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Videos and Lectures

November 10, 2020
Cape Ann Museum, Leon Doucette
Overlay Demonstration of Fitz Henry Lane’s Works


Overlay Demonstration of Fitz Henry Lane's Works from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

A few years ago on a beautiful spring day, members of the Cape Ann Museum curatorial team set out to explore some of the sites Fitz Henry Lane painted on the Western Shore of Gloucester Harbor. With camera in hand, they went first to Stage Fort Park and then to Norman’s Woe Cove. After scaling the rocks at each site to find the precise viewpoints from which Lane worked, the team shot several photographs from the same angle. Today, using photo editing software, we are able to overlay these pictures with the paintings and drawings themselves, as well as with the infrared imagery noted in the article below. In this short video, we invite you to follow along as we take a tour through the process.
Works shown: View from Stage Rocks, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 108), Dolliver's Neck and the Western Shore from Field Beach, 1857 (inv. 3), Field Beach and Fresh Water Cove, 1857 (inv. 110), Norman's Woe, 1861 (inv. 114), Norman's Woe, Gloucester Harbor, 1862 (inv. 1), The Western Shore with Norman's Woe, 1862 (inv. 18)



July 23, 2020
Cape Ann Museum Docents Frances Fitch and Sarah Wetzel
Performance of Song of the Fisher’s Wife

CAM Docents Frances Fitch and Sarah Wetzel perform Song of the Fisher's Wife from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

In this recording, Frances Fitch plays Song of the Fisher’s Wife while Sarah Wetzel sings accompaniment.
Song of the Fisher's Wife, 1840 (inv. 466) was a sentimental composition, a genre popular with American audiences during the years Fitz Henry Lane was most intimately involved in lithography. The music was composed by George O. Farmer (1809-1875) of Boston and the work was dedicated to Miss Phebe L. Lithgow (1826-1911). The illustration shows a young woman looking wistfully out to sea, waiting for her beloved to return. Lane incorporated many objects related to life at sea into the frame surrounding the vignette. They include nets, blocks, gaff hooks and oars. The two vignettes on the page are carefully rendered: in the center, the young woman sitting pensively, looking down to the shore where a schooner has been beached and is being unloaded; at the bottom of the page Lane has added a wooden stump in front of which is a large shell. The shell is flanked by two anchors.



October 28, 2017
Lane Symposium, Afternoon Session
Laid Down on Paper: Printmaking in America, 1800 to 1865

VL58 - Laid Down on Paper: Prinmaking in America, 1800 to 1865 - Lane Lecture Symposium, Afternoon Session - 10-28-2017 from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

This symposium was hosted by the Cape Ann Museum in conjunction with its exhibition Drawn from Nature and on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane, which was on view at the Museum from October 7, 2017 through March 4, 2018. With a series of six lectures held throughout the day, further scholarship on 19th century printmaking in America is presented and discussed. This video includes the three afternoon lectures that were moderated by Georgia Barnhill, Guest Curator for the exhibition and Curator Emeritus at the American Antiquarian Society, and examine the portrayal of race in printing, the use and effect of lithography in popular media, and Fitz Henry Lane’s ship portraits. These three lectures are followed by a group question and answer session with all of the presenters.

Lecture 1 – Assembling the Runaway: Self-Liberation and Visual Games of the American Civil War with Christine Garnier
In the first afternoon lecture of the symposium, Harvard University Ph. D. candidate Christine Garnier focuses upon a set of trading cards titled Journey of the Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield that were printed in 1863 to encourage African Americans to join the Union Army. Using these cards as the basis for her analysis, Garnier suggests that the development of chromolithography, with its allowance for subtle differences in both black and white skin tones, may have contributed to the changes in perspective on slavery and greater democracy that occurred around the time of the Civil War. Garnier supports her position with examples from several popular sources that were produced during this period.

Lecture 2 – Representing Firefighters: Conflagration of the Masonic Hall, Philadelphia with Ellen Sondag
The second lecture of the afternoon session features Ellen Sondag, an adjunct faculty member at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, who examines the relationship between firefighting companies and popular opinion in the 19th century by comparing a painting from 1819 by Samuel Jones and John Lewis Krimmel titled Conflagration of the Masonic Hall, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia with a print of the same name by Krimmel and John Hill. Sondag relates the pivotal role that firefighters played in combating one of the more catastrophic threats to American cities in the 19th century while at the same time suffering criticism for their lapses in good conduct. Her presentation looks at the emerging role that lithographs played in characterizing and potentially shaping public opinion through their ability to more immediately capture visual representation of current events than other available forms of media.

Lecture 3 – Fitz H. Lane’s Maritime Lithographs, Robert Bennet Forbes, Pirates of the South China Sea with Margaretta Lovell
In this final lecture of the afternoon, cultural historian and Professor of American Art at the University of California, Berkeley, Margaretta Lovell studies three maritime lithographs by Fitz Henry Lane that were commissioned by the highly successful China trade merchant Robert Bennet Forbes. Lovell considers the role that ship portraits played in general in the 19th century as well as the special significance of these three vessels to Forbes and his business interests. She also theorizes about the relationship between Lane and Forbes as artist and patron as it may have related to Lane’s progression from the medium of lithography to painting with the advancement of his career. 



October 28, 2017
Lane Symposium, Morning Session
Laid Down on Paper: Printmaking in America, 1800 to 1865 

VL57 - Laid Down on Paper: Printmaking in America, 1800 to 1865 - 2017 Lane Symposium, Morning Session - 10-28-2017 from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

This symposium was hosted by the Cape Ann Museum in conjunction with its exhibition, Drawn from Nature and on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane, which was on view at the Museum from October 7, 2017 through March 4, 2018. With this series of six lectures divided between morning and afternoon sessions, further scholarship on 19th century printmaking in America is presented for discussion. This video includes the three morning lectures that were moderated by Cape Ann Museum Curator Martha Oaks and Museum Board Member Sam Holdsworth and look at Fitz Henry Lane’s early non-maritime lithographs, the career of a 19th century female lithographer, Fanny Palmer, and a collection of early 19th century geological prints at the New York Lyceum of Natural History. These three presentations are followed by a panel discussion with all four speakers.

Lecture 1 – Fitz Henry Lane in Lowell with Helena Wright
In the first lecture of the symposium, National Museum of American History Curator Helena Wright focuses on Lane’s early career as a lithographer within the context of the development of the planned industrial community of Lowell, Massachusetts. During this time, lithography was often used as a marketing and promotional tool to circulate positive images of industrialization in New England, and Wright speaks about the sometimes complicated relationship between commerce and art. As these images could be reprinted many times and were fairly inexpensive, several copies of a single work have often survived.

Lecture 2 – Fine or Commercial Lithography: A Cultural and Material Reappraisal of Fanny Palmer’s Prints Published by Currier & Ives with Marie-Stephanie Delamaire and Joan Irving
The second lecture of the symposium features contributions from two individuals from the Winterthur Museum, Associate Curator Marie-Stephanie Delamaire and Paper Conservator Joan Irving, who both speak about the 19th century lithographer Fanny Palmer. Delamaire focuses upon the previously overlooked cultural aspects of this artist’s work and the emergence of lithography as both an art form and a business and examines the partnership between Palmer and her husband, who acted as her printer. Irving looks closely at the materials that were used in lithography and considers how their development as the field progressed affected the quality of the works that could be produced. In particular, Irving shows how adept Palmer was in her use of different drawing tools in order to create desired artistic effects.

Lecture 3 – Rock, Paper, Press: Collecting Prints and Geological Knowledge in the 1820s with Rebecca Szantyr
In the third lecture, Brown University Ph.D. candidate Rebecca Szantyr explores four prints from the Issachar Cozzens Portfolio Print Collection at the New York Historical Society Museum and Library that were originally owned by the physician and naturalist Samuel L. Mitchell and include some of the earliest examples of lithography produced in New York City. Szantyr presents the historical significance of the prints as well as what they might have meant personally to Mitchell and Cozzens, particularly in regard to their interest in mineralogy and geology. Her discussion considers these works as tools for communication that go beyond the realistic representation of specimens and thereby demonstrate the ways that lithography was used to reach a variety of audiences.



October 27, 2017
John Wilmerding
Lane Lithographs: An Overview

VL56 - Lane Lithographs: An Overview with John Wilmerding - 10-27-2017 from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

Offered in conjunction with the exhibition Drawn from Nature and on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane, which was on view at the Cape Ann Museum from October 7 through March 4, 2018, this lecture features John Wilmerding, retired Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art and a noted Fitz Henry Lane scholar. Wilmerding traces the evolution of Fitz Henry Lane’s artistic style from his early work in sheet music covers to his mid-career panoramic harbor views to his later and more sophisticated maritime compositions. While placing images of Lane’s lithographs and paintings side by side with those of potential influential contemporaries such as Robert Salmon and John Quidor, Wilmerding presents accepted facts and poses intriguing new questions that warrant further research, demonstrating that an art historian’s work is never truly finished.



July 19, 2007
Carol Troyen
Fitz Henry Lane and Maxim and Martha Karolik – A Tale of Two Love Stories 

VL05 - Fitz Henry Lane and Maxim and Martha Karolik - A Tale of Two Love Stories with Carol Troyen - 07-19-2007 from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

Held at Gloucester City Hall, this is the first in a series of three guest lectures presented to coincide with Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen: Old Mysteries and New Discoveries, an exhibition offered at the Cape Ann Museum from July 7, 2007, through September 16, 2007. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, curator Carol Troyen speaks about the husband and wife collecting team of Maxim and Martha Karolik in terms of their focus on many previously ignored chapters in American fine and decorative arts. In particular, Troyen discusses the Karoliks’ part in the quiet rediscovery of 19th century artists such as Fitz Henry Lane and Martin Johnson Heade in light of the prevailing cultural moods of the first half of the 20th century. Along with their particular interest in self-taught artists with modest reputations, the Karoliks’ commitment of over 2,000 objects to the MFA’s collections has helped to build critical acclaim for several subsets of American art.



July 6, 2007
Professor John Wilmerding
Fitz Henry Lane & Mary Blood Mellen – Old Mysteries and New Discoveries

VL04 - Fitz Henry Lane & Mary Blood Mellen - Old Mysteries and New Discoveries with Professor John Wilmerding - 07-06-2007 from Cape Ann Museum on Vimeo.

This lecture by American Art historian and collector John Wilmerding explores the stylistic differences between Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen as highlighted by the exhibit of the same name, which was featured at the Cape Ann Museum from July 7, 2007, until September 16, 2007. Mary Blood Mellen was a close friend and student of Lane’s, but as is often the case within an artist’s studio, the role she may have had in completing some of his works and creating her own is not always clear. This exhibition, which was curated by Wilmerding, displays paintings by Lane and Mellen side by side, many for the first time. While pointing out works that lack concrete documentation upon which to rely, Wilmerding’s lecture focuses on the characteristics and capabilities of each artist so that viewers can draw their own conclusions about the nature of their collaboration.

Citation: "Videos and Lectures." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. (accessed April 20, 2024).
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