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Home » ARTS AND CULTURE in MA » MASSACHUSETTS (all topics) » The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America’s Oldest Continuous Art Colony
The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America’s Oldest Continuous Art Colony

Exhibit Preview: New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT

By Peter F. Demers | July 18, 2011

Backstreet, Provincetown, 2011 by John Dowd
March on the Beach, 1947 by Milton Avery (1885–1965)
Untitled, 1948, by Willem de Kooning (1904–1997)
The Fisher Boy, 1908 by Charles W. Hawthorne (1872–1930)
Untitled (Provincetown Scene), by Henry Hensche (1901–1992)
Push and Pull III, 1950, by Hans Hofmann (1880–1966)
The White Petunia, 1932 by Blanche Lazzell (1878–1956)
Elegy with Opening, 1984, by Robert Motherwell (1915–1991)
Shell Series: Pearlmaker, 2011, by Tabitha Vevers (b. 1957)
View from the Studio, Provincetown, ca. 1919, by E. Ambrose Web

This new exhibit opened on July 17, 2011, and is the most comprehensive survey of America’s oldest art colony ever presented.

The Tides of Provincetown will focus on the town’s legacy as an art colony.   In 1899, Charles W. Hawthorne’s founded the Cape Cod School of Art, and in doing so, the colony itself.   The exhibition will showcase works from those early years to the present day.

The exhibition is divided into eight sections that focus on various key years and events highlighting Provincetown’s importance in America’s art history.

Artists have been selected based on their contribution to the Provincetown art colony as well as their influence beyond Cape Cod.

While many of the artists worked or lived in Provincetown for years—such as Milton Avery, Charles W. Hawthorne, Henry Hensche, Hans Hofmann, Blanche Lazzell, Robert Motherwell, and E. Ambrose Webster—others simply “passed through.”

The aim is to show that many of the great artists of the twentieth century—including Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Charles Demuth, Red Grooms, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol—were inspired by Provincetown, even if they were only there for a short period of time.

The exhibit will also feature the work of some of the most prominent painters working in Provincetown today, including artists like John Dowd, Ann Packard, Paul Bowen, Paul Resica and Sal DelDeo among others.

Paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs have been loaned from a variety of national museums, as well as from Provincetown galleries and private collections both on Cape Cod and across the country.

The New Britain Museum of American Art is fortunate to have an extensive collection of Provincetown art as part of its permanent collection and will feature highlights by William Baziotes, Childe Hassam, Lee Krasner and many more.

A robust schedule of related programming has been planned, including a symposium, Evening of Learning, lectures and films. Studio classes will also focus on Provincetown, as will merchandise available in the Museum Shop.


The New Britain Museum of American Art

56 Lexington Street, New Britain, CT 06052

(860) 229-0257 Ext. 218


The exhibition will travel from New Britain to the following three venues:

Westmoreland Museum of American Art: October 30, 2011 to January 22, 2012

Wichita Art Museum: February 5 to April 29, 2012

Cape Cod Museum of Art: May 18 to August 26, 2012

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