Doll & Richards, Boston, Massachusetts
Private collection, Amherst, Massachusetts, ca. 1980s or 1990s
Estate of above
Sale, Tremont Auctions, Sudbury, Massachusetts, December 6, 2020, lot 0266, from above (as Large Marine Scene with Ships)
Private collection, New York, New York, acquired from above
View of Boston Harbor, 1860s, 20 x 36⅛ inches, signed lower left: Geo. Curtis; Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Illinois
Note: The ship in the foreground may be the USS Constitution, based on the markings on the stern which include the US shield in the center. The USS Constitution was used during the Civil War to patrol the shipping lanes outside of Boston; the star formation on the American flag is characteristic of the 34-star flag used from 1861 to 1863.
George Curtis, a Massachusetts native, spent his career in and around Boston. Before becoming a landscape and marine artist he painted stage scenery for plays at the Boston Museum. Curtis traveled throughout New England and the Midwest creating landscapes, and beginning in the mid-1860s found success in the Boston gallery scene with his luminist marine paintings. He exhibited widely at prestigious institutions such as the Boston Athenaeum, American Art Union, and Boston Art Club as well as several international expositions. In 1993 the Peabody Essex Museum dedicated an exhibition to this important 19th-centruy American artist. His works can be seen