- Digital Scholarship
Harbor Views: Images of New Bedford and Fairhaven
from the Permanent Collection
Exhibition Dates: 2013 – March 17, 2014
View of New Bedford from Fairhaven by Wiliam Allen Wall, #1979.54
Whaling and seaborne trade were ever at the core of New Bedford’s prosperity, and its flourishing harbor remained the focus and epicenter of the city’s many commercial and manufacturing activities. The harbor was also a major focus of an extraordinarily productive local “school” of artists who flourished on both sides of the Acushnet River and included some of America’s most distinguished marine painters, among them German-born Albert Bierstadt, Dutch-born Albert Van Beest, native sons William Bradford, R. Swain Gifford, and L.D. Eldred, the versatile landscape painter and portraitist William Allen Wall, and such other local lights as Charles H. Gifford, Dwight W. Tryon, Clement Nye Swift, Clifford Warren Ashley, and Francisco Rapoza.
The Museum is fortunate to have assembled during the 110-plus years of its existence a splendid array of paintings and drawings by these artists from New Bedford and Fairhaven, enabling us to exhibit a broad selection of views of the harbor — the harbor that made the city’s fortunes, providing the prosperity that effectively fueled the artists’ careers as it did the local industries, resulting an enduring legacy for future generations.