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Welcome to Fitz Henry Lane Online

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 material. The website is intended to provide information of interest to a broad audience, and to serve as a resource for information and analysis of Lane’s work. The website focuses on both the formal, aesthetic qualities and provides detailed information on the historical context of his pictures. For more see About the Project.


Mary Blood Mellen Exhibition at Cape Ann Museum

 Mary Blood Mellen (1819-1886), Field Beach, Stage Fort Park, c. 1850s
Mary Blood Mellen (1819-1886), Field Beach, Stage Fort Park, c. 1850s, Oil on canvas. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. Gift of Mrs. Preston Dise, 1964 [#1964].

Although often thought of in terms of her mentor, Fitz Henry Lane, Mary Blood Mellen (1819-1886) was a talented and accomplished artist in her own right who commands a place in the history of art on Cape Ann. To better understand Mellen and her artistic skills, the Cape Ann Museum is pleased to offer this special exhibition of her work, on view in the center of the Lane Gallery during Jan. 13, 2023 – April 2, 2023.

The details regarding Mary Blood Mellen’s life are well documented. Born in 1819, she grew up in central Massachusetts and in 1840, married Rev. Charles W. Mellen, a Universalist minister. Fifteen years later, Charles Mellen’s brother, who was also a minister, was called to serve at Gloucester’s First Universalist Church. It was probably because of that posting that Mary Blood Mellen visited Gloucester and established a friendship with Fitz Henry Lane. Information gleaned from a variety of sources tells us that Mellen quickly became Lane’s student and collaborator; indeed, Lane gave her access to his preliminary drawings and allowed her to assist him on at least one of his canvases. Stylistic examination of numerous Lane paintings in the Cape Ann Museum’s collection suggests that she may have had a hand in many of them.

As additional works by Mellen come to light, it is possible that more will be learned about her artistic career. It is equally possible, however, that we may never know the details of Lane and Mellen’s relationship and their artistic collaboration.

Learn more in an exhibition catalogue found here.

Unfurling Fitz Henry Lane

Unfurling Fitz Henry Lane from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

Fitz Henry Lane’s paintings are transcendental works of light and air. But they are also treasured accounts of Gloucester’s fishing and trade industries. Erik Ronnberg is a master ship model maker, renowned maritime historian, and Maritime Curator at the Cape Ann Museum, which created the Fitz Henry Lane Catalogue Raisonné. Erik Ronnberg has been critical to expanding the Catalogue Raisonné into almost a three-dimensional experience of mid-19th century Gloucester.
Watch this short film exploring how Fitz Henry Lane’s and Erik Ronnberg’s meticulous attention to detail bring 19th century Gloucester to life.

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Explore works in the Catalog using the Interactive Feature

Three Master on the Gloucester Railways, 1857 (inv. 29)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Deposited by the City of Gloucester, 1952 (DEP. 202)
The Old Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 30)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Deposited by the Collection of Addison Gilbert Hospital, 1978 (DEP. 201)
Salem Harbor, 1853 (inv. 53)

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bequest of Maxim Karolik (64.465)
Gloucester from Brookbank, 1848 (inv. 42)

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865 (48.444)
Harbor of Boston, with the City in the Distance, c.1846–47 (inv. 88)

Collection: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund and partial gift of Travers Newton, Joanna Newton Riccardi, and Georgia Newton Pulos (2004.35)
Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 17)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Bessie Stanwood, 1948 (1238)
Fresh Water Cove from Dolliver's Neck, Gloucester, Early 1850s (inv. 45)

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865 (48.445)
Gloucester Harbor, 1859 (inv. 33)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Edwin Barbey, 1981 (2229.00)

» Browse all the works in the catalog.

» Browse works by type:
Paintings  //  Drawings  //  Prints

» See Fitz Henry Lane works on view at the Cape Ann Museuminteractive features.

Historical Materials

The first Ten Pound Island Lighthouse
J.F. Wonson & Co's Wharf, showing fish flakes

Historical Materials:
Drying Fish » 
Flake Yard »

Subscription List and Mailing for "Castine, From Hospital Island" 1855
Wheel of the "Jamestown"

Browse all Historical Materials »

The Cape Ann Museum is grateful to the following organizations for their support of Fitz Henry Lane Online:
Wyeth Foundation for American Art National Endowment for the Arts Institute of Museum and Library Science Thomfohrde Foundation Danversbank Charitable Foundation
Citation: "Welcome." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. (accessed March 25, 2023).
Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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