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