Mary Townsend Mason, The Afternoon Boat

Mary Townsend Mason: The Afternoon Boat (1931) Oil on canvas
The Afternoon Boat
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Museum purchase, 1951
20 x 32 3/4 in.

Located on Monhegan Island, Maine, the artist’s daughter Polly reclines in a hammock as a second girl seated on the railing of a porch overlooking the sea sits reading. The scene is lit in brilliant sunlight. A small steamboat passes along the right. Another island rests further off in the distance, as the leftmost area behind the figures is obscured by trees leading down to a  rocky coast.

Ever popular among artists, especially within the 19th century, impressionists such as Mary Butler and Constance Cochrane were attracted to the coastal and cliffside views of Monhegan. The island also boasted an art colony that included the likes of  Robert Henri, George Bellows, and Edward Hopper. A substantial artist community still exists there today.

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