of Mrs. Francis Gardner Curtis to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Accession Date: June 6, 1941)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Francis Gardner Curtis

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    KJM2-Modern-057

    Dimensions

    Image: 48.8 x 64 cm (19 3/16 x 25 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.499

    Medium or Technique

    Unmounted; ink and color on silk

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Fishhook From Hawaii No. 2

    1939
    Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887–1986)

    Description

    Georgia O’Keeffe visited Hawaii in early 1939 at the invitation of the Dole Pineapple Company. N. W. Ayer, Dole’s advertising agency, had offered to pay for her travel and living expenses for the duration of her stay if, upon its conclusion, O’Keeffe submitted to them two paintings of any subject suitable for use in the corporation’s advertising materials. O’Keeffe agreed, and spent January through April of that year in Honolulu and Maui. The experience inspired her to create a number of botanical still-lifes, seascapes, landscapes, and two images of fishhooks, including “Fishhook From Hawaii No. 2.” Once she returned to New York, O’Keeffe sent to Charles Coiner, art director of N. W. Ayer, a painting of a papaya tree and one of a red heliconia flower. By depicting a papaya tree, O’Keeffe had unwittingly selected a fruit grown and sold by Dole’s competitors. Coiner immediately shipped O’Keeffe a large budding pineapple plant and she obligingly painted a replacement image. Despite her efforts to provide Dole with appropriate works, the corporation never chose to use O’Keeffe’s paintings in their ad campaigns for reasons that remain unclear.

    O’Keeffe exhibited twenty Hawaiian pictures in the spring of 1940 at An American Place, the Madison Avenue art gallery that her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, operated between 1929 and 1946. In the accompanying brochure, O’Keeffe wrote, “If my painting is what I have to give back to the world for what the world gives to me, I may say that these paintings are what I have to give at present for what three months in Hawaii gave to me … What I have been able to put into form seems infinitesimal compared with the variety of experience.” The exhibition was well received, with the influential art critic Henry McBride writing that O’Keeffe’s fishhook paintings had “a strange and mystical elegance.” (Henry McBride, “Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii,” “The New York Sun,” February 10, 1940, p. 10).

    “Fishhook From Hawaii No. 2” shows a standard feather fishing lure attached to a coiled leader and swivel. These recognizable objects are set against a distant horizon line. The daringly modernist composition is remarkably empty of objects, especially in the lower register. Rather, the painting takes as its subject the many subtle variations on the color blue, accented by a touch of green at far left, which O’Keeffe found in the tropical Pacific Ocean off Hawaii.

    O’Keeffe’s fishhook paintings represent an important conceptual breakthrough for the artist. Always intrigued by the concept of positive and negative space, she began in these works to explore a new and unique compositional structure based on the visual experience of looking through an opening. O’Keeffe perfected this organization in her pelvis series of the early 1940s, an extraordinary group of paintings that show the blue New Mexico sky through gaps in a stark white pelvis bone. In both the fishhook and the pelvis pictures, the central opening distorts that which is seen through it, almost as if it were a lens. For example, in “Fishhook From Hawaii No. 2,” the circle of coiled wire both intensifies and magnifies the blue sea and pink horizon line in the distance. These paintings are in many ways O’Keeffe’s sustained meditation on the nature of vision; after all, the human eye is itself a distorting and revealing lens. It is therefore fitting that, in “Fishhook From Hawaii No. 2,” the fishing lure’s red rhinestone eye glints back at the viewer, demonstrating that in the act of seeing we are often seen.

    Heather Hole
    October 2009

    Provenance

    The artist; to estate of the artist; to MFA, 1987, bequest of the artist.

    Credit Line

    Alfred Stieglitz Collection—Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe

    Copyright

    © 2007 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    Details

    Dimensions

    91.12 x 60.64 cm (35 7/8 x 23 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1987.540

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Poem No. 6: Image de la Mer

    Japanese
    Shôwa era
    1948 (Shôwa 23)
    Artist Onchi Kôshirô (Japanese, 1891–1955)

    Description

    Signed

    Koshiro Onchi, in pencil; Onzi (in block)

    Markings

    Stamped: Onzi

    Provenance

    1959, sold by Harry C. Nail, Jr. to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 17, 1959)

    Credit Line

    Asiatic Curator's Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Onchi/ Prints of Onchi Koshiro (1975), #295

    Dimensions

    78.6 x 55.1 cm (30 15/16 x 21 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    59.478

    Medium or Technique

    Woodblock and paperblock print; ink and color on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

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  • Shells

    Japanese
    Taishô-early Shôwa era
    Artist Unknown, Japanese, Publisher Hirase Shell Museum, Kyoto City (Japanese)

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    ex. Jaeger Collection Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.18692

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink on card stock

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Postcards

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