Artwork of the Week: August 2, 2020
Winslow Homer (1836-1910), August in the Country – The Sea Shore, in Harper’s Weekly, 1859, wood engraving, 9 1/8 x 13 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
During the 19th century, trips to the seaside became a popular form of leisure as well as for restorative health practices. This engraved illustration, an image created by Winslow Homer, shows a summer day on an east coast beach. Ladies and gentlemen stroll, read, talk, and watch the scenery; children run and play; a man flourishes a lobster, much to the abhorrence of his mannerly companion.
Harper’s Weekly began circulating in 1857 and became one of the nation’s most widespread publications, partly because of its generous use of images to inform and entertain. Homer, one of America’s celebrated artists, began his career illustrating for publications like Harper’s and became a full-time war illustrator for the magazine throughout the Civil War.