n a trip to Greece in 1959, Nell (age 38) developed polio, rendering her a paraplegic. Angry at being told she would never paint again, she taught herself to hold a brush with her left hand, regaining her skill with tenacity and exuberance. Relief from an endless parade of unsuitable aides, Jestina Forrester arrived in 1976 and remained loyal for the remaining two decades of Nell’s life.
Despite a stellar New England pedigree and marrying into the same, Childe Hassam’s father – a hardware merchant – fell on difficult times in the late 1800’s. Young Childe was forced to drop out of school and apprentice for an engraver at 17. He then went on to become one of the leaders of American Impressionism. We have not been able to corroborate the incident referenced in Theresa Bernstein’s poem Gloucester is the Place to Be”…
“There is perhaps no other American artist…whose paintings are more associated with the great square riggers on the open seas than those of Gordon Grant. His pictures are at once a celebration, a salute, and a memorial to every facet of life at sea.”
– Artists of Cape Ann
Gordon Grant’s formative relationship with the ocean began at the age of 13, when he spent over four months at sea travelling from San Francisco to Scotland for his education. Most famous for his maritime subjects, Grant is able to combine a strong sense of light and mood with such accurate naval architecture details that his works could almost serve as blueprints. His painting of the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” is part of the White House collection and has hung in the Oval Office.
This perspective of Gloucester Harbor, framed by towering elm trees, was a favored subject of Grant, and he created lithographs of this view in both summer and winter. Sketching and painting in the harbors of Cape Ann was only natural for him, returning to the region for many years – working from a studio on Rocky Neck.