Recent Acquisitions: Gifford Beal in Rockport

August 23 - December 18, 2016

In 1923, Gifford Beal, a life-long New Yorker who previously preferred to work during the warmer months of the year at his family’s home in Newburg on the Hudson River, took to summering in Rockport, a fishing village on the northeast coast of Massachusetts. The new venue inspired a major shift in his painting. The impressionist-inspired approach Beal had adopted under the influence of his teacher, William Merritt Chase, gave way to a more earnest form of realism reflecting a heightened level of respect for the working men and women of the area.


The impetus for the exhibition was a painting by Beal that was acquired in 2014 with funds raised by the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art, titled After the Storm, from c. 1930, in which lobster fishermen scour the shore for traps and buoys that have been scattered by a gale. The canvas was accompanied by a selection of prints and drawings featuring images of Rockport’s fishing industry, all gifts from the estate of Gifford Beal made through the efforts of Kraushaar Galleries, which gave the artist his first solo exhibition in 1920 and thereafter his dealer for the remainder of his career.


Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.