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About the Project

Fitz Henry Lane Online is a freely-accessible interactive and interdisciplinary online resource created by the Cape Ann Museum. The website is organized around a catalog of the paintings, drawings, and lithographs of nineteenth-century American painter Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865). The Cape Ann Museum, located in Gloucester, Massachusetts (Lane’s birthplace and home for most of his life) has the world’s largest collection of Lane’s paintings, drawings, lithographs, and related archival material. The website is intended to provide information of interest to a broad audience, and to serve as a resource for study of Lane’s work. The website focuses on both the formal, aesthetic qualities and the historical context of Lane's pictures.  

Art-historical writing and scholarship on Lane only began in the late 1940s after his “re-discovery” from decades of obscurity after his death when American art tastes gravitated towards European and modern art. John I.H. Baur and Alfred Mansfield Brooks were some of the earliest writers on Lane, followed by John Wilmerding, who published the first monograph on Lane in 1964, followed by another in 1971, and culminating in the 1988 catalog of the comprehensive Lane exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. Barbara Novak, Theodore Stebbins, Franklin Kelly, Elizabeth Garrity Ellis, Earl Powell and others did groundbreaking work on all aspects of nineteenth-century American art, including Lane’s work. Wherever possible, particularly in the commentaries attached to each entry, we have tried to expose readers to this insightful and beautifully written work via quotations, references, or direct links to the original work, most of which is now out of print and hard to find. The goal of the project is to provide a resource of historical materials and past scholarship in order to encourage a new generation of scholars and historians to build upon it. One of the advantages of an online resource is that new information can be added at any time. It is intended that this site will evolve as writers, historians, and art scholars pursue new research and use this site as a forum and important resource for the work of Fitz Henry Lane and the related art and history of mid-nineteenth-century New England.     

The catalogue raisonné component of Fitz Henry Lane Online will be a catalog of all Lane’s paintings, drawings, and lithographs. At the date of publication (February 15, 2016), this list includes over 300 works: all of the known paintings, drawings, and lithographs in public collections. As research continues, works from private collections will be added in increments as will more information on Lane’s student and sometime collaborator Mary Mellen.

With funding from the generous donors below, early conservation and curatorial work by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and conservation work donated by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the website now includes hundreds of high-resolution images, including details and conservation (infrared, x-ray, and magnified) images; provenance records; selected exhibition and literature histories; annotated entries for key works; and extensive historical materials related to the subjects of Lane’s pictures. This project could not have been launched without the tireless contributions of project and Cape Ann Museum staff and the wide circle of advisors and volunteers who have so generously devoted their time and expertise, for which we are ever grateful.

–Sam Holdsworth, Editor



Project staff:

Sam Holdsworth
Project Director & Editor

Melissa Geisler Trafton
Adjunct Curator & Managing Editor (2012-16)

Victoria Petway
Editorial Administrator

Cindy Amero

Erik Ronnberg
Cape Ann Museum Adjunct Maritime Curator

Molly O'Hagan Hardy
Cape Ann Museum Director of Library & Archives (2018-2019)

Alison Anholt 
Rights & Reproductions Manager, Designer (2014-16)

Sarah Dunlap
Gloucester City Archives Historian

Stephanie Buck
Cape Ann Museum Librarian & Archivist (2012-2018)

Martha Oaks
Cape Ann Museum Curator

Fred Buck
Cape Ann Museum Photo Archivist (2012-2018)

Courtney Richardson
Cape Ann Museum Educator

Roger Shepherd, Susannah Shepherd, Jessie Sentivan

Frances Fitch
Project Copy Editor

Ronda Faloon
Cape Ann Museum Director (2012-2019)

John Wilmerding
Senior Advisor; Professor Emeritus, Princeton University



Authors (arranged alphabetically):

Alison Anholt
Fitz Henry Lane Online Rights & Reproductions

Stephanie Buck
Cape Ann Museum Librarian & Archivist

A. Sam Davidson
Independent maritime scholar

Sarah Dunlap
Gloucester City Archives Historian

Sam Holdsworth
Fitz Henry Lane Online Project Director

Mark Honey
Independent Maine scholar

Meredith Massar Munson
Independent scholar

Mary Rhinelander McCarl
Independent scholar, Cape Ann Museum

Travers Newton
Independent scholar

Martha Oaks
Cape Ann Museum Curator

Pieter Rhynhart
Independent scholar

Erik Ronnberg
Cape Ann Museum Adjunct Maritime Curator

Catharina Slautterback
Curator of Prints & Photographs, Boston Athenaeum

Moyna Stanton
Conservator of Paper, Cleveland Museum of Art

Marcia Steele
Senior Conservator of Paintings, Cleveland Museum of Art

Melissa Geisler Trafton
Fitz Henry Lane Online Adjunct Curator


With gratitude to the following individuals and institutions who have shared their time and expertise with this project:

Lauren Hewes, Jackie Penny
The American Antiquarian Society

Jeremy d'Entremont
American Lighthouse Foundation and New England Lighthouses 

Ashlee Bailey

Catharina Slautterback, Pat Boulos
The Boston Athenaeum

Paige Lilly
Castine Historical Society

Marcia Steele, Moyna Stanton, Joan Neubecker
The Cleveland Museum of Art

Sarah Dunlap
Gloucester City Archives

Claudia Jew
The Mariners' Museum

Karen Quinn, Jean Woodward, Sue Bell
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Dan Finamore
Peabody Essex Museum

Lisa Peters
Spanierman Gallery

Barbara Rathburn
The Shelburne Museum

Courtney Kopplin
Vose Galleries

Abby Dunham
The Wilson Museum, Castine







With gratitude to donors to the project:

Glenys and Kermit Birchfield
Jackie and J.J. Bell

Mollie and John Byrnes
Diane Chen and Jan Koch-Weser

Bonnie and Chris Covington
Frederick Dulles

Cathy and Peter Halstead
Jenifer and Dan McDougall
Deborah and Thomas T. Riquier
Margaret and Chip Ziering



Oliver Barker, Director
Sheila Hruby, Director of Operations

Martha Oaks, Chief Curator
Leon Doucette, Assistant Curator
Jennifer Hale, Assistant Registrar

Pat Layman, Director of Development
Katie Misuraca, Assistant Director of Development
Kayla Lane, Development Associate
Kathleen Maiorana, Events & Stewardship Manager

Education and Programs
Miranda Aisling, Head of Education & Engagement
Cathy Kelley, Education Manager
Toni Waldron, CAM Educator
Lesley Davison, CAM Educator

Nick Tarantino, Security

Library & Archives
Trenton Carls, Head Librarian & Archivist
Catherine Miller, Digital Library Assistant

Visitor Services
Beth Brau, Visitor Services & Museum Shop Manager
Noelle Jones, Visitor Services Lead
Paula Gray, Visitor Services Representative
Jennifer Hale, Visitor Services Representative




Website design and database software bypanOpticonLogodedicated to the art of cataloging art.




 The Cape Ann Museum is grateful to the following organizations,
as well as to contributors to the Museum's capital campaign, for their support of the project.

This project was made possible in part by:


Wyeth Foundation for American Art National Endowment for the Arts Institute of Museum and Library Science


Thomfohrde Foundation Danversbank Charitable Foundation






Citation: "About the Project." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. (accessed July 24, 2024).
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