Garden at Finisterre, Eastern Point, Gloucester, MA was included in the Vose Galleries 1913 exhibition and depicts Mrs. John Clay gathering a bouquet from the impressive array of blooms growing at her sprawling estate, located within view of the Eastern Point Lighthouse. Built in 1888 by John Lewis of Cincinnati, Ohio, the estate was purchased by the Clays, of Chicago, around 1901 to be used as a summer home, and Mrs. Clay, an avid gardener, created the spectacular flower garden which Graves brilliantly captures.
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Graves’ passion for flowers and gardens dovetailed with his lifelong interest in architecture, specifically the doorways of Federalist and Colonial Revival homes of Kennebunkport and other historic New England towns. Dappled in sun- or moonlight and flanked by blossoming shrubs and trees, these paintings found ready collectors who shared the artist’s belief that art should bring pleasure to the viewer, a sentiment expressed by his friend, the artist George Alfred Williams, who acknowledged Graves’ “gift to see in the every-day things around him those eternal beauties which can make his work permanent because of its true appeal to the appreciative soul of all humanity.”
 Abbott Filler Graves 1859-1936, exhibition catalogue, The Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, Maine, 1979.
From the artist
With Vose Galleries, (no inventory no. noted), December 1913 to January 1914, on exhibition
Returned to artist
Eventually to private collection, Newton, Massachusetts
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 29558, July 1989
Returned to private collection, May 1991
By descent through the family to private collection, Newton Centre, Massachusetts, 2006 to present
(on lower stretcher) No 2
Exhibition of Paintings of New England Gardens by Abbott Graves, Vose Galleries, Boston, December 29, 1913 – January 10, 1914, no. 3, Mrs. John Clay’s Garden, Eastern Point, Gloucester