While Old Wentworth House, and Kittery Navy Yard portrays a site over one hundred miles away from the peaks and valleys of the White Mountains, Shapleigh rendered the scene with the same pleasing palette and eye for composition that he devoted to his mountain and interior subjects.
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What initially drew Shapleigh to the Portsmouth/New Castle area is unknown, but the unique asymmetrical appearance of the Wentworth-Coolidge home, comprised of four to five existing buildings brought to Portsmouth for assembly, makes it an eye-catching structure along the tranquil waterfront, and would have been especially appealing for an artist like Shapleigh who appreciated antique objects and old buildings.
Shapleigh exhibited at the Boston Art Club and at New York’s National Academy of Design, and today his work can be found at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, and the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
By descent through a family for at least two generations to private collection, Haverhill, Massachusetts, to present
(verso of canvas) Old Wentworth House, and / Kittery Navy Yard / by / F. H. Shapleigh
(on left stretcher) original Frost & Adams label, 10 x 16