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Ship-Building, Gloucester Harbor After Winslow Homer, Ship-Building, Gloucester Harbor, published 1873, wood engraving on newsprint, Avalon Fund

Four Boys on a Beach, c. 1873, graphite with watercolor and gouache on paper, John Davis Hatch Collection, Andrew W. Mellon Fund

Four Boys on a Beach

Homer often assembled his prints from diverse sources. In Ship-Building, Gloucester Harbor, he brought together from four different works, including two oil paintings, a drawing, and a watercolor of four boys, who appear in reverse. Children often gathered in the shipyard after school, to collect chips for kindling, build chip houses, observe the workmen, and to carve and rig miniature vessels. The text that acccompanied the print in Harper's Weekly described the picture as "interesting not only as a work of art, but as a suggestion of the renewed enterprise and activity which are beginning to manifest themselves in American ship-yards. All along our immense line of coast may be seen indications which awaken the hope that America will soon resume her former supremacy in building ships."

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