November 19, 1948:
The Brooklyn Museum opened last night (Nov. 18), “The Coast and the Sea - A Survey of American Marine Paintings” with a preview for Museum members and guests. The exhibition which opens to the public today will remain on view through January 16.
The exhibition, assembled by John I. H. Baur, Curator of Paintings and Sculpture of the Museum, consists of about 230 oils by nearly 100 artists ranging in date from Copley’s Watson and the Shark of 1782 to recent canvases by Marin, Hartley, O’Keeffe and others. Installed in the Entrance Hall and adjoining galleries, it is the Museum’s first major loan exhibition of the season.
Unlike many showings of American marine painting, it is not primarily concerned with maritime history, but rather with the work of American artists in all periods who found in the sea and the coast a particularly compelling subject and who painted it with a measure of creative ability. Many well-known artists will be found in the roster - early figures such as Allston, Birch, and Salmon; Hudson River School painters like Kensett, Bierstadt and Church; and the dominant painters of the following generation, Inness, Homer, Ryder, Eakins and Whistler.
While lack of exhibition space made it impossible to extend the survey to the younger painters of today, several of the pioneers and established figures of various modern movements are represented. Impressionism, the realism of “The Eight” and later painters of the American scene, work by the “Immaculates”, the early abstract painters and expressionists constitute about one quarter of the exhibition.
Perhaps the greatest interest, however, will be in the works of several forgotten or little known men of the last century. Some, like Martin J. Heade and Fitz Hugh Lane, have already been reclaimed from oblivion, though only in recent years. A large group of others, including George R. Bonfield, Franklin D. Briscoe, W. Allan Gay, James Hamilton and William Stanley Haseltine are still little known.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1947 - 1952. 10-12/1948, 094.