Winslow Homer: The Hidden Life of America’s Favorite Painter

March 19, 2023 @ 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Hamilton Hall
9 Chestnut St.
MA 01970
$20, Athenaeum or Hamilton Hall Members; $25 General Admission
Salem Athenaeum

William R. Cross, Author of Winslow Homer: American Passage,

Presents a Joint Event with Salem Athenaeum and Hamilton Hall

In an illustrated presentation, author William R. Cross will discuss the life and work of Winslow Homer (1836-1910), often called America’s favorite painter.

Reviewers have acclaimed Cross’s new biography, Winslow Homer: American Passage, as “exemplary” (The Washington Post) and “certain to be definitive” (The Wall Street Journal). “Vivid storytelling melds with exuberant analysis,” wrote Publishers Weekly.  Cross unveils Homer’s surprising role in American culture and identity as the visual counterpart to better-known figures in literature such as Walt Whitman and Mark Twain.  Homer was witness both to the rhythms of sea, storm, tide and season and to the times in which he lived, including the U.S. Civil War, colonial tyranny, industrialization and the challenge of achieving a just and equitable society.  His legacy comprises few answers but a broad range of enduring, entrancing questions.

The book is available in bookstores and online, and copies will be available.  After his presentation Cross will be happy to inscribe your copy.  Join us for this special evening as we see afresh the man behind the art, and learn much more about this major figure in our cultural history, hidden in plain sight.

William R. Cross is an independent scholar and a consultant to art and history museums. He served as the curator of Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869–1880, a nationally renowned 2019 exhibition on the formation of Winslow Homer as a marine painter. He is the chairman of the advisory board of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Cross and his wife, Ellen, the parents of two grown sons, live on Cape Ann, north of Boston, Massachusetts.

This is a hybrid event. It will be in-person and also available remotely via Zoom.


Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Salem (Looking Out to Sea), 1872, Oil on canvas, 15 ½ x 22 ½ in., Private Collection courtesy of Collis Art, New York.