Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War

Saturday, November 12 at 3:00 p.m.

Winslow Homer,

Winslow Homer, Near Andersonville, 1865-1866.
Courtesy of the Newark Museum.

Peter Wood, Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University, offers a fresh look at Winslow Homer’s early career, the struggle to end slavery and the dramatic closing years of the Civil War. This program is presented in honor of Veterans’ Day and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Cost is $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers. To make a reservation or for more information, please call 978-283-0455, x11 or

The admired American painter Winslow Homer rose to national attention during the Civil War, yet one of his most important early images remained unknown for a century. While best known for depicting ships and sailors, hunters and fishermen, rural vignettes and coastal scenes, Winslow Homer also created some of the first serious black figures in American art. Near Andersonville (1865-66) is the earliest and least known of these impressive images.

Peter Wood, a leading expert on Homer’s images of blacks, reveals the long-hidden story of this remarkable Civil War painting. His brisk narrative locates the picture in southwest Georgia in August 1864 and provides its military and political context. Wood underscores the agony of the Andersonville prison camp and highlights a huge but little-known cavalry foray ordered by General Sherman as he laid siege to Atlanta. Homer’s image takes viewers "behind enemy lines" to consider the utter failure of "Stoneman’s Raid" from the perspective of an enslaved black Southerner.

By examining the interplay of symbolic elements, Wood reveals a picture pregnant with meaning. He links it to Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign of 1864 and underscores the enduring importance of Homer’s thoughtful black woman. The painter adopted a bottom-up perspective on slavery and emancipation that would take most scholars another century to discover. By integrating art and history, Wood’s provocative study gives a fresh vantage point on Homer’s early career, the struggle to end slavery, and the dramatic closing years of the Civil War.


‘The Four Brothers’

Sunday, November 13 at 1:30 p.m.

The Cape Ann Film Festival presents a table reading of ‘The Four Brothers,’ a screenplay set inGloucester in 1932, written by Garrett A. Hughes. This program is free with admission.


Saturday, November 19

3:00 to 5:00 p.m. OPENING RECEPTION Jay McLauchlan: 55 Years of Woodworking and Design This special exhibition is on display through January 29, 2012. This program is free and open to the public.

Saturday, November 26

10:00 a.m. GALLERY TALK Join the craftsman for a closer look at Jay McLauchlan: 55 Years of Woodworking and Design. This program is free with admission. Space is limited. Reservations required.

Saturday, December 3

10:00 a.m. HOUSE TOUR Craftsman Jay McLauchlan will lead an intimate tour of private homes that feature his work. $25 members; $35 non-members. Space is limited. Reservations required. Call for details.

3:00 p.m. Searching for Motif No. 1 Author L.M. Vincent will discuss his personal journey exploring the artistic inspiration behind Rockport’s famous fish shack. Book signing to follow. This program is free with Museum admission. Reservations are required.

Saturday, December 10

Middle Street Walk Holiday Celebration Free admission all day. Museum Shop sale: Members receive 15% off.

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Drop-in Art Activities for Families Decorate holiday ornaments.

11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. Tours of the Captain Elias Davis House Enjoy a guided tour of this 19th century sea captain’s house decorated for the holidays. This program is free and open to the public. Space is limited; first come, first served.

3:00 p.m. Book Launch and Holiday Reception On Opposite Tacks: When Artist John Sloan & Capt. Solomon Jacobs Crossed Wakes in Wartime Gloucester by Chester Brigham. Book signing and holiday reception to follow.

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