The 19th-century painter Winslow Homer (1836-1910) is one of the most beloved figures in American art, perhaps most associated with the pastoral beauty of rural America and his dramatic Maine seascapes. The new exhibitionComing Away: Winslow Homer and England, opening March 1 and on view through May 20, 2018 at the Milwaukee Art Museum, explores how English artists and Homer’s nearly two-year stay in the seaside village of Cullercoats, England, impacted the style and subjects of the artist’s work for the rest of his career.
Fifty works by Winslow Homer are featured in the exhibition, including a selection of some of his most famous early scenes of independent farmers and outdoorsmen, as well as women at leisure and mischievous country children at play. Displayed alongside the art that Homer developed while in Cullercoats and the dramatic seascapes that marked his career after he returned to the United States, the exhibition demonstrates the great shift in Homer’s painting that his time in England inspired.
The exhibition brings together many of Homer’s most beloved and famous works, such as The Cotton Pickers, on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Lifeline from the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Musée d'Orsay’s Summer Night; as well as many of the artist’s late seascapes that so deeply influenced American modernists. Also included are paintings by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, George Henry Boughton, Jules Adolphe Breton and Joseph Mallord William Turner—works that show the range of international influences that Homer embraced—alongside English photographs, which Homer consumed and became fascinated with during his stay abroad.