The Church at Gloucester, 1918. Childe Hassam. Oil on canvas. Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1925.
In paintings, drawings, and etchings of New England’s picturesque villages and rugged coast, Hassam celebrated his Yankee heritage and promoted the conviction that the region embodied immutable American values. Here, he portrayed the Universalist meetinghouse in Gloucester, Massachusetts, framed by an avenue of American elms. The church, dedicated in 1806, housed a congregation associated with the establishment of religious freedom and was renowned for its bell, cast at Paul Revere’s foundry. Created at the same time as some of the canvases in the artist’s Flag series, the painting is similarly infused with a patriotic spirit.