Just in time for summer, Hawthorne Fine Art has recently acquired a peaceful town and river scene by the New England landscape painter Lemuel D. Eldred (1858–1921). The Captain Harris House, Fairhaven (1893) depicts a quiet view of the Acushnet River near the home of Captain Charles C. Harris, who rented recreational rowboats and sailboats from his dock. This image captures the house, dock, boat hut and boats used by Harris for his business, set in the calm waters of the Acushnet River. Eldred conveys the peaceful sense of the provincial life in his hometown of Fairhaven as the bright sunlight hits the homes and trees and creates a rippling reflection in the river.
Charles Harris most likely adopted the title of “Captain” for the purposes of his rental business. The house that Harris lived in was also known as the Proctor House, as it was owned by Samuel Proctor beginning in 1774. The house was constructed in 1760, and is considered to be the first house built in Fairhaven’s “Twenty-Acre Purchase” neighborhood. This twenty-acre property was sold by the farmer Elnathan Pope to investors who divided the acreage into forty lots, creating Fair-haven Village in 1760. The Proctor-Harris house was demolished in 1932.
Lemuel D. Eldred was born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, near the whaling port of New Bedford. The artist claimed to be self-taught, however he studied briefly at the Academie Julian in 1880. After his studies in Paris, he traveled around Europe in 1883. Eldred is best known for his realistic marine scenes completed mostly in Boston, Fairhaven, the coast of Maine, and New York. He painted in traditional Hudson River School style, and expressed the supremacy of nature over humankind. Beginning in 1876, Eldred had a studio in Boston, and frequently worked alongside the marine painter William Bradford (1823–1892), who was also from Fairhaven.
We invite you to make an appointment to visit our beautiful new galleries to view this and other stunning American landscape paintings at 12 East 86th Street, Suite 527, in Manhattan.