The Fine White Line: Faces Behind the Prints
A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Provincetown Print
With its clear, sparkling light Provincetown has drawn artists from its earliest days and is America’s oldest active art colony. In the 20th Century, it was a bustling center of avant-garde teachers and students of Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism.
It also provided the fertile ground for the camaraderie of a group of innovative printmakers to create a new art form. In 1915, Bror Julius Olsen Norfeldt revolutionized the way prints were made, simplifying the process and creating a full color print with one block. These became known as “Provincetown Prints” or white-line woodcuts.
This is the one hundredth anniversary of this new way of printmaking that has evolved through several generations of artists.
In this exhibit, The Fine White Line: Faces Behind the Prints, curator Bill Evaul, contemporary master of the woodblock print and art historian, has immortalized the early leaders of this new form. As a tribute to the founders, he has created beautiful white-line portraits of them, incorporating something
representational of each artist depicted.
Many years ago Evaul became fascinated by the early printmakers and researched the movement thoroughly to write an article. Evaul found it “remarkable that they took a 5,000 year old tradition and
created a “think-tank” of creativity to nurture experimentation.” He realized that to lecture about the
period he needed to understand the process by doing it. He loved the technique and evolved his own style using it, and has become one of its leading artists and teachers.
“The most intriguing thing for me about creating white-line woodcuts is the absolute freedom of color I have. It’s the most painterly of all printing techniques,” Evaul says. “No other process can allow the use of a full palette like this. And if that weren’t enough, the artist can make another print from the same block with an entirely different color scheme. Talk about freedom.”
The exhibit presents ten 22” x 16” portraits. Some of the artists included are: B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Blanche Lazzell, Agnes Weinrich, Ethel Mars & Maude Squire, Edna Hopkins. This eye-pleasing and educational exhibit includes a video demonstration by Evaul and a block in the progress of printing.
Evaul exhibits in solo and group shows nationwide, including The Smithsonian Institute, The Society of American Graphic Artists and the Boston Printmakers. His work is in many private and public collections, including The Library of Congress and The Zimmerli Museum of Art. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Evaul did graduate work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and was awarded two fellowships to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
(White-line woodblock print of Agnes Weinrich by Bill Evaul.)
Forgotten Port: Provincetown’s Whaling Heritage
Provincetown is one of the nation’s most desirable vacation spots where visitors delight in whale watching. But few realize that the whaling industry helped shape the Provincetown we know today. This exhibition tells the fascinating story of how the town evolved from hunting whales to saving whales.
Curated by author Amy Whorf McGuiggan, whose family includes major artists in this thriving art colony, the show takes you on a voyage through time with artifacts, objects and personal stories, including:
The Early Days when Native Americans and early settlers practiced drift whaling and hunted whales in nearby waters
The Golden Age, when whaling built Provincetown into one of the richest towns in Massachusetts.Yankee entrepreneurs like Captain John Atkins Cook, outfitted ships and sailed the Atlantic. Watch “Whaling Days,” the only film made of a whaling voyage – Cook’s voyage on his ship, The Viola, named after his wife.
The Arrival of the Portuguese seamen seeking opportunities, who then built homes and businesses, bringing their unique culture and traditions to the town.
The Final Days when Captain Cook’s whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan, piloted by Provincetown’s Captain John T. Gonsalves made its last trip out of New Bedford in 1920.
Today, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies is the world leader in rescuing whales. The exhibit also displays the whale fluke used for training teams to disentangle endangered whales.
April 1 through June 30, 2015- Special Exhibition
Captured 1614: Our Story – a Wampanoag History
Before the colony was called Plymouth, it was the Wampanoag village of Patuxet, home of a thriving community of nearly 2000 Wampanoags. In 1614, English Sea Captain Thomas Hunt pretended he wanted to trade, but tricked 20 young Patuxet men onto his ship and bound and kidnapped them, along with seven Nausets from Cape Cod, to be sold as slaves in Spain. One of the Patuxet was Squanto, who later became
crucial to Plymouth’s survival when the Pilgrims arrived in 1620.
In short dramatic videos, visitors will see members of today’s Wampanoag tribe depict their ancestors,telling the stories of the impact that the kidnappings had on the women, children, and leaders left behind:
Chief Vernon “Silent Drum” Lopez reveals the customs of the Wampanoag tribes in 1614.
John Peters Jr. plays a tribal leader in “Season of the Corn” who relates how the men were tricked by the seamen.
Alexandra Lopes-Pocknett speaks of the Patuxet’s immediate reactions, trying to warn the Nausets,and hoping to see the ship sail back in “An Empty Horizon.”
Christian Wessling plays the kidnapped Squanto, who speaks of returning to his people in “I Must Save Hope,”
Nitana Hicks Greendeer plays a young wife who questions what kind of people steal a man in “WhoWill Teach My Son To Be A Man?”
In “Freedom for Fool’s Gold,” Linda Coombs tells the story of an earlier kidnapping of Epanow from the island of Nope, now known as Martha’s Vineyard. Epanow was able to trick the English into to taking him back so he could take them to the gold they coveted. Once back in the harbor, he escaped from the ship with the help of his island’s men.
The text accompanying the show tells us through the angry response of England’s Captain John Smith that these actions led the tribes to “move their hate against our Nation.” The mistrust of the English grew through the years. When Squanto, the only one of the Patuxet who returned, came back in 1619, he found his home decimated by the plague. In 1620, when the Pilgrims settled in this land, Squanto became their teacher and interpreter and helped forge a peace with the Wampanoag. Squanto was considered by the Pilgrim’s Governor William Bradford, as “sent from God,” and so important to their survival.
This exhibit was conceived, written and produced by Paula Peters, an active member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, through her firm SmokeSygnals Markeing and Communications, with the Indian Spiritual and Cultural Training Council. Peters says, “It’s a story that needed to be told in the Wampanoag voice. We have many more important stories to tell about our history in the future.”
This is the first educational program presented by the Plymouth 400, Incorporated as part of their Project – Our Story, A Wampanoag History. Plymouth 400 is planning the 2020 commemoration of the 1620 Mayflower Voyage, the Pilgrims’ founding of Plymouth Colony and their relationship with the Native Wampanoag. This exhibit will be at PMPM through June 30 and travelling thereafter. The Wampanoag story will be expanded upon each year through 2020.
(Image of the Wampanoag men bound on the ship, photo credit Wes Ennis; Alexandra LopesPocknett, credit Plymouth 400, Inc.)
EXTRA! In this video Chief Vernon ‘Silent Drum’ Lopez tells us about the life of the Wampanoag before young men were kidnapped. CLICK HERE
April 1 through November 30, 2013 Special Exhibition
A compelling new exhibition in our spacious East Gallery featuring a private collection of exquisite Eastern Rig Dragger boat models made by the late Alfred J. Silva, Sr. of Truro, Massachusetts. Also showcased are oil paintings by Arthur Cohen, Salvatore Del Deo and Nancy Whorf, and related objects.
These large (1/24 scale) and highly detailed models replicate actual fishing boats from the Provincetown fleet circa. 1950 – 1972. Additionally, the exhibit will include each boat’s banner that was (and still is) carried in the Portuguese Heritage Parade and the Blessing of the Fleet each year.
photographs of a town in transition
Open from April 15, 2012 through November,30 2012 this exhibit invited guests to take a stroll back in time to discover a simpler period in Provincetown through more than fifty photographs, as well as objects from PMPM’s collection. Photographs in the exhibit, many never before shown, were taken primarily during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. They show a still robust fishing fleet and an economy increasingly influenced by the seasonal influx of artists and tourists. Residents and visitors are pictured working, relaxing and enjoying free time playing, picnicking or just fooling around.
Souvenirs of Provincetown
Opening April, 1, 2011, this special 2011 exhibit features artwork from the collection of Helen & Napi Van Dereck combined with objects, photographs and other materials from the collection of Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum.
Honoring the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, PMPM’s 2011 special exhibit examines the role of Provincetown during the Civil War and beyond and features memorabilia, photographs, textiles, uniforms and a rare Civil War volunteer banner.
We have renovated our Mayflower Room with three new exhibits dedicated to Pilgrim History, Mayflower stamps and products inspired by the Pilgrims.
Around the Town
The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) is pleased to announce an exhibition of Paintings and Prints from the Collection of Helen and Napi Van Dereck presented with objects and photographs from the Collection of the PMPM. The exhibit uses more than 20 pieces of artwork from Van Dereck’s large collection of town-related art combined with objects from the Museum’s collection to give depth to the subject portrayed in the paintings.