Although best remembered for his mountain landscapes captured in all seasons, Salt Island, Gloucester, Massachusetts is a sparkling rendition of the (currently) uninhabited island just off Good Harbor Beach, which has been undeveloped and privately owned for generations and was listed for sale in 2017. It remains open to the public and today beachgoers can walk along a sandbar during low tide to explore the island’s rocky terrain, but during Allen’s time and up into the 1950s, the Parsons family operated their lobster business from the outpost. One can imagine the man in the foreground, with his dory full of traps, might have been one of the Messrs. Parsons bringing in his catch.
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Salt Island, Gloucester, Massachusetts was included in Vose Galleries’ 1951 show, and twenty years later it returned to the gallery through Allen’s estate in preparation for another solo exhibition of his oil paintings planned for 1973. Robert C. Vose, Jr., however, was so taken with the piece that he purchased it a year before the show opened! In the 1973 catalogue, his brother S. Morton Vose expressed the gallery’s pleasure to be handling Allens work again, welcoming “the return of an old friend.”
 Landscapes in Oil by Charles Curtis Allen 1886-1950, Vose Galleries, Boston, exhibition catalogue, May 7 – June 1, 1973.
From the artist
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 12318, July 1940
Returned to artist, September 1942
Eventually to the estate of the artist upon his passing
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. A-291, 1972
To collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Vose, Jr., July 1972
By descent through the family to present
(on crossbar) SALT ISLAND / By Chas. Curtis Allen
1). (handwritten) 622/7
2). Grand Central Art Galleries, Inc. / 15 Vanderbilt Avenue / New York, N.Y. / Artist: Charles Curtis Allen / Title: “Salt Island” Gloucester, Mass. / Price: (blank) Size: 30 ½ / 35 ½ / Bin No.: 23
3). Ogunquit Museum of American Art / Loan / Painted Air: American Impressionism / August 14 – October 15, 2000
1). Memorial Exhibition of the Oils and Watercolors by Charles Curtis Allen, N.A. 1886-1950, Robert C. Vose Galleries, Boston, April 30 – May 19, 1951, No. 1 Salt Island, Gloucester
2). Painted Air: American Impressionism, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Maine, August 14 – October 15, 2000