lower right: HOMER
By inheritance 1910 to the artist's brother, Charles Savage Homer, Jr.; by inheritance 1917 to his wife, Mrs. Charles Savage Homer, Jr.; given to John Wesley Beatty [1851-1924], Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; by inheritance to his son, John Wesley Beatty, Jr. [1890-1963], Homewood, Pennsylvania; bequest 1964 to NGA.
- National Gallery Loan Exhibition, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1967, no. 14.
- Extended loan for use by The White House, Washington, D.C., 1970-1974.
- Extended loan for use by Ambassador Stuart, U.S. Embassy residence, Oslo, Norway, 1985-1989.
- Extended loan for use by Secretary Lynn Martin, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., 1991-1993.
- Extended loan for use by Secretary Robert Reich, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., 1993-1997.
- Extended loan for use by Ambassador Philip Lader, U.S. Embassy residence, London, England, 2000-2001.
- Extended loan for use by Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 2002-2005.
- Extended loan for use by Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton, U.S. Embassy residence, Paris, France, 2005-2009.
- Extended loan for use by President Barack Obama, The White House, Washington, D.C., 2009-2017.
The support is a fine, plain-weave fabric with a white ground. Infrared reflectography reveals a cursorily brushed underdrawing outlining the background trees and figure and a slight repositioning of the boy's right arm. X-radiography shows reserves for the boy's shadow and the trees. The sky was painted in two stages, and traction crackle in the upper pink layer reveals a lower blue layer of paint. In 1956, the painting was relined and the varnish thinned during restoration. Considerable inpainting covers the traction crackle in the sky and water, and reinforces the boat's prow and the foliage along the horizon. The varnish has not discolored.
- "The Arts." Appleton's Journal 14 (6 November 1878): 603.
- American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 70, repro.
- Hendricks, Gordon. The Life and Work of Winslow Homer. New York, 1979: 101, 284, repro. 284.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 178, repro.
- Williams, William James. A Heritage of American Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1981: 172, repro.
- Wilmerding, John. "Winslow Homer's Dad's Coming." In John Wilmerding, ed. Essays in Honor of Paul Mellon, Collector and Benefactor. Washington, D.C., 1986: 399, repro. 398.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 204, repro.
- Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 309-311, repro.
- Goodrich, Lloyd, and Abigail Booth Gerdts. Record of Works by Winslow Homer, vol. 2. New York: Spanierman Gallery, 2005, no. 583.
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