As I frequent museums and collections for work, and Gloucester art abounds, I suffer bouts of ‘Gloucester acquisition affliction’ . Relative newcomers at PEM include a St. Peter Fiesta scene by Gifford Beal and one of Portuguese Hill by Olga Itasca Sears. As much as I am fond of PEM– and I mean no disrespect to this august institution– I sorely wish the Cape Ann Museum had received the art or funds for acquisition. There are few major historic paintings of Gloucester (and the greater region) which remain in private hands. They include works by Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper. I’m trying.
While at PEM for special exhibits, I often check the permanent installation. Are the Frank Benson works and Norman Rockwell on view? Check. I make a point to spend time in front of the Philip Reisman 1951 Tuna Shed, another Gloucester painting and one that Wicked Tuna fans may like to scrutinize. Reisman was a masterful, versatile painter, and a smart gentle man. I was lucky to know and work with him. The Cape Ann Museum has examples of his Gloucester paintings in their collection and a binder of slides, photographs he took, many Fiesta. I remember labeling some.
I paused more than I ever have at the John Trumbull portrait of Alexander Hamilton. (Hmm. Have museums tagged works representing Alexander Hamilton? It would be a mastery of quick edits matched up to the Lin Manuel Miranda song.)
#Hamilton, @ Lin_Manuel, #PEM John Turnbull, Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, 1792, oil on canvas, gift of George A Ward, 1918, collection Peabody Essex Museum
I am looking forward to the upcoming Childe Hassam show opening July 16th at PEM. I went to see the Rodin exhibit.