Motif No. 1
April 6, 2011 8:40 PM Subscribe
posted by ericb (24 comments total)
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The dark red fishing shack
on Bearskin Neck wharf in the artists' colony Rockport, Massachusetts
"is one of the most famous buildings in the world and instantly recognizable to any student of art or art history." America's most-painted building
received its name in an impulsive exclamation by famed illustrator, etcher and art teacher Lester Hornby. Its name? Motif No. 1
"One day when a student brought for criticism a pencil drawing of the house, Hornby exclaimed, 'What-Motif No 1 again!' It has been that ever since."
has served three purposes since the 1800s — as a storage shed for fishing gear, as a subject for painters and other artists, and as a marketing tool for Rockport and New England."*
In the 1930s, painter John Buckley
used the shack as his studio. He sold it to the town in 1945. The town "purchased the Motif as a monument to Rockporters who had served in the Armed Services." It was destroyed
in the Blizzard of 1978
later that year.
It has been commemorated as a U.S. Postal Stamp
. And "[e]very May since 1949, the town has celebrated the return of spring and the kickoff of 'the season' with a festival named in honor of the famed fishing shack." This year's Motif No.1 Day
: May 21, 2011.