Massachusetts Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Massachusetts Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

We recommend that researchers search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.


Texts contained in Resource Library by named authors listed by author name in alphabetical order:

Charles Webster Hawthorne Founds the Cape Cod School of Art by James R. Bakker

Artists of Cape Ann: A 150 Year Tradition by Kristian Davies

Artists of Cape Ann: A 150 Year Tradition by Kristian Davies

Tirca Karlis Gallery: Pivotal Decades of Provincetown Art by Julie Heller and Whitney Smith

Academic and Impressionist Traditions in Provincetown by Elizabeth Ives Hunter

Legacy of Cape Ann by James M. Keny

Sculptors of Cape Ann by Steven Law

The Provincetown Art Association and Museum by Christine McCarthy

The Legacy of Cape Ann: Generations of Artists Drawn to its Shores by Judith McCulloch

Bringing the Colony to Light by Alexander J. Noelle

A Legacy of Beauty: Paintings in the Boston School Tradition by Christopher Volpe


Articles contained in Resource Library without named authors listed by article name in alphabetical order:

A Century of Impressionism on Cape Cod

A Century of Impressionism on Cape Cod

Against The Grain: The Second Generation of Boston Expressionism

Artists of the Boston Art Club, 1854 - 1950

A Taste of Provincetown: Works From the Collection of Napi Van Dereck

Guild of Boston Artists

Keeping Time: Clockmaking in Concord, 1790-1835

The Lynn Beach Painters: Art Along the North Shore of Massachusetts, 1880-1920

Made in Massachusetts

More Than One: Prints and Portfolios from Center Street Studio, Boston

North Shore Arts Association

Rockport Art Association

The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America's Oldest Continuous Art Colony (1899-2011)

The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America's Oldest Continuous Art Colony, 1899-2011


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Please click on the name of each source to view articles and essays related to that source:

Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy
Art Complex Museum
Art Institute of Boston
Berkshire Museum
Boston Athenæum
Boston University Art Galleries
Cahoon Museum of American Art
Cape Ann Historical Association
Cape Ann Historical Museum
Cape Cod Art Association
Cape Cod Museum of Art
Carney Gallery at Regis College
Clark (Sterling and Francine) Art Institute
Concord Museum
Danforth Museum of Art
Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College
DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park
Fitchburg Art Museum
Fuller Craft Museum
Guild of Boston Artists
Harvard University Art Museums
Heritage Plantation of Sandwich
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Lynn Museum
Mead Art Museum
Monteserrat College of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
New Bedford Art Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum
North Shore Arts Association
Peabody Essex Museum
Smith College Museum of Art
Springfield Museums
University Gallery - University of Massachussetts Amherst
Williams College Museum of Art
Worcester Art Museum

(above: Boston Athenæum, photo, © 2004 John Hazeltine)


Other online information:

Artists from Massachusetts in Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Artists of This Vicinity, by Mrs. Elwyn G. Campbell. Presented at the Roundabout Club in 1921 and at the Fairhaven Colonial Club in 1922, from The Millicent Libary. Covers Marion Art Colony. Accessed August, 2015.

Biala: Provincetown Summers is a 2018 exhibit at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum which says: "This historic exhibition is the first of its kind to focus entirely on Biala's work which was created or inspired by her summers in Provincetown and on the Cape." Accessed 9/18

Boston School - sample of historic artists from askArt. Accessed August, 2015. 

Brian Kaplan: Not Your Vacation was a 2014 exhibit at the Danforth Museum of Art, which said: "Brian Kaplan's work is part of an extensive project documenting space and place on Cape Cod in the off-season. The idea of the Cape as an idyllic tourist destination is challenged by Kaplan's stark views of shuttered motels and abandoned detritus. Piles of televisions, rows of lamps, and discarded fireworks take on a life of their own as they represent the transient nature of leisure time as well as the often invisible industry that makes such escapes possible." See artist images in Lenscratch 7/11/13 article and more info in blog.

Cape Ann Museum has online .pdf files for gallery guides of selected past exhibitions including:

Cape Cod Artists' Registry, Published by Shank Painter Publishing/Cape Arts Review Magazine. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Copley Society of Art website which says: "The Copley Society of Art, Co|So, is the oldest non-profit art association in the United States, with a history dating back to 1879." Accessed August, 2015. 

Folly Cove Designers from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015. 

Four Winds: The Arts and Letters of Rocky Neck in the 1950's was an exhibit held June 15, 2013 - Sept. 29, 2013 at the Cape Ann Museum. CAM says: "Featuring work from artists such as Albert Alcalay, Doris Hall, Vera Andrus and others, along with literary contributions from Vincent Ferrini, Four Winds captures the ethos of the Rocky Neck art scene during the 1950's." The CAM posting includes links to the press release and gallery guide. Accessed August, 2016.

Harold Rotenberg: An American Impressionist is a 2018 exhibit at the Cape Ann Museum which says: "This exhibition explores the long and much acclaimed career of artist Harold Rotenberg (1905­2011). A native of Attleboro, Massachusetts, a prominent member of the Rockport and Cape Ann Art Colony, and a world-wide traveler, Rotenberg's work displays a richness in color and vibrancy of brush stroke that evokes the work of the great Impressionists."  Also see press release  Accessed 5/18

John Sloan Gloucester Days was an exhibit held July 11, 2015 - Nov. 29, 2015 at the Cape Ann Museum. CAM says: "...John Sloan (1871-1951) spent five summers -- 1914 through 1918 -- living and working on Cape Ann. During that time he created nearly 300 finished oil paintings, using Gloucester's rugged landscape as a backdrop to experiment with color and explore ideas about form, texture and light." Accessed August, 2016.

Lowell Art Association from Accessed August, 2015. 

Massachusetts (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

Massachusetts State House - from State of Massachusetts, Accessed August, 2015. 

Masterfully Human: The Art of Gaugengigl is a 2018 exhibit at the Flagler Museum which says: "The Bavarian-born Gaugengigl created beautifully painted depictions of everyday life, often set in revolutionary-era France, that convey timeless themes such as honor, friendship, love, and beauty. His intimate and evocative works were sought after by Boston area collectors."  Accessed 2/19

The Nantucket Art Colony, 1920-45, a collaborative exhibition presented by the Nantucket Historical Association and the Artists Association of Nantucket. Accessed August, 2015. 

Nonquitt Art Colony from Millicent Library, Fairhaven, MA

Priceless: Works That Artists Wouldn't Sell, an exhibit held March 28 - May 12, 2013 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Provincetown Art Colony from Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Accessed August, 2015.

Provincetown Artist Registry is a directory of artists who worked in Provincetown, MA. Accessed August, 2015.

Rock Bound: Painting the American Scene on Cape Ann and Along the Shore is a 2017 exhibit at the Cape Ann Museum which says: "With paintings drawn from private collections and the Museum's own holdings, Rock Bound will explore the ways in which an array of artists of the early 20th century sought to capture the natural beauty of the area, the power of the ocean and the hardscrabble way of life that was quickly disappearing in other areas. The exhibit will also consider how artists placed local populations and traditions in their context, whether it was carpenters working in the shipyards of Essex, women and children relaxing on wide sandy beaches, or fishermen and quarrymen pursuing their timeless and dangerous ways of life."  Accessed 8/17

Rocky Neck Art Colony website covering the historic art colony in Gloucester, MA. Accessed August, 2015.

Salvatore Del Deo: A Storied History is a 2017 exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Art which says: " A student of Provincetown impressionist Henry Hensche, Del Deo's plein air paintings capture the light, water, and sky with a rich color palette.  In a style that ranges from the realistic to the abstract, Del Deo has painted all the familiar scenes of his life at land's end -- from the sea and sky to the boats and fishermen." Also see 8/24/17 article in The Barnstable Patriot  - To read more after exhibit closes, go to "Past Exhibitions" section of museum website.  Accessed 9/17

St. Botolph Club website, which says:"The St. Botolph Club was founded in 1880, a golden period in Boston, a time when art, literature, music, architecture, clubs and public affairs were all in bloom." Accessed August, 2015.

Vincent, Weaver, Gorvett: Gloucester, Three Visions was an exhibit held Oct. 24, 2015 - March 26, 2016 at the Cape Ann Museum. CAM says: "An exhibition of artwork by Jeff Weaver, Don Gorvett, and the late Peter Vincent that explores how one place -- Gloucester -- inspired the artistic output of three of the region's most talented and dynamic artists.... A passion for art and youthful enthusiasm were the common threads that ran through their lives and for each artist, Gloucester's hardscrabble working waterfront with its long and colorful history was the attraction." Accessed August, 2016.

Women Artists in the Back Bay from The Boston Women's Heritage Trail. Accessed August, 2015.


Boston Athenaeum partnered with the WGBH Forum Network for a series of lectures, including several on American art. Titles include:

The WGBH/Boston Forum Network is an audio and video streaming web site dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures, including a number of videos on Art and Architecture. Partners include a number of museums, colleges, universities and other cultural organizations. See listings of related videos in this catalogue indexed by partner name. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston partnered with the WGBH Forum Network for Picturing Boston: Painting the Town, 42 minutes) a lecture by Erica Hirshler, senior curator, Museum of Fine Arts, who uses images from the MFA's collection to explore how artists represented Boston and its inhabitants throughout its history. [April 13, 2003] Accessed May, 2015.


(above: Cape Ann Museum, photo, © 2004 John Hazeltine)


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Monuments and Memory: History and Representation in Lowell, Massachusetts, By Martha K. Norkunas. Published by Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002. ISBN 1588340856, 9781588340856. 258 pages. Google Books says: "At the center of Martha Norkunas's narrative is her intimate connection to the city of Lowell, Massachusetts through her family's rich history. She looks for the interplay of the personal and public, singular and collective memory and history through Lowell's public spaces, always examining where her personal memory converges with the history of the city."

A Guide to Public Art in Greater Boston: From Newburyport to Plymouth, By Marty Carlock. Published by Harvard Common Press, 1993. ISBN 1558320628, 9781558320628. 256 pages

Artists and the Athenæum in the Early 19th Century, by Boston Athenaeum - Art, American - 1992. "September 3 through December 31, 1992."

Boston Lithography, 1825-1880: The Boston Athenæum Collection, by Sally Pierce, Catharina Slautterback - Art - 1991

Artworks in Our Parks: An Inventory of Public Memorials, Worcester, Massachusetts, By Pamela E Beall, Don Eaton, Parks and Recreation Dept, Worcester (Mass.). Published by Parks Dept, 1986

Boston, Statues, By Walter Muir Whitehill. Illustrated by Katharine Knowles. Published by Barre Publishers, 1970. ISBN 0827170157, 9780827170155. 120 pages

Other Statues of Boston: Reproductions of Other Statues of Boston as a Sequel to Our Brochure of 1946 Entitled "Some Statues of Boston," By Allan Forbes, Ralph Mason Eastman, State Street Trust Company (Boston, Mass.), Published by State Street Trust Company, Boston 1947. 93 pages

Some Statues of Boston: Reproductions of Some of the Statues for which Boston is Famous, with Information Concerning the Personalities and Events So Memorialized, By Allan Forbes, Ralph Mason Eastman, Published by State Street Trust Company, Boston, 1946. Original from the University of Virginia. Digitized Sep 7, 2007. 75 pages

The Athenæum Gallery, 1827-1873: The Boston Athenæum as an Early Patron of Art, By Mabel Munson Swan. Published 1940. The Boston Athenæum. Art. 312 pages. Original from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Digitized Sep 12, 2007

Oil Paintings by the Guild of Boston Artists, by Arnot Art Museum - Painting, American - 1928. Catalog of an exhibition held Apr., 1928.

Monuments, Tablets and Other Memorials Erected in Massachusetts to Commemorate the Service of Her Sons in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 ..., By Alfred Seelye Roe. Published by Wright & Potter printing company, state printers, 1910. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Jul 18, 2006. 132 pages



Joan Archer: "Women of Vision - A Century of Painting on Cape Cod" American Art Review March-April 2002 (Volume XIV, Number 2)

Christian Goodwillie & Jane Crosthwaite:"Hancock Shaker Village" American Art Review May-June 2004 (Volume XVI, Number 3)

Judith A. Curtis: "Exponents of the Boston School" American Art Review March-April 2000 (Volume XII, Number 2)

Judith A. Curtis: "Guild of Boston Artists: 90th Anniversary Exhibition" American Art Review September-October 2004 (Volume XVI, Number 5)

Erica E. Hirshler: "Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940" American Art Review September-October 2001 (Volume XIII, Number 5)

Martha Hoppin: "Women Artists in Boston, 1870-1900: The Pupils of William Morris Hunt" American Art Journal  ( vol. 13, no. 1; 1981)

R. Roger Howlett: "The Lynn Beach Painters" American Art Review March-April 1999 (Volume XI, Number 2)

Jean G. Lightman, Paul Ingbretson & Ellen E. Roberts: "A Women's Perspective at the Guild of Boston Artists" American Art Review September-October 2001 (Volume XIII, Number 5)

Leah Lipton: "The Boston Artists' Association, 1841-1851" American Art Journal ( vol. 15, no. 4; 1983)

Christine McCarthy: "Provincetown: A Community of Artists" American Art Review September-October 2003 (Volume XV, Number 5)

Christine McCarthy: "Provincetown: A Creative Colony" American Art Review March-April 2005 (Volume XVII, Number 2)

Linda Muehlig: "Painting & Sculpture from the Smith College Museum of Art" American Art Review March-April 2002 (Volume XIV, Number 2)

Linda Muehlig: "Smith College Museum of Art" American Art Review May-June 2004 (Volume XVI, Number 3)

Cindy Nickerson: "A Century of Impressionism on Cape Cod" American Art Review July-August 1999 (Volume XI, Number 4)

James O'Gorman: "Painting at Gloucester" American Art Review September-October 1973 (Volume I, Number 1)

David Paley: "American Art Selections from Amherst College" American Art Review November-December 1976 (Volume III, Number 6)

Rebecca Reynolds: "85 Years of the North Shore Arts Association" American Art Review September-October 2007 (Volume XIX, Number 5)

Kathleen Valentine: "Families of the North Shore Arts Association" American Art Review May-June 2002 (Volume XIV, Number 3)

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