Fitz Henry Lane, “View of the Town of Gloucester, Mass.,” 1836, colored lithograph on paper, Pendleton’s Lithography, Boston

The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts, is proudly presenting an important selection of lithographs by one of America’s most important artists of the mid-19th century. Who was he?

“Drawn from Nature & on Stone” is a significant exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum featuring important works by Fitz Henry Lane, a Gloucester native. On view through March 4, the exhibition has been organized in conjunction with the museum’s release of the artist’s catalogue raisonné. According to the museum, “Lane was born in Gloucester, trained in lithography in Boston and, during the same time, exposed to the art world. By the late 1840s, Lane was rapidly establishing himself as a well-known and sought-after painter. During the 1850s and into the 1860s, working from a studio overlooking Gloucester Harbor, Lane created an unknown number of canvases documenting and celebrating in amazing detail and beauty the world around him. His work included views not only of Gloucester and surrounding communities but also of Boston Harbor, coastal Maine, New York Harbor, and other locales.

“Today, the Cape Ann Museum, located just a few blocks away from Lane’s studio, proudly displays the world’s single largest collection of oil paintings by this esteemed American artist. While his canvases, exhibited in museums around the world, remain the work Lane is best known for, his life-long fascination with the art of lithography remains an important and central part of his career.

“With the exhibition ‘Drawn from Nature & on Stone,’ the Museum will investigate Lane’s lithographs, exploring the intersection of his work in oil and in print and his success at creating illustrations for sheet music, business cards and stationery, advertising materials and book illustrations. The exhibition will highlight a series of views Lane created of towns and cities throughout the region including Gloucester; Boston; Norwich, Connecticut; Castine, Maine; and Baltimore. In total, Lane is thought to have had a hand in the production of approximately 65 lithographs.

“‘Drawn from Nature & on Stone’ will feature lithographs from the Cape Ann Museum’s own holdings and from collections throughout the region including the American Antiquarian Society, the Boston Athenaeum, The New York Public Library and the Library of Congress. The exhibition will offer scholars and lay people alike the opportunity to explore the intersection of Lane’s work as a printmaker and a painter, to learn more about the art of lithography, and to consider the enduring effects image production has had on American culture since the early 19th century.”

To learn more, visit the Cape Ann Museum.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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