An online project under the direction of the CAPE ANN MUSEUM
Guide to this Catalog
A digital catalogue raisonné allows the flexibility of the addition of new material. Fitz Henry Lane Online will continue to be updated as research reveals new information, works change ownership, conservation studies are performed, exhibitions are organized, and new texts are written. The website will be updated periodically, and new catalog entries gradually will be added.
At this stage of publication (February 15, 2016), the website includes the more than 300 known works in public collections. Please note that the basic details regarding each artwork have been provided by the owners. Verification of the provenance, exhibition, and literature histories is ongoing, so details in these areas may change. As a result, the provenance, exhibition, and publication sections should be understood as “selected” rather than “complete.”
Fitz Henry Lane Online welcomes any additional information related to Fitz Henry Lane, his works, and the history of the period. Please see the contact us link at the bottom of each page.
Below are notes on the organization of this catalog.
The Catalog of Paintings, Drawings, and Lithographs (also called "Works in the Catalog"): The default organization of this index is first according to medium (paintings, followed by drawings, followed by prints) and then alphabetically by title within each category. This order can be changed by using the "sort catalog entries" feature.
Sorting material: From the catalog index page the list can either be sorted (complete information reordered) by date, object type, or size; or filtered (the material winnowed according to subject) by subject.
Works not in the catalog: As of the date of the launch, not all works by Lane are included in the catalog. When a work not published in the catalog is mentioned, "not published" follows the title and the highlighted text will not be an active link.
Catalog Entry: Each work has a catalog-entry page. There are three tabs below the basic object information: (1) the commentary and links to historical materials, (2) catalog entry (information such as exhibitions and references in published literature, as provided by the owners), and (3) in the case of prints, information about impressions of the same print. (The third tab appears only for prints.)
Title: The catalog uses the title currently accepted by the owner of the work. Titles used in past exhibitions and publications are also included. Lane does not appear to have assigned titles to his works; in exhibitions during his lifetime pictures were often given names such as "Marine Painting." As a result the titles associated with pictures are often those given by later owners and scholars, and, as such, are sometimes incorrect. At this point, Fitz Henry Lane Online has not retitled works, but it has indicated in the commentary section if there is a problem of misidentification. Capitalization and punctuation in titles follow historic usage and therefore do not always adhere to the style of the website.
Inventory Number: There is an inventory number assigned to each work in the catalog. It follows the title (inv. #) and has been assigned randomly. It can be helpful to the researcher in returning to the entry for a specific work, and it can be used in the search box.
Date: The dates assigned to Lane's paintings have changed over the years, and remain a subject of scholarship and debate. The dates listed by this catalog are those currently used by the owner of the work.
Inscription information: Lane's works, especially the drawings, often have many inscriptions. An effort has been made to separate those made by Lane from those made by later owners (the latter are listed in the "Marks" section). It is believed that Lane's good friend and executor of his estate, Joseph Stevens Jr., made many of the notations on the drawings. These notations have been useful in identifying the subjects of the drawings, and the paintings for which the drawings were sketches. The dates inscribed have been used as the dates of the works. These inscriptions are still a subject of study. Lane's signature is a topic of scholarly interest for the same reason—some works have his name but cannot be considered to be signed by him (indicated by "undetermined").
Drawings: The Cape Ann Museum is the owner of the majority of Lane's drawings, given to the Museum in the early twentieth century. Traditionally it has been believed that Joseph Stevens Jr. found these drawings in Lane's studio after Lane's death, made pencil notations on them, and gave them to Samuel Mansfield, who in turn donated them to the Cape Ann Museum. This collection is believed to be Lane's entire oeuvre of drawings. In the 1960s, a few of the drawings were sold by the Cape Ann Museum to other individuals and institutions, and therefore are at the National Gallery of Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum, and the Harvard University Art Museums.
Prints: The catalog attempts to document each unique print created by Lane. It includes known impressions of each print and images of some of them. It does not include a comprehensive list of owners. It has sometimes been difficult, if not impossible to determine if Lane made a sketch after which the lithograph was made, made the drawing on the stone, or was the artist for all parts of the process.
Historical Materials: Related historical materials are attached to each catalog-entry page. For complete historical materials, please see the Historical Materials page.
Collections / Owners: The only collections or owners on the website are those which are current and past owners of works published in the catalog; owners of works that are not yet published will not appear. The date the picture was believed to have entered that collection, if known, follows the name of the collection. The number in parentheses following the museum credit line is the accession number assigned to the work by the museum that owns it.
Exhibitions: The only exhibitions included on the website are those in which a Lane picture (currently published on the website) appeared. An exception to this is that for the years during Lane's life, exhibition information from exhibition catalogs and periodicals of that year is included. The information for the exhibition is included but in many cases we are unable to identify the work listed. For the years since Lane's death, exhibitions that only included works which are not yet published to the site will not appear.
Literature: Published literature includes publications related to Lane as well as those that contain references to specific pictures. As more paintings are published to the site, these references will increase correspondingly.
Cape Ann Museum: The Cape Ann Museum was founded in 1873 as the Cape Ann Scientific and Literary Association. By 1946 it was operating as the Cape Ann Scientific, Literary and Historical Association. In 1968 the name was legally changed to the Cape Ann Historical Association and later to the Cape Ann Historical Museum. In 2007 it became the Cape Ann Museum. Published records may indicate one of those historic names, but all pictures owned by the Cape Ann Museum can be found in the catalog under the Owner listing.
Accessibility: The Project is working to improve the accessibility of the website, by implementing key principles of accessible web design. This is in progress.