grants and funding

Eastman Johnson catalogue launch

Eastman Johnson .

Directed by Dr. Patricia Hills

The National Academy of Design is pleased to announce the launch of the virtual Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné on July 29, in recognition of the anniversary of the artist’s birthday. In this first phase, the catalogue raisonné is focused on American artist Eastman Johnson’s paintings. Subsequent phases will include the artist’s drawings and prints. Founded and directed by Dr. Patricia Hills, project managed by Abigael MacGibeny, and stewarded by the National Academy of Design, the Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné (EJCR) is based on Dr. Hills’s decades-long research on Johnson’s artwork, which dates to the 1972 monographic exhibition of his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Celebrating the artist’s substantial contributions to the development of American genre and portrait painting throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, this catalogue raisonné is a vast and intricate online resource designed to be a living archive. The website address of the Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné will be announced on July 29.

“The National Academy of Design is honored to serve as the steward of the Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. Elected as an Academician in 1860, Eastman Johnson was an active and engaged leader of the National Academy community over many decades—serving as a board member, officer, and instructor—so it is especially meaningful that the Academy is now able to help preserve and amplify his work and legacy for future generations. As an online resource that will be linked to essays and other critical work by contemporary scholars and historians, the EJCR will set a new benchmark for what a catalogue raisonné can be, and we are deeply appreciative of Dr. Patricia Hills for her extraordinary work in bringing this to fruition,” states Gregory Wessner, Executive Director of the National Academy of Design.

Similar to a printed catalogue raisonné, the EJCR website provides primary information on paintings by Eastman Johnson, and subsequently will incorporate his drawings and prints. According to Dr. Hills, “This information will not only aid in the connoisseurship of Johnson’s art, but will provide a multifaceted lens for examining the history of American art.” More than 900 of Johnson’s paintings are organized thematically and catalogued with their titles, dates, media, dimensions, inscriptions, current owners, provenance, exhibition history, and bibliography. Many of the entries also feature quotes from historical sources, remarks by Dr. Hills and MacGibeny that provide insight into the works, and Dr. Hills’s examination notes and opinion letters. Works Eastman Johnson, Self-Portrait, 1859-1860, Collection of the National Academy of Design are related to each other to create meaningful connections that illuminate Johnson’s interests and practices. Visitors to the EJCR website will be able to bookmark Johnson works, with catalogue information and images, for their future reference and use. Visitors also will be able to bookmark collections, exhibitions, and literature, and refer to their saved materials on return visits to the site.

Johnson’s thematic areas of focus include early representations of the Ojibwe Nation in Minnesota Territory; the visual culture of the Civil War; images of Black and white people which avoided stereotypes of the time; mid-century artisans; the celebration of farmers and the agrarian communal ideal; images of the interiority of women; summertime living at the seashore; and the shift in style and content from an earlier moralizing genre painting to subject pictures with an emphasis on the spontaneous brushstroke. His portraits document networks of literary and historical figures including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his circle, as well as politicians, businessmen, and patrons who were prominent in their time including Jay Gould, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and William Vanderbilt. Other portraits include those of three U.S. Presidents painted from life—Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, and Benjamin Harrison— and many other members of Gilded Age society and their families. Eastman Johnson’s ties to the National Academy of Design are longstanding. He became an Academician in 1860 and participated actively in the Academy’s Annual Exhibitions throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. He also served on the Academy’s governing body, the Council, from 1866 to 1870, as Vice-President from 1874 to 1876, and again on the Council for a three-year term beginning in 1890. Johnson taught at the Academy’s school for the academic years of 1867 and 1868. The Academy is proud to become the long-term steward of the EJCR, managing future updates and keeping it available to the public in perpetuity. The Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné has been made possible with support from Boston University, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, the National Academy of Design, and the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts. Private collectors also have been generous contributors to the Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné Endowment Fund. The EJCR website was developed by panOpticon, whose specialized catalogue raisonné platform enables the digital collection and presentation of this rich content.

About Eastman Johnson:
Eastman Johnson (1824–1906) was a leading genre and portrait painter of the middle-to-late nineteenth century. Born in Maine, he began his career as a portrait draughtsman, working in Maine, Washington DC, and Boston. In 1849, he went to Europe to learn to paint and study the Old Masters. He stayed two years in Düsseldorf, studying with Emanuel Leutze, then moved to The Hague where he established himself as a portrait painter. In 1855 he relocated to Paris to study with Thomas Couture, who worked in a modern style for those times. His stay was cut short when he received news his mother had died. He thus returned to the U.S. in late 1855, living first in Washington, where his family resided, then moving to New York City to advance his art career. He became known as a genre painter of American scenes, and his paintings of African Americans were highly praised. He was one of the first of his generation to draw and paint the Ojibwe in the Lake Superior area. He became an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1859 and the following year he was elected a full Academician. During the war, he followed the Union troops and painted scenes he had witnessed. He also took time off to paint the maple sugar spring harvest in Maine in the early 1860s. After 1871 he spent summers in Nantucket, where he painted his series of the cranberry fall harvest. The last twenty years of his life he spent primarily as a portraitist. He was active in New York art organizations, belonged to the Century Association and The Union League Club, and was a founding trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Today, Johnson is recognized as a painter who brought more sophisticated painting techniques to America, and extended the range of “American” subjects, often transforming traditional European themes, bringing a more dignified and democratic content to genre painting. He spoke to and for his own generation and was a great influence on a number of genre painters such as Thomas Waterman Wood, J. G. Brown, Thomas Hovenden, George C. Lambdin, and Winslow Homer.

History of the Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné:
Art historian Patricia Hills, Professor Emerita at Boston University where she taught for 36 years, began the project in 1971 with her research on Eastman Johnson for her doctoral dissertation (PhD, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU). She organized the exhibition Eastman Johnson for the Whitney Museum of American Art in March 1972, which was later presented by the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Milwaukee Art Center. In 1999 she was invited to co-curate the exhibition Eastman Johnson: Painting America, which opened at The Brooklyn Museum and traveled to the San Diego Museum of Art and the Seattle Art Museum. Over the years she has added to her Johnson files and has consulted with museums, galleries, auction houses, and private collectors on works by Johnson. Abigael MacGibeny (MA, Boston University) joined the project in 2012. Since that time, she has conducted additional research into all of Johnson’s works to supplement Dr. Hills’s files and expand the catalogue raisonné and served as project manager for its completion and publication.

About the National Academy of Design:
Founded in 1825, the National Academy of Design promotes art and architecture in America through exhibition, education, and research. We advocate for the arts as a tool for education, celebrate the role of artists and architects in public life, and serve as a catalyst for cultural conversations that propel society forward. At the core of our mission are the National Academicians, a vibrant community of 450 artists and architects in the United States. Representing a wide cross section of practice, the Academicians embody our shared belief in the power of art and architecture to change society and enrich lives. Through their individual work and collective initiatives, the Academicians support their communities, peers, and the next generation of creative thinkers.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 22, 2021 – New York, NY

For additional inquiries contact:
Blaise Marshall, Communications Manager


Eastman Johnson
Oil on canvas
30 3/8 x 25 in. (77.2 x 63.5 cm)
Collection of the National Academy of Design, New York
Photo: National Academy of Design, New York

an amazing site – it takes a village

Fitz Henry Lane – Gloucester Harbor 1847 (detail)

A single website can make a significant contribution to the digital humanities

Fitz Henry Lane Online is a freely-accessible interactive and interdisciplinary online resource created by the Cape Ann Museum. The website is organized around a catalog of the paintings, drawings, and lithographs of nineteenth-century American painter Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865). The Cape Ann Museum, located in Gloucester, Massachusetts (Lane’s birthplace and home for most of his life) has the world’s largest collection of Lane’s paintings, drawings, lithographs, and related archival material. The website is intended to provide information of interest to a broad audience, and to serve as a resource for study of Lane’s work. The website focuses on both the formal, aesthetic qualities and the historical context of Lane’s pictures.

“One of the advantages of an online resource is that new information can be added at any time. It is intended that this site will evolve as writers, historians, and art scholars pursue new research and use this site as a forum and important resource for the work of Fitz Henry Lane and the related art and history of mid-nineteenth-century New England.

“With funding from generous donors, early conservation and curatorial work by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and conservation work donated by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the website now includes hundreds of high-resolution images, including details and conservation (infrared, x-ray, and magnified) images; provenance records; selected exhibition and literature histories; annotated entries for key works; and extensive historical materials related to the subjects of Lane’s pictures. This project could not have been launched without the tireless contributions of project and Cape Ann Museum staff and the wide circle of advisors and volunteers who have so generously devoted their time and expertise, for which we are ever grateful.”

Sam Holdsworth
Fitz Henry Lane Online Project Director
“About the Project” (see the full article with list of staff, sponsors, and donors)


Above : Fitz Henry Lane. Gloucester Harbor (detail),1847. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 41 in. (71.8 x 104.1 cm). Signed and dated lower right: F H Lane, 1847 [could have been FHL originally]. Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Estate of Samuel H. Mansfield, 1949 (1332.20). Photo: Cape Ann Museum


we are pleased that the Fitz Henry Lane Catalogue Raisonné project
chose panOpticon to power its online catalogue

the ‘Painter of the National Parks’

Gunnar Widforss, Desert Vista, n.d.

Gunnar Widforss Catalogue Raisonné Launched

“Although Gunnar Widforss (1879–1934) was known as the ‘Painter of the National Parks’ in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, very little art-historical writing or scholarship has been focused on the artist. His extraordinary paintings of western national parks in the United States and scenes of European and Swedish landscapes have suffered from decades of obscurity following his death in 1934. Throughout his career (1904–1934), Widforss swam against the powerful tide of modernism as tastes in art focused on the European avant-garde. His first significant exhibition in Stockholm in 1913, featuring landscape scenes of southern France and Capri, took place shortly after Picasso and Braque’s early period of experimental Cubism peaked, and it coincided with the intense artistic dialogue spawned by the 1913 Armory Show in New York.

“The Museum of Northern Arizona, located in Flagstaff, Arizona, currently has the largest collection of Widforss paintings, drawings, and related archival material, with twenty-two works of art in the fine art collection. The Museum’s relationship with the artist dates back to the late 1920s.

“The catalogue raisonné is a comprehensive catalogue of all of Widforss’ work known at this time. At the date of publication (September 2020), the catalogue includes over 1,200 works from private and public collections, and many for which the present location is unknown. As research continues, works will be added and information updated.”

Gunnar Widforss, Desert Vistan.d.
13 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. (33.7 x 52.7 cm)
Signed lower left: Widforss
Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Flagstaff, Arizona


we are pleased that the Gunnar Widforss Catalogue Raisonné project
has chosen panOpticon to power its online catalogue

“he loved the act of painting”

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Portrait of Lyonel Feininger 1932

Bates Museum is cataloging the artworks of Marsden Hartley

“Thanks to a major grant, Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine has begun work  on The Marsden Hartley Legacy Project: The Complete Paintings and Works on Paper. The Project is the first-ever comprehensive, publicly accessible guide to all known artworks by Marsden Hartley, a pioneer of American Modernism.

“One of the biggest foundation gifts ever received by the Museum, this grant is the Bates museumʼs second from the New York City-based Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts.

“The initial phase of the Hartley Legacy Project will be an annotated online catalog of all known paintings and works on paper by the prolific artist, with publication as a book being a longer-term goal.

“Gail R. Scott of Portland, Maine, an independent art historian and curator and an authority on Hartley, is partnering with Bates and will direct the project. Bates museum curator William Low says that Scott ‘has almost unparalleled knowledge of Hartleyʼs artwork and writing.’

“Scottʼs work with Bates on the Legacy Project will be based, in part, on Hartley research she has amassed over the decades. ‘Itʼs very important for scholars, galleries and museums, and even collectors to have this accessible,’ she explains.

“The Bates museum is widely recognized as an important Hartley resource thanks to the Hartley Memorial Collection, established at the college in the 1950s by a bequest from Hartleyʼs estate.

“‘As the home to the Hartley Memorial Collection and the museum in Hartleyʼs hometown, Bates thought it was important to be the institution to initiate this project and establish it here,’ says Dan Mills, director of the Bates museum.

“‘In recent years, the museum has focused on stewardship, cataloging, researching and making available information about this important collection. The museum and the Memorial Collection have increasingly been a research destination for scholars from around the world.’”

• read the complete text of this article

Marsden Hartley
Paris Days . . Pre-War Pageant
Oil on canvas in artist’s painted frame
39 1/2 x 37 7/8 in. (100.3 x 81 cm.) including artist’s frame
Collection of Deborah and Ed Shein


we are pleased that the Marsden Hartley Legacy Project
has chosen panOpticon to power its online catalog

Fitz Henry Lane Launched

Fitz Henry Lane

News Release: Fitz Henry Lane Online

GLOUCESTER, MA – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to announce the public launch of its
interactive website, Fitz Henry Lane Online, on February 15, 2016. Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865) is regarded as one of the masters of 19th century American painting. This innovative online resource is comprised of several components including: a catalog of Lane’s paintings, drawings, and lithographs; an extensive database of historical information, images, and materials related to the subjects within Lane’s pictures; new scholarly essays; and a bibliography and archive of publications. The rich historical material is connected to the relevant paintings through easily clickable links. The 319 works currently on the site include all known Lane pictures in public collections. The Cape Ann Museum holds the single largest collection of Lane’s works, and the Museum hopes that this website will function as a central repository for information about Lane and a key resource for anyone (student, scholar, or museum visitor) interested in 19th century American art or history.

According to Project Director Sam Holdsworth:

A primary goal of the site is to highlight the marriage of Lane’s extraordinary attention to the details of the scenes he depicted with the formal aesthetics and sheer beauty of his artistic accomplishment. Almost every work tells a multi-layered story about the evolution of the maritime world of coastal New England as well as tracks his progression as an artist from the specific to the ephemeral as his work matured.

The project will continue to expand to include Lane paintings from private collections and additional scholarly essays and historical materials. Owners of Lane pictures, and individuals with information about Lane works, are encouraged to contact the project using the online form or completing the object information and submission agreement forms:

In conjunction with the website, the Museum is organizing a special exhibition of Lane’s lithographs featuring works from its permanent collection and those borrowed from other institutions. This wiil be the first time many of Lane’s lithographs will be shown together. Drawn on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane will open on October 7, 2017 and run through March 4,2018. An illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition and a symposium is scheduled for October 27-28, 2017.

The Cape Ann Museum, located in the heart of Gloucester, MA, celebrates the art, history and culture of Cape Ann—a region with a rich and varied culture of nationally significant historical,
industrial and artistic achievement. The Museum’s collections include fine art from the 19th century to the present, artifacts from the fishing & maritime and granite quarrying industries, textiles, furniture, a library/archives, and two historic houses. For more information visit:

This project has been produced by the Cape Ann Museum with funds raised in its recent capital campaign and with major support provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute ofMuseum and Library Services. Additional funding was received from the Danversbank Charitable Foundation and the John H. and H. Naomi Tomfohrde Foundation. The Cleveland Museum of Art contributed conservation studies
and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston provided curatorial and conservation assistance.

The website design and database software are by panOpticon.

Above : Fitz Henry Lane, Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck, 1844. Oil on canvas 34 x 45 3/4 in. (86.4 x 116.2 cm) Signed and dated lower right: “F H Lane, 1844.” Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Mrs. Jane Parker Stacy (Mrs. George O. Stacy), 1948 (1289.1a)


Lane Website Receives NEA

Arthur Dove, Plant Forms, 1911–12

Fitz Henry Lane Online Catalogue Receives Grant from the NEA

The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts is among the 2014 Grant recipients recently announced by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum is receiving funds

“to support development of the website, Fitz Henry Lane Online. This free and interactive searchable database will center on the paintings of 19th Century American painter Fitz Henry Lane (1804–65). Using the art objects as its foundation, the website will enable the viewer to explore the social, commercial, maritime, and artistic history of mid-19th Century New England by bringing together rare documents, high-quality images, and links to external resources from the collections of several different institutions.”

This important website is also receiving generous support from the Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

panOpticon is proudly designing and building the Fitz Henry Lane website.

Learn more about the project.

Above: Fitz Henry Lane, Gloucester Harbor at Sunrise (detail), c.1850, oil on canvas,
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Judge Lawrence Brooks, 1970


panOpticon has developed innovative digital cataloging tools and a range of effective ways to make cultural content available for use online. Whether you are starting a catalogue from scratch, or looking for a more robust product for your current data, we have a software package that will meet your needs. Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

Check out our blog — catalog(ue) — a forum whose purpose is to help close the gap between traditional cataloging practices and the challenges we face when we use developing digital technologies to publish online.