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lower left: WINSLOW HOMER / 1873


Joseph Harper, Jr., New York, in at least 1874;[1] to his son, William Harper, New York; to his son, John Harper; by inheritance to his wife, Olive E. Harper [later Mrs. Grismer], Hollywood, California; (Pierre F. Nesi, Beverly Hills), in 1946;[2] (Wildenstein & Co., New York), by at least 1948;[3] purchased January 1954 by Paul Mellon [1907-1999], Upperville, Virginia; bequest 1999 to NGA, with life interest to Mrs. Mellon; life interest released 2001.

Exhibition History

Forty-Ninth Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, New York, 1874, no. 358.
The Coast and the Sea: A Survey of American Marine Painting, Brooklyn Museum, 1948-1949, no. 58, repro., as Waiting for Dad.
Master Painters, Des Moines Art Center, September-October 1951, no. 21, repro.
Winslow Homer: Illustrator, 1860-1875, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, February 1951, no. 23, as Waiting for Dad.
Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings by Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, Allied Arts Association, Houston, 1952.
Winslow Homer: A Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1958-1959, no. 28, as Waiting for Dad.
Homer and the Sea: A Loan Exhibition of Marine Paintings of Winslow Homer, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Mariners Museum, Newport News, 1964, no. 7.
American Art from Alumni Collections, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 1968, no. 104, repro., as Waiting for Dad.
Winslow Homer, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago, 1973, no. 22, repro.
American Light: The Luminist Movement, 1850-1875, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980, unnumbered catalogue, fig. 177.
Loan to display with permament collection in conjunction with an exhibition of Winslow Homer watercolors, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1986.
Art for the Nation: Gifts in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1991, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2005-2006, unnumbered brochure.
Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and "The Life Line", Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2012.


"Dad's Coming" (an engraving of the painting), Harper's Weekly (1 November 1873).
Bolton, John. "The Art of Winslow Homer: an estimate in 1932." Fine Arts (February 1932): 53.
Goodrich, Lloyd. Winslow Homer. New York, 1959: repro.
Gardner, Albert Ten Eyck. Winslow Homer, American Artist: His World and His Work. New York, 1961: repro., as Waiting for Dad.
Novak, Barbara. American Painting of the Nineteenth Century: Realism, Idealism, and the American Experience. 2nd ed. New York, 1979: 178, fig. 10-15. (3rd ed. Oxford, 2007: 150, plate 12.
Wilmerding, John. "Winslow Homer's Dad's Coming." In Essays in Honor of Paul Mellon, Collector and Benefactor. Washington, D.C., 1986: 389-401, color repro. and fig. 1.
Conrads, Margaret C. Winslow Homer and the Critics: Forging a National Art in the 1870s. Exh. cat. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Los Angeles Museum of Art; High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Princeton, 2001: 54-62, 221 n. 43, fig. 45.
Goodrich, Lloyd, and Abigail Booth Gerdts. Record of Works by Winslow Homer, vol. 2. New York: Spanierman Gallery, 2005, no. 476.
Foster, Kathleen A. "Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and 'The Life Line'." American Art Review 24, no. 6 (November-December 2012): 87, color repro.

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