"I first learned of the work of Gordon Grant while researching the permanent collection of the White House to discover which paintings had been chosen by each President to grace the walls of their Oval Office. During his tenure Harry S. Truman selected Grant’s depiction of the U.S.S. Constitution from the prestigious group to hang in a place of honor behind the Oval desk. The Mackerel Seine is similar atmospherically, with its large billowing clouds and light filtered diagonally through the composition. The rainstorms in the distance and the fishermen’s hauling of the net mimic the slant of the sunlight, which combined with the motion of the waves and circling of the seabirds give the whole piece kinetic energy, bringing a strong sense of multi-dimensional movement to the canvas."
-Catharine L. Holmes, Director of Marketing
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The Mackerel Seine is a brilliant example of Grant’s work, demonstrating his firsthand knowledge of maritime life and his respect for the hardy souls who toil on the sea, often at the mercy of Mother Nature. Exhibited at the Salmagundi Club in early 1951, the painting reveals the artist’s talent for translating the proper movement of the vessels on the water, the ebb and flow of the ocean currents, and the play of sunlight breaking through cloud cover as a rainstorm bears down in the distance. Carl Helm, the author of a 1928 article in Popular Science Monthly titled “Romance with the Fishing Fleet,” describes the process of fishing for mackerel off the New England coast, a venture that runs from March through October: “Most exciting is the life of the purse seining fleet. A big net of light, tarred twine is fitted on the boat bottom with small lead weights to sink it quickly. Tied to the top are cork floats, to keep the ‘head’ above water. Around the ‘foot’ and rove through many iron rings so that it will work easily is the purse-line, a rope to draw the seine together like a bag….Then the fishing vessel itself comes alongside the seine. One end of the net is secured to the rail of the vessel, while the seine boat holds up the other. A ‘pocket’ is formed, from which the fish are bailed out onto the deck of the vessel.”
 “Romance with the Fishing Fleet,” by Carl Helm. Popular Science Monthly, July 1928, Vol. 113, No. 1, pp. 32-33.
Strong Museum, Rochester, New York
To collection, Geneseo, New York, 2015
(top stretcher in ink) 77.1641
(partially torn) 1951 / Salmagundi Club / Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings / Artist: Go—(torn)—T /Title: The—(torn)
Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings, Salmagundi Club, New York, February 10 – March 2, 1951, no. 26 as The Mackerel Seine