American Art Colonies, 1850-1930: A Historical Guide to America's Original Art Colonies and Their Artists

By Steve Shipp | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
Provincetown Art Colony

Provincetown is the origin of many paintings famous in the history of twentieth-century American art, not only the place where they were painted, but where they were first exhibited, discussed and sold.

Ronald A. Kuchta

Provincetown, a historic fishing village at the eastern tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, become popular among artists, writers, and intellectuals in the early years of the twentieth century. In Provincetown, as described by artist Alexander Brook, "the breeze is always invigorating and the sea ever inviting, [with] picturesque fishermen's huts crowding each other along the two main thoroughfares which are connected by unbelievably narrow streets." 1 Some of the early American artists who explored and exploited the visual offerings of Provincetown include Charles W. Hawthorne, * E. Ambrose Webster, * George Elmer Browne, and * Edwin Dickinson. Many others followed (most arriving on the daily train), all interpreting the area in their own ways, whether expressed on canvas, in books, or on the stage. As noted by writer Jacob Getlar Smith: "The little Massachusetts community [of Provincetown] provided the economy and serenity craved by all who struggle with the problem of self-discovery." 2

Historian Ronald A. Kuchta described Provincetown as "America's most prolific art colony." 3 Provincetown's first formal art school, the Cape Cod School of Art, was founded by Hawthorne in 1899 and continued to offer summer courses for the next three decades. Classes were held in rooms at Haw

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American Art Colonies, 1850-1930: A Historical Guide to America's Original Art Colonies and Their Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Notes 1
  • Chapter 2 Cornish Art Colony 11
  • Notes 17
  • Chapter 3 Cos Cob Art Colony 19
  • Notes 23
  • Chapter 4 Cragsmoor Art Colony 25
  • Notes 28
  • Chapter 5 East Hampton Art Colony 31
  • Notes 36
  • Chapter 6 Gloucester-Rockport Art Colony 37
  • Chapter 7 Laguna Beach Art Colony 43
  • Notes 46
  • Chapter 8 Lawrence Park Art Colony 49
  • Notes 53
  • Chapter 9 New Hope Art Colony 55
  • Notes 61
  • Chapter 10 North Conway Art Colony 63
  • Notes 69
  • Chapter 11 Old Lyme Art Colony 71
  • Notes 80
  • Chapter 12 Provincetown Art Colony 83
  • Chapter 13 Santa Barbara Art Colony 93
  • Notes 96
  • Chapter 14 Santa Fe Art Colony 97
  • Chapter 15 Taos Art Colony 109
  • Chapter 16 Woodstock Art Colony 123
  • Notes 128
  • Bibliography 129
  • Index 139
  • About the Author 161
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