New exhibit at Milford Antique Co-op

  • A painting by Aldro T. Hibbard.

Published: 10/3/2018 2:45:02 PM

New Hampshire Antique Co-op will present “The Cape Ann School & Rockport Art Tradition,” a fine-art exhibit and sale of paintings representative of this artistic genre, opening Oct. 13 and running through Jan. 31, 2019.

For more than a century, painters have been attracted to Cape Ann, located in the northeast coastal region of Massachusetts, as well as the small seaport towns that make up this area, including Rockport. This area presents a broad array of subject matter for artists including sailing ships, rugged beaches and waves crashing over rocks, as well as established woodlands, salt marshes and pasture.

In 1921, a group of these artists formed the Rockport Art Association, which is now the oldest art colony in the nation. These Cape Ann artists captured everyday life in the region and their tradition of painting became known as the Cape Ann School. Closely aligned with the Boston School, they took inspiration from American Impressionists and were some of the first American artists to employ plein air painting techniques. The Cape Ann School became influential enough to inspire many painters of the first half of the 20th century to lighten their palettes after visiting Cape Ann.

Early painters of the Cape Ann School represented in this show include Anthony Thieme (1888-1954), a major figure in Rockport’s art history, known for his maritime and landscape works; Aldro T. Hibbard (1886-1972), a Cape Ann artist who wintered in Vermont, known for both his Cape Ann and New England winter paintings, Emile Gruppe (1896-1978), known for his portrayal of Gloucester’s harbor and village homes, as well as rural Vermont; and William Lester Stevens (1888-1969), Rockport’s first native-born artist. 

A gallery walk, led by Jason Hackler, co-owner of New Hampshire Antique Co-op, will be held on Oct.14 at 1 p.m. in the Upstairs Gallery at New Hampshire Antique Co-op. Hackler will present highlights of the exhibit and discuss featured Rockport artists of the era. Refreshments will be served. This event is held in conjunction with New Hampshire Antique Co-op’s 35th anniversary open house celebration weekend. 

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