As you can probably imagine, the AAD summer assignment of finding locations made famous by artists 'yesterday and today', has been a challenging assignment, however, we at AAD have suffered our way through it, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed and learnt from the fruits of our labour.
As we approach the head of the summer, this panoply of artistic images of Montauk light below, remind us that like Montauk, the end of summer is near, and soon we return to the art market functioning again, global hysteria aside.
George Bellows, Shore House, 1911
An early octagonal tower built in the New York area was Montauk Light at the eastern point of Long Island. Built at the insistence of George Washington, it was completed in 1797 by John McComb, a New York bricklayer who also built the lighthouse at Cape Henry, Virginia, in 1791. McComb’s bid was $22,300, a large sum at the time, but well worth it as the light is still in operation, despite the threat of cliff erosion. Sanford Robinson Gifford’s image of Montauk Light dates from around 1877. A Hudson River School artist, Gifford evolved into one of the pioneering Luminists, masters of light and serene atmosphere who focused on marine and coastal subjects, and are at their peak in the post Civil War era. Gifford was a veteran of the war, and after the trauma of this nation’s bloodiest conflict, sought tranquility in contemplating nature and fishing. A year or two beforehand Gifford had listed his profession as, “Fisherman.” Supposedly one of his favorite pursuits in life was that of the striped bass, a species of fish seasonally abundant off Montauk Point, then and now.
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