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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.

News:

Sam Holdsworth and John Wilmerding

Sam Holdsworth (left) and John Wilmerding (right) standing with Georgia Barnhill
Sam Holdsworth (left) and John Wilmerding (right) standing with Georgia Barnhill (Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts Emerita at the American Antiquarian Society) on October 27, 2017 at the Cape Ann Museum’s symposium hosted in conjunction with the exhibition “Drawn from Nature & On Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane.” Barnhill was the guest curator and John Wilmerding was the keynote speaker introduced by Sam Holdsworth. Watch a recording of the presentation here.

With great sadness, the Cape Ann Museum acknowledges the loss of two great scholars and friends of the Museum. Within May and June of 2024, Sam Holdsworth—Director of Fitz Henry Lane Online, CAM Board member, and painter—and John Wilmerding—renowned curator, professor, author and expert on Fitz Henry Lane—have passed away.
Their shared commitment to expanding the public’s knowledge and appreciation of 19th century American art, and specifically the work of Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865), has had a giant impact on the Cape Ann Museum and the art world at large. Individually and collectively, their scholarship and focus on Lane and CAM's collection have brought much recognition to this humble institution. They paved the way for the Cape Ann Museum’s Fitz Henry Lane Online Catalogue Raisonné project and many dynamic opportunities yet to come.
Fitz Henry Lane was a meticulous observer of the world around him, gifting us centuries later with his accurate and stunning accounts of life on Cape Ann in the 1800s. Sam Holdsworth and John Wilmerding perfectly carried that torch of honoring both history and beauty in their steadfast attention to details and context, and appreciation of exquisite scenes. 

Lecture at Cape Ann Museum — Painting the Inhabited Landscape: Fitz H. Lane and the Global Reach of Antebellum America

Book cover for Margaretta Markle Lovell's book Painting the Inhabited Landscape

THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.
CAMTalks: Exhibition Series—Painting the Inhabited Landscape: Fitz H. Lane and the Global Reach of Antebellum America
with Dr. Margaretta Lovell, Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Professor of American Art History at the University of California, Berkeley

Calling attention to unexplored dimensions of nineteenth-century painting, Painting the Inhabited Landscape is a major intervention in the scholarship on American art of the period and an enlightening examination of Fitz H. Lane’s work.

In this important study, Margaretta Markle Lovell singles out the modestly scaled, explicitly inhabited landscapes of Fitz H. Lane and investigates the patrons who supported his career, with an eye to understanding how New Englanders thought about their land, their economy, their history, and their links with widely disparate global communities. Lane’s works depict nature as productive and allied in partnership with humans to create a sustainable, balanced political economy. What emerges from this close look at Lane’s New England is a picture not of a “virgin wilderness” but of a land deeply resonant with its former uses—and a human history that incorporates, rather than excludes, Native Americans as shapers of land and as agents in that history.

Margaretta M. Lovell is a cultural historian working at the intersection of history, art history, and material culture studies. Currently the Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Professor of American Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, she received her PhD in American Studies at Yale. Her most recent book, Painting the Inhabited Landscape: Fitz H. Lane and the Global Reach of Antebellum America (Penn State Press, April 2023), concerns F. H. Lane, Cape Ann’s landscape painter who, in the first half of the nineteenth century, captured his culture’s relationship to fish, granite, and forests on one hand and its links to China, Puerto Rico, and Surinam on the other.

Registration required for all attendees. Learn more at the Cape Ann Museum website.

View all recent news »

Explore works in the Catalog using the Interactive Feature

Gloucester Harbor, 1852 (inv. 38)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Deposited by the City of Gloucester, 1952. Given to the city by Mrs. Julian James in memory of her grandfather Sidney Mason, 1913 (DEP. 200)
Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck, 1844 (inv. 14)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Mrs. Jane Parker Stacy (Mrs. George O. Stacy), 1948 (1289.1a)
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)
Salem Harbor, 1853 (inv. 53)

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bequest of Maxim Karolik (64.465)
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 Babson Meadows at Riverdale, 1863 (inv. 11)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Roger W. Babson, 1937 (779.03)
Boston Harbor, c.1850 (inv. 48)

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865, by exchange (66.339)
Babson and Ellery Houses, Gloucester, 1863 (inv. 10)

Collection: Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Roger W. Babson, 1937 (779.02)

» 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:
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Drying Fish » 
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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. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/homepage.php (accessed July 24, 2024).
Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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