“I adore works on paper and I’ve seen a number of Whorf’s Boston watercolors, but more often than not, they depict a cloudy or rainy day. I love that this painting is a bright spring or fall afternoon, and that it captures a scene so familiar to me, just a few blocks away from the gallery! To top it all off, I find it charming that Whorf painted this work for his friends who were considering relocating to the West Coast. He includes a moving truck right in the fray of the scene, as if his friends were packing up to leave at that moment.”
-Nora Owens, Gallery Associate
More information about this painting...
Having known the artist through relatives for some time, the owners of this work visited Whorf’s Provincetown studio on New Year’s Day, 1949, and spoke about their upcoming move to California. Whorf presented this watercolor of a bustling Back Bay afternoon as a memento of their East Coast roots, a scene that features, amusingly, a long-distance moving van and a two-way Dartmouth Street, which has since been altered for one-way traffic. The couple never did relocate to the West Coast, but continued to enjoy the watercolor for decades in their Massachusetts home.
Gift from the artist, Provincetown, Massachusetts
To private collection, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, January 1949 to present
(verso of paper) To Mr. + Mrs. / Rheault / John Whorf