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 Horace Greeley Hewes  (1849 - 1927)

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Lived/Active: Maine/Massachusetts      Known for: coastal view and landscape painting

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Ad Code: 4
Horace G Hewes
from Auction House Records.
A Lane of the Sea.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from
The following information was submitted July 2006 by Laurence I. Hewes III, paternal great grandson of Horace Greeley Hewes


An exhibition at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. of 18 of the paintings of the American Impressionist artist, Horace Greeley Hewes, who lived and worked in New England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is on view from May 13 to September 17, 2006.  It is the first exhibition of the artist’s paintings in more than 80 years.

Sarah Cash, the Bechoefer Curator of American Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, notes that, having been slow to embrace Impressionism, the American Impressionist movement “maintained the essential forms of the objects they depicted, unlike the French Impressionists who dissolved form into the paint.  Furthermore, American Impressionists tended to have diverse approaches rather than a uniform style.”*  The book, American Impressionism, adds that this group of American artists were especially interested in the American landscape, still unspoiled at that time.... “landscape insures the memory of a place,”**

All of this can be seen in the works of Horace Greeley Hewes on display in this exhibition.

The Hewes paintings are held by the artist’s family and in private collections, museums and galleries.  Detailed descriptions of many of his paintings, including all those in this exhibition can be viewed online at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American Art’s Inventory of American Painting and Sculpture and at its web site: (then search the name hewes, horace g.).

According to the staff of the Museum of American Art’s Inventory of American Painting, digital images of the works on exhibition here and other Horace Greeley Hewes paintings will be entered at that site soon, and thereafter can be viewed there.  Such images can be made available from the family upon request.

The Life and Work of Horace Greeley Hewes

Horace Greeley Hewes, named after the popular New York publisher, was born in Boston, Massachusetts on Nov. 17, 1849.  He was one of eight children of Virgil Hammond and Eliza McLane Hewes.  Horace Greeley Hewes died in Boston at the age of 78, on January 9, 1927, an amazingly long life at that time for any person to live and greater than today’s average life expectancy for men.  

Horace Greeley Hewes was a professional painter. He supported himself and his family by painting, an uncommonly risky business at that time considering the small American population, limitations of communications, the limited informed public and its fickle tastes, and unpredictable, cyclical sales.  Like any other artist, his work became known by word of mouth and through galleries in Braintree, Boston and, later, Ogunquit, Maine, and museum and gallery exhibitions, not unlike this one.  In his youth, he studied, among other places, at the Lowell Institute in Boston and with John Singer Sargent in that city. He may also have studied with Charles Woodbury and Hamilton Easter Field in Ogunquit, Maine.

He exhibited at various galleries, including, among others, The Boston Art Club (of which he was a member) in 1873, 1874, 1878, 1880 and 1881, among other years; the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association; Williams & Everett Gallery; Sullivan Brothers & Libbie; and the Jordan Art Gallery, Jordan Marsh & Co.; James R. Baker Antiques in Boston in 1991, Douglas Auctioneers in South Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1994, Wolf’s Auction Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio in 1989 and Young Fine Arts in North Berwick, Maine in 1993 and 1995 (as noted in the 2003/2004 Davenport’s Art Reference & Price Guide).  He also exhibited in Ogunquit Maine and Braintree MA.  In Braintree, he was exhibited at the Noyes & Blakeslee Gallery.

Since his death, his works have been exhibited and sold in such galleries as the Vose and Skinner Galleries in Boston (with recorded sales of his works as recently as 2001).  Ask, the online art research service, indicates sales of his work as recently as 2001.  His work was also carried by James R. Baker Antiques in Boston in 1991, Douglas Auctioneers in South Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1994, Wolf’s Auction Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio in 1989 and Young Fine Arts in North Berwick, Maine in 1993 and 1995 (as noted in the 2003/2004 Davenport’s Art Reference & Price Guide).  Other auction house art prices show his work sold at such galleries as Barridoff and others.

In 1874, he married Helen Ilsley Jones, in Portland, Maine.  She was a direct descendant of Priscilla and John Alden and other Mayflower settlers.  As a couple, Horace and his wife moved to Braintree, Massachusetts, where Hewes worked and lived until his wife’s death in 1898. They had three children, Helen Eliza, born in Boston in 1875, Laurence Ilsley (see below), born in Dover, New Hampshire in 1876 and Henry Jones, born in Portland, Maine in 1879.
In 1898, the painter moved back to Boston and spent his summers in Ogunquit, Maine, becoming part of the then recently established and now famous artists colony there, including, specifically, perhaps among others, the Ogunquit Art School and Artists' Colony.  For much of the rest of his life, he lived, worked and studied in Ogunquit during the summers and in Boston in the winter, with forays from time-to-time to other Maine locations to paint.  In his last years, it appears he returned to Boston, where he worked until he died there in 1927.

As mentioned, Hewes worked during the Impressionist movement that started and became a force in France, England and then in the United States in the late nineteenth century.  His landscapes and seascapes are reflective of this movement “to present paintings that focused on their immediate surroundings, and the transitory aspects of those surroundings.”  Hewes’ paintings demonstrate the impact of these revolutionary artists, thorough his understandings and skill with color, light, paint and subject matter.

Most of Hewes’ work consists of landscapes, seascapes and still lifes, typical subjects for such painters.  A beautiful, pastoral location like Ogunquit, Maine, with the sea close by and the rural countryside, and the particular light and colors of that area, was an ideal setting for such subjects and thus for painters drawn to such subjects.  It does not seem that Hewes painted any portraits, family scenes or cityscapes, also favorite Impressionist subjects.  Although he apparently undertook some sculpture and decorative work, only one such work is known and none are represented in this exhibition.

*/ “The Impressionist Tradition in America” Press Release, (July 19, 2003 to October 18, 2004) The Corcoran Gallery of Art.
**/ American Impressionism, 2d Ed. (Abbeville Press),, p. 6

Other Sources: 
Inventory of American Paintings;  Boston Art Club, Fine Arts Exhibition, January 1878
 Marlor, Clark S. The Society of Independent Artists: The Exhibition Record 1917-1944 (p. 295) (Noyes Press, Park Ridge, New Jersey)
Inventory of American Painters Executed Before 1914 Form notes for listing of painting of Mums, still life, IAP Control # 9C940003
The Boston Public Library, the Vose and Skinner Galleries in Boston, Massachusetts
Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine (which holds Hewes’ still life oil  painting “Water Lilies”)
The Smithsonian Institution/Museum of American Art’s Inventory of American Painting and Sculpture
Massachusetts State Archives
Probate courts for Suffolk and Norfolk counties, Massachusetts;
such web sites as;;;1am27.jpg
Family oral and written histories.

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