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Tour: Winslow Homer: Eyewitness

Winslow Homer, Prisoners from the Front, 1866. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Frank B. Porter, 1922, 22.207. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, N.Y.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Join Katherine Mintie, the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Research Fellow in Photography in the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, for an in-depth tour of the exhibition Winslow Homer: Eyewitness, on view at the Harvard Art Museums through January 5, 2020.

During the Civil War (1861–65), American artist Winslow Homer served as a correspondent for Harper’s Weekly. His sketches of soldiers, both in battle on the front lines and in quieter moments back at camp, were reproduced to accompany the journal’s accounts of the conflict. Homer worked for Harper’s just as new technologies were making it possible to rapidly reproduce newsworthy images on a large scale. Working together with editors and engravers, he employed a range of pictorial strategies to reassure skeptical readers that his illustrations were not fabrications but eyewitness observations “drawn on the spot.”

While in the field as an artist, Homer developed habits of seeing and strategies that informed his work in other media. This exhibition, in addition to tracing these connections, explores broader questions that Homer’s art raises about the responsibility of artists who work in periods riven by war and conflict.

Free with museums admission. Gallery talks are limited to 15 people and tickets are required. Ten minutes before each talk, tickets will become available at the admissions desk.

Please meet in the Calderwood Courtyard, in front of the digital screens between the shop and the admissions desk. Museums staff will be on hand to collect tickets.

Winslow Homer: Eyewitness is co-curated by Ethan W. Lasser, the Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. Curator of American Art and Head of the Division of European and American Art; and Makeda Best, the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography; with the assistance of Oliver Wunsch, the museums’ former Maher Curatorial Fellow of American Art (2018–19).

Support for the Winslow Homer exhibition was provided by the Bolton Fund for American Art, Gift of the Payne Fund; and the Henry Luce Foundation Fund for the American Art Department. Exhibition-related programming is made possible by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund and the M. Victor Leventritt Lecture Series Endowment Fund.