Did You Know? Winslow Homer

By Alan Junkins; published in JFA Newsletter no. 2, Spring 1990

Winslow Homer - One of America's great painters and illustrators lived and painted along the Maine coast for many years. Home was a prolific artist and in the years between 1870 and 1874, his finest illustrations were a series in Every Saturday and Harper's Weekly. At the height of his popularity as an illustrator, he stopped and took up a new medium, watercolor. He devoted a great deal of work to children playing. Among all his works, these first watercolors have a special quality. Freshness of life's morning and the expression of childhood pleasure in the summer sunlight. One of these paintings is especially dear to the Junkins family. Painted in July of 1875, it shows two children, a girl and her younger brother, walking hand-in-hand down Berwick Road in front of the Junkins Garrison. Berwick Road at this time was but a dirt road and the garrison was not occupied and in quite bad repair with holes in the roof and the windows boarded up. It was about thirteen years later that the garrison was burned to the ground by vandals on Halloween night.

The painting is now at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, Smithsonian Institution, East 9th Street, New York, NY.

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