BAR HARBOR — Renowned art historian, author and art collector John Wilmerding will speak about one of America’s most highly regarded painters, Winslow Homer, in the Gates Community Center at College of the Atlantic on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 5 p.m. “Winslow Homer in His Art” is free and open to the public.
In the provocative presentation, Wilmerding will discuss ways that Homer revealed and concealed aspects of his personal life and feelings in his paintings. While Homer never painted a traditional self-portrait, and kept few letters, some figures on his paintings can be thought of as stand-ins for himself, Wilmerding said. Even looking at where the artist placed his signatures, on objects or surfaces within the paintings, gives the viewer an index of how Homer viewed himself, Wilmerding said.
Wilmerding, a trustee emeritus at COA, is Sarofim Professor of American art, emeritus, at Princeton University. From 1977 to 1983, he served as senior curator at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., and as its deputy director from 1983 to 1988. He later served at the National Gallery as a trustee, retiring in 2013 as chairman of its board of trustees.
Wilmerding is a trustee of the Guggenheim Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, and he was reappointed to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
He is the author of numerous works on American art, including “American Marine Painting” (Harry N. Abrams, 1987), “American Views” (Princeton University Press, 1991), “The Artist’s Mount Desert: American Painters on the Maine Coast” (Princeton University Press, 1994) and “Signs of the Artist: Signatures and Self-Expression in American Painting” (Yale University Press, 2003).