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Exhibition: The Art of Rowing

July 29 - September 17

Rowing began as a mode of transfer of cargo and people and was used to propel war vessels in Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. In England, at the beginning of the 13th century, small boats and barges propelled by oarsmen were used to ferry goods and passengers on the waterways. By the beginning of the 1800s, college students have organized rowing races. The first rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge was in 1829, and this year is the 165th anniversary of the race between Harvard and Yale, which started in 1852.

From 2008 to 2014, the Museum celebrated the sport of rowing by hosting the National Rowing Foundation’s National Rowing Hall of Fame. Given the large number of rowing devotees in New England and the Museum’s past support of rowing, it was a natural decision to have a show at the Maritime Gallery dedicated to the sport.

Rowing can also be done for pleasure or for exercise. In fact, it has been an integral part in activities as diverse as fishing, whaling, paying a friendly visit to England (if you are a Viking), or romantically drifting in a gondola in Venice.

River scenes with rowboats have been favored by artists for hundreds of years. When it comes to depicting rowing as a sport, the most well-known artist is the American Thomas Eakins, who himself was a rower.

This show will offer new artworks for sale by, among others artists, Peter Arguimbau, Harley Bartlett, Paul Garnett, Carolyn Hesse-Low, Neal Hughes, and Jeff Sabol. We look forward to welcoming patrons, art collectors, and rowing enthusiasts to the Gallery for this special themed exhibit.

Image on this page: Harley Bartlett, Eastern Sprints, Oil, 18 x 36