On 10 July 2010 an exhibition titled DAYS LUMBERYARD STUDIOS 1914-1972 will open at the newly refurbished galleries of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. This survey exhibition will feature artwork spanning almost one hundred years that was created by artists who once occupied studios at Days Lumberyard in Provincetown. A broad and eclectic mix of artwork in a variety of media by over twenty artists will be on view.
The Days Lumberyard Studios in Provincetown Massachusetts ranks among the most important incubators for artists of the twentieth century. Two of that century’s most influential teachers –Charles Webster Hawthorne and Hans Hofmann- and many of their students, worked in studios there. In fact, more than one hundred artists had studios at the lumberyard and/or the adjacent Brewster Street annex between 1914 and 1972. Some of the most highly regarded American artists of the time maintained studios at Days for at least one season. Among them were: Edwin Dickinson, Ross Moffett, Charles Hawthorne, Vaclav Vytlacil, Myron Stout, Fritz Bultman, George McNeil, John Grillo, Peter Busa, Robert Motherwell, Lester Johnson, Jan Muller, and numerous others.
Accounts differ with respect to the date that artists began using the studios at Days Lumberyard. Records indicate that Frank Days Sr. acquired the 24 Pearl Street property in 1911. The first evidence of artist’s studios on the property as indicated in town tax records was 1916; however, Ross Moffett’s account claims that he and Henry Sutter were the first to occupy studios there in 1914. Vaclav Vytlacil has been quoted as saying that he paid five dollars per month for his studio rental at Days in 1914 as well. Other early occupants included Charles Hawthorne, Edwin Dickinson, and John Frazier. While artists had discovered the natural beauty of Cape Cod and appreciated the special qualities of the sunlight long before Days Lumberyard came into being, it now seems clear that the development of Days Lumberyard Studios as affordable artists’ studios -in conjunction with the influx of students attending classes at Charles Hawthorne’s and later Hans Hofmann’s schools -was crucial in sponsoring the collegial atmosphere that allowed this community of artists to flourish on the outer Cape. This combination of factors and the active presence of the artists themselves made Provincetown one of the premier and art historically significant Art Colonies in the United States.
In 1972, the Fine Arts Work Center acquired the Days Lumberyard property, and to this day many of the original studios continue to be used as living and work spaces by artists who have been awarded fellowships by the Work Center. The Fine Arts Work Center itself was founded in 1968 by a group of distinguished Provincetown writers and visual artists a number of whom had studios in the original Days Lumberyard. The visual artists who founded the Fine Arts Work Center include Jack Tworkov, Myron Stout, Salvatore Del Deo, Gil Franklin, Philip Malicoat, Fritz Bultman, and Robert Motherwell. The Fine Arts Work Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to continuing the same tradition and spirit of artistic creativity that was engendered by the artists of Days Lumberyard so many years ago. The Work Center has awarded over 800 fellowships to emerging writers and visual artists over the past forty years.
The Fine Arts Work Center exhibition Days Lumberyard Studios will be curated by David Cowan and James Bennette, of ACME Fine Art in Boston, a gallery that specializes in twentieth century art by Provincetown artists. The artwork comprising the exhibition will be drawn from private sources and from ACME Fine Art and other galleries in the region. All of the artwork will be for sale to benefit the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown.
The Hudson D. Walker Gallery at the Fine Arts Work Center is located at 24 Pearl Street in Provincetown, MA. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 1-5pm; Satruday & Sunday, 11am-3pm.