William R. Cross at Harvard Book Store
in conversation with NANCY F. KOEHN
April 21, 2022
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes scholar and curator WILLIAM R. CROSS for a discussion of his book Winslow Homer: American Passage. He will be joined in conversation by historian NANCY F. KOEHN.
About Winslow Homer
In 1860, at the age of twenty-four, Winslow Homer (1836–1910) sold Harper’s Weekly two dozen wood engravings, carved into boxwood blocks and transferred to metal plates to stamp on paper. One was a scene that Homer saw on a visit to Boston, his hometown. His illustration shows a crowd of abolitionists on the brink of eviction from a church; at their front is Frederick Douglass, declaring “the freedom of all mankind.”
Homer, born into the Panic of 1837 and raised in the years before the Civil War, came of age in a nation in crisis. He created multivalent visual tales, both quintessentially American and quietly replete with narrative for and about people of all races and ages. Whether using pencil, watercolor, or, most famously, oil, Homer addressed the hopes and fears of his fellow Americans and invited his viewers into stories embedded with universal, timeless questions of purpose and meaning.
Like his contemporaries Twain and Whitman, Homer captured the landscape of a rapidly changing country with an artist’s probing insight. His tale is one of America in all its complexity and contradiction, as he evolved and adapted to the restless spirit of invention transforming his world. In Winslow Homer: American Passage, William R. Cross reveals the man behind the art. It is the surprising story of a life led on the front lines of history. In that life, this Everyman made archetypal images of American culture, endowed with a force of moral urgency through which they speak to all people today.
Praise for Winslow Homer
"Cross has done an admirable job of bringing to life this most American of painters. Finally, Winslow Homer's brilliant work and fascinating life are united in one volume." ―Ken Burns, filmmaker
“This rich biography of Winslow Homer is long overdue. The artist’s enduring importance to the history of American Art brooks no argument. As we discover in this book, the many nuances of his life story also add richness to our understanding of history, place, and innovation in the United States.” ―Martha Tedeschi, author (with Kristi Dahm) of Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light
“This intelligent and gracefully-written book is the first substantial new biography of Homer in years, and it’s a multilayered pleasure to read. Cross is a sensitive observer of every aspect of the man, his times, and his career, from abolitionism and Civil War battlefields to the highs and lows of making a living from a capricious marketplace for art. A triumph.” ―Adam Hochschild, author of Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!
Shipping & Pickup
We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!Learn More »
Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!
Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.Learn More »