Last known painting of William Bradford before departing Holland on his way to Provincetown Harbor
A History of an American Art Colony: From Hawthorne to Helltown
The year 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing in Provincetown Harbor. For the last one-hundred-plus years, Provincetown has become the oldest continuous art colony in the United States. As a collective, this art community's founding fathers (and sisters) ultimate goal was the establishment of "two miles of art." It is safe to say that dreams do come true. Motherlode has spent the past year in the warehouse and containers of the legendary Julie Heller Galleries. Under the guidance of Julie Heller, we have curated the finest moments in the history of Provincetown art. Join us as we make the transformation from academia to a pop culture phenomena. The galleries will be open during the 2020 season in accordance to the state mandates concerning the COVID-19. Check back often for this feature will be expanding and evolving on a daily basis. The art is now available online for purchase. We will be operating as appointment only in our first phase of reopening.
Charles Hawthorne hangs the open for business sign at the Cape Cod School of Art and the wannabes flock to learn under an American master. The mudhead invasion begins on the beaches of a lawless Portuguese fishing village at the turn of the 20th century.
The 1913 Armory Show turns the art world upside down and nobody seems to take Picasso seriously. A cadre of up-and-coming American and European art-stars create a modernist moment whose ripple effect laps at the Provincetown shores.
Seeds from Paris, the Midwest, Greenwich Village, Japan and Boston germinate on Cape Cod in the summer of 1915 as World War I forces a country into self-quarantine. Provincetown becomes the petri dish. The Provincetown Prints are now world-famous and still carry the name of the the block print process that evolved during this period of enlightenment.
This earliest combination of acid, metal and waxing - mixed with endless hours of chicken scratching - is the recipe for the art world's oldest and most enduring print form.
Give an artist a razor blade or a pair of scissors along with a stack of old books, photographs and magazines and the results break all the rules and and create an infinite outlet for self-expression.
Power couple Lucy & William L'Engle made a lot of of art and a lot of friends. Mary Hackett. Jerry Farnsworth. George Biddle. Tod Lindenmuth. George Yater. Bruce McKain. & more.
An artist in his own right, Smith became a post-depression influencer who built quite an impressive client list. Blanche Lazzell. Dorothy Loeb. Bruce McKain. Charles Heinz, Fritz Pfeiffer. Phillip Malicoat. George Yater. Other WPA artists: Wil Barnett. George Constant. Karl Knaths. Spotlight: Joseph De Martini.
The irascible Weldon Kees created a summer's long event in 1949 that featured a who's who of expertise on subjects that still resonate today. George Biddle. Hans Hofmann. Robert Motherwell. & more. Spotlight: Karl Knaths.
Hans Hofmann kept Provincetown in the forefront of American prestige as a home to study. He left a legacy that is still referenced daily in 2020. Fritz Bultman. William Freed. James Gahagan. John Grillo. Peter Busa. Paul Resika. & more.
Hans Hofmann kept Provincetown in the forefront of American prestige as a home to study. He left a legacy that is still referenced daily in 2020. Spotlight: Ray Nolin.
The Sun Gallery broke the shackles and the mold. The artists who ushered us into the new America. Lester Johnson. Jan Muller. William Freed. James Gahagan. & more. Spotlight: Jim Forsberg & Bill Barrell
Chronicled in the 2011 tome, The Tides of Provincetown by Julie Heller and Whitney Smith, Karlis is a celebration of the rest of the world finally embracing the tenets of The Irascibles. Henry Botkin. George Grosz. Umberto Romano. Sally Michel. & more. Spotlight: Milton Avery.
They took the paddles out and resucitated the heart of the colony for another go round. Leo Manso. Tony Vevers. Robert Motherwell. Paul Resika. Carmen Cicero. Sidney Simon. & more. Spotlight: Varujan Boghosian.
That little gallery that could in the new millenium. Kristopher Smith. Ethan Manach, Andrew Jacob. Michael Koehler. Matt Millett. & more.