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Webber, John Somes

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John Somes Webber was a surveyor and for some time, the Collector of the Port and District of Gloucester. He was the first owner of Lane's Dream Painting, 1862 (inv. 74), probably the purchase noted in the Cape Ann Light, January 17, 1863. The painting is not named, but "Collector" Webber is described as having purchased a picture. Webber died March 16, 1890.

1863 Cape Ann Light 1.17.1863

"The fine painting by Lane, recently on exhibition at the store of Procter Bros., has been purchased by Mr. Collector Webber. We are glad to record this fresh token of appreciation of such valuable works by the artist's own townsmen."

Letter on verso of Dream Painting
Fitz Henry Lane
Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago

A letter affixed to the verso of Lane's Dream Painting of 1862 in which he describes how the idea for the painting came to him in a dream. Lane writes: "This picture, the Property of John S. Webber Esq, Collector of the Port and District of Gloucester, was (suggested) to the artist by a dream. Sometime last fall while asleep in bed, a richly furnished room was presented to my imagination. Upon the wall my attention was attracted to a picture which I have here endeavored to reproduce. The dream was very vivid and on awakening I retained it in memory for a long time. The effect was so beautiful in the dream that I determined to attempt its reproduction, and this picture is the result. The drawing is very correct, but the effect falls far short of what I saw, and it would be impossible to convey to canvas such gorgeous and brilliant colouring as was presented to me. This picture, however, will give to the beholder some faint idea of the ideal. /signed/ Fitz H. Lane."

Citation: "People." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum.§ion=Webber%2C+John+Somes (accessed June 16, 2024).
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