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R. Ben Foster, whose exceptional gifts as a landscape artist have long been
known to his fellow-artists, has recently come into National prominence owing
to the purchase by the French Government of one of his pictures for the Luxembourg, the national gallery of modern paintings and sculpture maintained by the French Government. Of the American artists living in this country who sent pictures to the Paris Exposition, only one other, Winslow Homer, received this honor. The distinction which France has thus conferred upon Mr. Foster is particularly gratifying to his countrymen because his picture, a photograph of which is reproduced herewith, is peculiarly an American subject. It is a scene at night in his native village—the village of North Anson, Maine. It is that hour of the night when the last lights are being extinguished and the entire village lies in peaceful repose in the moonlight. A star or two shines through the trees, and the only sound is the rippling and gentle splashing of the brook which flows on one side of the village street. Mr. Foster chose for his picture the appropriate title “Lulled by the Murmuring Stream," the very rhythm of which expresses the soothing and peaceful character of the scene. This title has been very happily translated by the French, and the picture is now known in the Luxembourg by the legend “ Bercé par le flot murmurant.” Mr. Foster's experience does not accord with the proverb that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, for while the French have been recog
nizing his merit as an artist, he has also met with recognition at home. He received last autumn the silver medal and the prize of a thousand dollars at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburg for his canvas entitled Misty Moonlight." He has also received this spring the Webb Prize at the annual exhibition of the Society of American Artists in this city—a prize offered for the most meritorious landscape in the exhibition painted by an American artist. This also is a picture of poetic and imaginative quality, and depicts a New England intervale with a mnountain in the background partly covered by a mist which is rolling away under the influence of a warm and cheering morning sun. Mr. Foster's special work as a landscapist is to interpret the quiet, gentle, and meditative side of the woods and fields and bills. As a painter of the poetic, one may almost say of the dreamy aspects of the face of nature, he is not surpassed by any of the rising school of American artists.
GLOUCESTER: THE FISHING CITY
BY LILLIAN W. BETTS
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY CLIFTON JOHNSON
NEW background must be pro- ceed on the Maine coast, and he decided vided the short story-writer who it “good to pass into Massachusetts Bay,
has made the fisherman and his to try whether that would yield him any." environment the theme of his story, the Evidently it did, for he sailed for Spain Atlantic seacoast the stage for his actors. with his cargo, leaving a company of A less romantic background than Cape men behind him. Gloucester has passed Ann at the present day could not be through many industrial and commercial found. Miles of her rugged coast and phases. Her first settlers took to agribeautiful indented bays are in the posses- culture in spite of her rocky land and sion of her fishery interests. Storehouses, their first purpose. In 1727 many of her smoke-houses, lofts for the preparing of people emigrated to Salem, because the salt fish, and wharfs represent millions in farming land was overcrowded. The plants that wait on the coming and going next commercial and industrial evolution of the fishing fleets. Quarries with der- was the cutting and shipping of wood in ricks and guys from water-edge to peak her own vessels built in her own harbors. of miles of her rugged coast, with rail. This, in the nature of things, on the limited roads and wharfs and crushers, the clip area, was of short-lived duration. The ping and chipping of hundreds of ham- plant, the vessels, remained, and must be mers, tell of millions more in possession turned to use. The ocean lay before the of another stretch of her coasts. Of the town, and by an easy change the vessels courage and tenacity of the Anglo-Saxon were turned into fishing-vessels, with more blood in keeping its grip on this rocky or less success, principally less ; for in Cape, a walk through the streets of Glou- 1840 the industry was at a low ebb, so cester furnishes hourly evidence. Here low as barely to afford a living to the very modern houses are perched on ter- people of the town, so poor as to hold no races, built on side-hills, while the contours inducement to outsiders to settle. For of her streets seem to have followed the years the increase in the population of outline of the boulders her houses must Gloucester was a natural increase, barely have displaced. Few of her old houses affected by the coming of new people. It remain, but of these many are still in the was this which preserved its characterispossession of the heirs of the original tics; the marriages were among the origowners. At first glance Gloucester seems inal families, producing a sturdy race like a new, a very new, city, in spite of the physically and morally—a race of patriots. records which show her first settlement to From the beginning of her history every have been made in 1623. The reason for call for military service has found the this is that her growth was very slow men of Gloucester eager and ready to until 1875, since which year it has been respond. The Revolution ruined her phenomenal. Devastating fires having fishing industry. Her vessels hunted the made much rebuilding necessary, the im- seas to harass and worry the British, and pression of newness is strong.
the story of her losses on land and water It is interesting to trace the evolution of proves the stuff of which her people were the characteristic industry of Gloucester. made. The war of 1812, the Civil War, While the first settlement was for the both found Gloucester alert to meet the distinct purpose of establishing fishing. needs of the Nation. Poverty never degrounds, it was the coast of Maine, not terred her, nor the limited number of men Massachusetts, that was the field and the who were left to protect and develop her haven sought. The master did not suc. industry. Every hamlet in her boundaries
has its monument to the men who have city of Gloucester, a name given by its died in the country's service.
first settlers, most of whom, it is said, The harbor of Gloucester at one time from Gloucester, England. The was the busy shipping center of a foreign two cities have exchanged portraits. The trade which, in its turn, left that harbor as picture of the Gloucester in the New the lumber trade had left it. To-day she World hangs in the council chamber of has her India Square, the center of resi- the old Gloucester, while a picture of Old dence of retired captains, the distinctive World Gloucester hangs in the Mayor's mark of her age and early importance. room of the New World Gloucester, the
Boat-building has been a leading indus- latter bearing this inscription : "For it is try from her earliest days. One of her first certain that Apollo promises that in a settlers was said to have built a ship of six new clime there shall be another Salamis.” hundred tons before he left England. The This painting was a gift of the Member of schooner was born in Gloucester. As the Parliament from Gloucester, 1869, in first model glided from the stocks to the recognition of courtesies extended to his water, a boatman exclaimed, “ See how son in the New World Gloucester. she scoons !” “A schooner let her be,” The prosperity of Gloucester dates from was her maker's comment. Not the least 1860. The increased demand for fish of Gloucester's renown is that schooners as a food started a new activity in this and Universalism in this country were industry, which had heretofore lived but both born on the cape to which she has did not thrive. Improved boats, fishingnow given her name, for Pigeon Cove, gear, better knowledge of the habits of Annisquam, and all the rest of the far- fish, discovery of better fishing-grounds, all famed shore are part of the incorporated contributed to the result. The tide had