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Homer, Winslow (1836-1910)  
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In the 1890s, Homer traveled extensively in the Caribbean and the American Gulf Coast, where he made countless watercolors, capturing both the beauty of the scenery (Flower Gardens and Bungalow, Bermuda, 1899) and the devastation wrought by tropical storms (for example, After the Hurricane, 1899).

In his paintings of the Caribbean and of the American South, Homer depicted persons of African descent with a dignity and a lack of stereotype, exceptional among white artists of the period. Among the most famous of Homer's Caribbean works is Gulf Stream (1899), a heroic and sensually charged representation of the dazed survivor of a tropical storm.

Also during his later years, Homer did a series of paintings of animals and birds that are apparently seeking to escape from hunters (for example, The Fox Hunt, 1893; and Right and Left, 1909). It is indicative of Homer's continued development as an artist and as an individual that he was able to move from powerful images of hunters to these eloquent expressions of the plight of the hunted.

Homer died on September 29, 1919 in Prout's Neck.

Richard G. Mann

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arts >> Overview:  American Art: Gay Male, Nineteenth Century

In nineteenth-century America men who loved other men often suffered from guilt, but artists such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins celebrated male camaraderie and affection, while expatriate John Singer Sargent depicted the dandy, and photographs documented male friendships.

arts >> Angus, Patrick

American realist artist Patrick Angus produced keenly observed and compassionate depictions of the gay underclass of the 1980s.

literature >> Melville, Herman

The most important American novelist of the nineteenth century, Herman Melville reflects his homosexuality throughout his texts.

literature >> Thoreau, Henry David

In essays, journals, and poems, Henry David Thoreau recorded impassioned expressions of the beauty and the agony of love between men.

literature >> Whitman, Walt

Celebrating an ideal of manly love in both its spiritual and physical aspects, Walt Whitman has exerted a profound and enduring influence on gay literature.

arts >> Wong, Martin

American artist Martin Wong created innovative, transgressive paintings that celebrated his sexuality and explored multiple ethnic and racial identities.


Adams, Henry. "The Identity of Winslow Homer's Mystery Woman." The Burlington Magazine 132 (April 1990): 244-252.

Hendricks, Gordon. The Life and Work of Winslow Homer. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1979.

Reed, Christopher. "The Artist and the Other." Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (Spring 1989): 68-79.

Winslow Homer. Exhibition Catalogue. Washington, D. C.: National Gallery of Art, 1995-1996.


    Citation Information
    Author: Mann, Richard G.  
    Entry Title: Homer, Winslow  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated June 29, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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