Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony at Cape Cod Museum of Art

When Charles Hawthorne opened his Cape Cod School of Art in 1899, he propelled the little fishing village of Provincetown into a flourishing art center.

"Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony" is both the title of a new two-volume set of books and an exhibition at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.

Through August 7, museum visitors can view highlights of the rich cultural heritage of Cape Cod through a wonderful cross-section of works from the Provincetown artists. The exhibit is directly associated with Deborah Forman's new book, Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony. In 2010, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated Provincetown "home of the nation's oldest art colony." Forman's book is largely based on her interviews with artists and writers, and traces that important history.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Deborah Forman will give a talk and book signing for Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony on Thursday, July 7 at 6 p.m., free with museum admission. Admission on Thursdays is by donation.

The tradition of art schools is vital to the vibrancy of the art colony and most important was Hans Hofmann's school, which opened in 1935. In the 23 years he taught there, he introduced European modernism and attracted thousands of artists, many of whom made significant contributions to American art.

Throughout the century, artists continued to find Provincetown a welcoming and inspiring place to create. Many of these artists, who developed national and international reputations, were associated with the movements that transported the world art center from Paris to New York and made America a driving force during the last half of the 20th century.

Forman's book is distinctive because it captures so many of the artists in their own settings and with their own words. A microcosm of American art during that century, Provincetown hosted a diversity of styles, including traditional art, impressionism, early modernism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and beyond.

The author first studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and has exhibited her works in galleries on the Cape, in New York and Philadelphia. She also holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia, and was Editor-in-Chief of Cape Cod VIEW magazine for five years.

Prior to taking that position, she was the Features Editor of the Cape Cod Times. As part of her work for the Times, she interviewed many artists, including Robert Motherwell, Jack Tworkov, Myron Stout, Fritz Bultman, Chaim Gross, Raphael Soyer, Red Grooms, Jim Peters, Paul Resika, Arnold Newman, Joel Meyerowitz and Michael Mazur. These interviews inform her new book.

Talking to painters and photographers has enriched her experience as an artist, she says. Each interview was like a mini-course in art. Her articles have been published in the Cape Cod Times, Cape Cod VIEW and Art New England, and now as this two volume set, Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony.

Studio Concept II, Salvatore Del Deo Published courtesy of the Cape Cod Museum of Art
Studio Concept II, Salvatore Del Deo Published courtesy of the Cape Cod Museum of Art

The CCMA exhibition by the same name features 80 works, including paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs. Major artists represented in the exhibit include Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Jack Tworkov, Adolph Gottlieb, Helen Frankenthaler, Edward Hopper, Milton Avery, Red Grooms and Michael Mazur. Also included are works by artists who secured the foundation of the colony in the early years. Among these notables are Charles Hawthorne Ross Moffett, Edwin Dickinson, Blanche Lazzell and Chaim Gross.

Lenders to the exhibition include museums, estates, New York and Provincetown galleries, as well as private collectors. Major loans were made through the generosity of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum; The Dedalus Foundation, Inc.; The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust; the estates of Jack Tworkov and Michael Mazur; New Britain Museum of American Art; Ameringer-McEnery-Yohe Gallery; Knoedler Gallery; Michael Rosenfeld Gallery; Washburn Gallery; Berta Walker Gallery; and Albert Merola Gallery. The exhibition is sponsored by Terry Hart Cogan and Richard Cuda and Family.

To purchase Deborah Forman's Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony visit:

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Cape Cod Museum of Art

Located at 60 Hope Lane (off Route 6A)
on the grounds of Cape Cod Center for the Arts
in Dennis, MA

Admission: $8 Free for ages 18 or younger & museum members

Spring Hours:

Wednesday - Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday, 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday, noon – 5 pm