Exhibition Opening & Lecture
The Photographer’s Brush: Watercolors by Norman Fortier
Friday, June 7, 2019
6:45 pm – 7:30 pm
Caption: Norman Fortier, Norman Fortier’s Elm Street Studio and the Packet. Watercolor on paper. Collection of Nancy Wheelwright
Norman Fortier is best known nationally as a photographer, particularly for his maritime pictures of yachts and regattas taken in and around Buzzards Bay, Narragansett Bay, and other popular waters of New England. His photographs have been featured in publications and exhibitions at the Whaling Museum in recent decades, and over 100,000 of his negatives of these and other subjects are archived in our permanent collections. However, Fortier was also a terrific watercolor painter and his charming renderings of boats, people, and places in his beloved Padanaram and farther afield also benefited from his gifted eye for light and composition. At his harbor front studio on Elm Street, Fortier would host friends and fellow sailors, many of whom would commission a boat portrait or two by the charismatic artist. In the upcoming exhibition, old friends, family, and fans have loaned the majority of the watercolors on display, which together display his extraordinary range of style, from broad planes of colorful spinnakers at the starting line to playful light flickering off the trees of Elm Street, to images of clapboard houses reminiscent of Edward Hopper. The Photographer’s Brush presents a unique opportunity to see many works from private collections by a truly remarkable local artist.
The lecture was given by Museum Trustee and long-time friend of Fortier, Ed Howland.
*Exhibition opening was free and open to the public. The lecture was a ticketed event.
Event Flyer (pdf)
Exhibition and companion catalog sponsors
Thomas A. & Elizabeth R. McKay
Carol M. Taylor & John H. Deknatel
Patricia A. Jayson
Ann & D. Lloyd Macdonald
Mary Jean & Bill Blasdale
Nancy C. Crosby
Tally & John N. Garfield, Jr.
Jessie W. & Llewellyn Howland III
Frances F. Levin
Timmy & Gil Shapiro