The Portland Museum of Arts Winslow Homer Studio is the inspiration for J.Crews Spring 2011 Mens Collection. The Museums catalogue for the exhibition Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place, designed by Daniel Pepice and authored by Museum Chief Curator Thomas Denenberg, and the Museums Homer painting Weatherbeaten are featured in a promotional video on J.Crews website for the spring collection. The http://www.jcrew.com/mens_feature/presentation.jsp
To research the spring mens line, J.Crew Head of Mens design Frank Muytjens took his team to the Winslow Homer Studio, where this 19th-century American artist painted his famous images of the coast of Maine. In the promotional video, Muytjens states that he was influenced by the beautiful watercolors by Winslow Homer of the Maine coast where you can see all the different hues of the ocean.
The Portland Museum of Art is thrilled that the fashion world is taking notice of Maine traditions and our Winslow Homer collection has become an international inspiration, said Museum Director Mark Bessire. The great culture of Maine and Winslow Homers art are timeless influences that continue to impact American culture. The fact that Homer inspired a creative genius like J.Crews Frank Muytjens reminds us of Homers influence and Maines role in the formation of American identity.
One of the most significant locations in the history of American art, the Winslow Homer Studio is where Homer lived and painted many of his masterpieces from 1883 until his death. The Portland Museum of Art is currently undergoing a major capital campaign to raise $10.5 million for the acquisition, preservation, and endowment of the Winslow Homer Studio. A registered National Historic Landmark, the Winslow Homer Studio will play a major role in enhancing the Museums association with Homer. When the Studio opens to the public in September 2012, it will become a site to celebrate the artists life, to encourage scholarship on Homer, and to educate audiences to appreciate the artistic heritage of Winslow Homer and Maine.
The relationship between Winslow Homer (1836-1910) and the Portland Museum of Art is long-standing and intimate. Homer exhibited at the Museum in 1893, then called the Portland Society of Art, during his lifetime. John Calvin Stevens, who designed elements of Homers Prouts Neck Studio, also designed the Museums L. D. M. Sweat Memorial Galleries (1911). In 1983, the Museum opened the Charles Shipman Payson Building, the result of a generous gift of 17 works by Winslow Homer from Mr. Payson, as well as $8 million to construct a building in which they would be housed.
The Museum has long been a destination for scholars and admirers of Homers work. The Museums Homer collection includes such notable objects as his first oil painting, Sharpshooter; an original watercolor paint box; and a nearly comprehensive collection of more than 450 illustrations given to the Museum by Peggy and Harold Osher in 1991. The graphics collection includes more than 90% of Homers graphic output and chronicles the artists early career as a commercial illustrator. The graphics collection has been digitized and available for viewing on the Museums website.
Winslow Homer is one of the most important artists in the history of American art. Born February 24, 1836 in Boston, Massachusetts, Homer was a self-taught artist and began his career as an apprentice with a Boston lithographer. He became a freelance illustrator in New York City, working for popular magazines of the time such as Harpers Weekly. As a sketch artist, Homers views of the Civil War brought him national attention. Homer also spent time in France, England, as well as the Bahamas before moving permanently to Prouts Neck in Scarborough, Maine, 12 miles south of Portland. He is widely known for his skill with watercolors and oils as well as his powerful marine scenes of rugged waves and solitary figures. Homer died at his studio on Prouts Neck on September 29, 1910 at the age of 74.