This colorful and light-filled masterpiece by the American Impressionist Childe Hassam held a special place within the artist’s home. In a 1956 letter to Richard Howard, first director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Joseph Gotlieb, a New York art dealer, explained, “Building the Schooner, Provincetown was one of Mrs. Hassam’s personal favorites, and the painting was never for sale while Mr. or Mrs. Hassam lived. I personally remember seeing it there on the wall.” In 1900, Hassam visited Provincetown, Massachusetts, the historic and picturesque village at the tip of Cape Cod. Once a thriving center for fishing, whaling, and shipbuilding, by the time Hassam visited, the town had begun to rely heavily on tourism. Here, Hassam depicts a once frequent, but now rare event: the building of a schooner. Commissioned as a luxury yacht by a Chicago millionaire, the Charlotte was the first large ship to be built in Provincetown in a quarter of a century.
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- Titles Building the Schooner, Provincetown (Proper)
- Artist Childe Hassam, American, 1859 - 1935
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 22 x 28 in. (55.9 x 71.1 cm) frame: 31 1/8 × 33 × 2 1/4 in. (79.1 × 83.8 × 5.7 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase, 1956.22
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Inscription Verso, top stretcher bar, upper right, graphite: Box 1#3 [more characters hidden under tacking margin] Verso, top stretcher bar, upper right, black stamp: E / A / M [surrounded by bisected rectangle] /1219 [numbers incised in pen] Verso, left stretcher bar, center left, black crayon: B N [?] 2 A [crossed through B13-3- Verso, right stretcher bar, bottom right, black crayon: [illegible characters, marked out] 60 [or GO or G] Verso, bottom stretcher bar, center left, graphite: BOX NO 1 [marked out in black crayon] Verso, bottom stretcher bar, center, graphite, BOX 6-1 [circled] Verso, bottom stretcher bar, center right, black crayon: [two illegible characters] 2 A [crossed through] Frame, verso, bottom rail, incised metal medallion attached with two screws: 1525 York Ave. NYC 10028 (212) 744-6521 / ELI WILNER / & / COMPANY / Period Frames & Mirrors / Replica Frame Backing board, verso, encapsulated label, printed label: CHILDE HASSAM An American Impressionist / BUILDING THE SCHOONER, PROVINCETOWN [typed] / TITLE / 1900 / DATE / Oil on canvas / MEDIUM / 22 X 28 in. / DIMENSIONS / 42 / CATALOGUE NUMBER / Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art, / Alabama; Museum purchase / LENDER / November 1 – December 15, 1999 / ADELSON GALLERIES, INC. / The Mark Hotel 25 East 77th Street Third Floor New York 10021 / Tel (212) 439-6800 Fax (212) 439-6870 Backing board, verso, encapsulated label, printed: BRUCE MUSEUM / of Arts and Science / One Museum Drive Greenwich, CT 06830-7100 / 203.869.0376 / www.brucemuseum.org / AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM: / THE BEAUTY OF WORK / September 14, 2005 - January 8, 2006 / Childe Hassam / Building a Schooner, Provincetown, 1900 / Birmingham Museum of Art, Museum Purchase Backing board, verso, encapsulated label, printed: THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA / TUCSON, ARIZONA 85721 / MUSEUM OF ART / OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR / CHILDE HASSAM RETROSPECTIVE / Feb. 5 – March 5, 1972 [red circular sticker placed on label] Backing board, verso, encapsulated label, graphite on rectangular label with red boarder: BUILDING THE SCHOONER / Provincetown 1900 Backing board, verso, encapsulated label, graphite on rectangular label with red boarder: [ripped] uilding the Schooner, / Provincetown Backing board, verso, encapsulated label, sticker: S.B.M.A. [green printed ink] / 72/52/II [graphite] Detached label, object file, typed: SE 3761 [red ink] / MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS / BOSTON 15, MASSACHUSETTS / #56.22 [black ink] / Artist: CHILDE HASSAM / Title: Building the Schooner, Provincetown (30) / Exhibition: CHILDE HASSAM / Lender: Birmingham Museum of Art / Address: 2000 Eighth Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama Detached label, object file, pen: DENNISON MFG. CO. U.S.A. [typed] / Crate #4 / Building A Schooner / Childe Hassam / 1 pgt
- Provenance Childe Hassam (1859-1935), in Provincetown, Rhode Island, 1900; bequeathed to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, 1900 [see note 1]; consigned to dealer Milch Galleries, New York, by 1955; purchased by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1956
1. Hassam left many works in his estate to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he was a member. He intended for the organization to sell the paintings to buy works from living artists for dispersal to American and Canadian museums. For more information, see Weinberg, Helene Barbara. Childe Hassam: American Impressionist. New Haven; Yale University Press, 2004, page 325.