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Winslow Homer Educational Posters, Art Prints, Books, Video, Links for Learning
for the arts and social studies classrooms, home schoolers, and Winslow Homer scholars.

history of art > WINSLOW HOMER < famous men < social studies

Winslow Homer was a mostly self taught 19th century American artist whose only formal training was an apprenticeship to a lithographer, after which he worked as an illustrator for Harper's Weekly magazine producing pictures of Civil War soldiers. His early paintings, featuring children and country life, remain popular as representations of a supposedly less complicated time.

Art History

Masterworks of Art - Winslow Homer - Snap the Whip Wall Poster
Masterworks of Art
Winslow Homer
Snap the Whip

Snap the Whip

• more Masterworks of Art series

Breezing Up, Winslow Homer, Giclee Print
Breezing Up
Art Print

Breezing Up

Homer's mature work focused on marine subjects that put humans in context of "the lonely sea and the sky".

• more cloud posters

The Gulf Stream, 1899 Art Print, Winslow Homer
The Gulf Stream,
1899 Art Print,
Winslow Homer

The Gulf Stream

In 1899 Winslow Homer illustrated the world in a metaphor of a black man adrift in a less than sea worthy boat, surrounded by sharks.

• "The criticisms... by old women and others are noted. You may inform these people that the Negro did not starve to death. He was not eaten by the sharks. The waterspout did not hit him. And he was rescued by a passing ship." -letter to his dealer on the painting Gulf Stream

The Herring Net Art Print, Winslow Homer
The Herring Net
Art Print,
Winslow Homer

The Herring Net

Herring are a very important fish in the ocean food chain and have been known as a staple human food source since 3000 BC.

• more seafood posters

Boys in a Pasture, Art Print, Winslow Homer
Boys in a Pasture,
Art Print,
Winslow Homer

Boys in a Pasture
Winslow Homer

Blackboard, Art Print, Winslow Homer
Art Print,
Winslow Homer

A watercolor entitled "Blackboard" shows a girl at a blackboard with geometric symbols that have been identified as "belonging to a method of drawing instruction popular in American schools in the 1870s."

Blackboard, Art Print, Winslow Homer
Lincoln is Inaugurated
at Washington,
Giclee Print,
Winslow Homer

• more Lincoln posters

General Mcclellan's 6th Pennsylvania, Giclee Print, Winslow Homer
General Mcclellan's
6th Pennsylvania,
Giclee Print,
Winslow Homer

General McClellan's 6th Pennsylvania, Giclee Print, Winslow Homer

• more Civil War posters

Winslow Homer Quotes:
• "You will see, in the future I will live by my watercolors."
• "The sun will not rise or set without my notice, and thanks."
• "It is wonderful how much depends upon the relations of black and white... A black and white, if properly balanced, suggests colour."
• "You have the sky overhead giving one light; then the reflected light from whatever reflects; then the direct light of the sun; so that, in the blending and suffusing of these several luminations, there is no such thing as a line to be seen anywhere."
• "Look at nature, work independently, and solve your own problems."
• "What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way."
Winslow Homer
b. 2-24-1836; Boston, MA
d. 9-29-1910; Maine


Winslow Homer - This book discusses and reproduces more than two hundred paintings, watercolors, and drawings that span Winslow Homer`s career, focusing not only on Homer's masterpieces in various media but also on the suites of works on the same subject that reflect the artist's essentially modern practice of thinking and working serially and thematically.

Weathering the Storm: Inside Winslow Homer's Gulf Stream - Perhaps no other American painting is at once so familiar and so little understood as Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream (1899). For more than a century, scholars have praised the artist and yet puzzled over this harrowing scene of a black man adrift in the open sea, in a derelict boat surrounded by sharks. Critical commentary, when it has departed at all from the painting’s composition and coloring, has generally viewed The Gulf Stream as a universal parable on the human condition or as an anecdotal image of a coastal storm.

There is more to this stark masterpiece, says Peter H. Wood, a historian and an authority on images of blacks in Homer’s work. To understand the painting in less noticed but more meaningful ways, says Wood, we must dive more deeply into Homer’s past as an artist and our own past as a nation. Looking at The Gulf Stream and the development of Homer’s social conscience in ways that traditional art history and criticism do not allow, Wood places the picture within the tumultuous legacy of slavery and colonialism at the end of the nineteenth century.

Viewed in light of such events as the Spanish American War, the emergence of Jim Crow practices in the South, and the publication of Rudyard Kipling’s epochal poem "The White Man’s Burden," The Gulf Stream takes on deeper layers of meaning. The storm on the horizon, the sharks and flying fish in the water, the sugarcane stalks protruding from the boat’s hold—-these are just some of the elements in what Wood reveals to be a richly symbolic tableau of the Black Atlantic world, linking the histories of Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.

By examining the "present" that shaped The Gulf Stream more than a century ago, and by resurrecting half-forgotten elements of the "past" that sustain the painting’s abiding mystery and power, Wood suggests a promising way to use history to comprehend art and art to fathom history.

Winslow Homer and the Sea - Winslow Homer (1836-1910) devoted much of his life to a study of the ocean and the people whose lives were intertwined with it. This book is the first to focus on the full range of Homer’s coastal subjects, with thirty-six reproductions of his most powerful works. Carl Little’s essay discusses Homer’s development as a painter; quotations from writers such as Homer scholar Philip C. Beam and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins add a further dimension to the thorough and enlightening text.

Winslow Homer: Artist and Angler - this engaging book and the exhibition that it accompanies are the first to look closely at Winslow Homer's avid pursuit of fly-fishing and at the inspiration that the sport provided for his art.

The Watercolors of Winslow Homer - Winslow Homer's watercolors rank among the greatest pictorial legacies of this country. Winslow Homer's first medium was oil painting, although to make ends meet, he did commercial illustration and chronicled the New York City social scene. Eventually, Homer withdrew from city life altogether to settle at Prout's Neck on the rocky New England coast. There he turned to watercolor, in part for financial reasons (watercolors were easier to sell), but the newly popular medium also enabled him to capture his impressions of scenery and landscapes encountered during his many travels with an immediacy and directness impossible in the more time-consuming oils. Of his more than 700 watercolors, over 140 are reproduced here, dating from the 1870s to the turn of the century and ranging from pastoral to narrative, dramatic to serene. Miles Unger's text provides insight into the artist's technical mastery of the medium and discusses the importance of Homer's watercolors within the larger body of his work. 140 color illustrations. (book description)

Winslow Homer: Nature of Artist VHS (2000) - This program traces Homer's art from his early Civil War illustrations to the powerful images of nature found in his mature work. Art historian John Wilmerding guides viewers through Homer's accomplishments, giving particular attention to his use of watercolor, a medium with which the artist achieved new expressiveness.

Winslow Homer : An American Original VHS (1999) - a rich and intense drama infused with lively symphonic music and the poetry of Walt Whitman. The headstrong artist has arrived in the quiet New England countryside to bury the ghosts of the Civil War, but his serenity is interrupted by two teenagers who work their way into his life. The most famous American painter of his day, Winslow Homer had a distinctive eye and captured the mood of rural and seaside America in a career that spanned the Civil War and stretched into the 20th century. Homer was a very private person who kept to himself. He often put up signs reading, "Snakes, snakes and mice" to keep away unwanted visitors and some say that his favourite phrase was, "Mind your own business." But the world did take notice, and in 1998 Microsoft's Bill Gates paid over 30 million dollars for Homer's "Lost on the Grand Banks," making it the most expensive American painting ever sold.


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