In 1899, Charles Hawthorne came to Provincetown and founded the Cape School of Art. He had a revolutionary method of teaching students - the Mudhead. Students were to paint from live models, in the bright sunlight on the beach. They were instructed to only paint the broad patterns of light and shade and not get caught up in the details. This way they were quickly taught two fundamentals of modern painting - the impact of a painting is in the broad shapes, not details and the sunlight effect is achieved through justaposition of these large color areas against one another another. From Hawthorne's humble school sprang masters of both abstract and realistic painting, from Norman Rockwell to Hans Hoffman, influencing generations of painters.
Considered just "student" work at time, the studies were thrown away. In 2005, during a renovation on Brewster Street where the school once sat, Jerome Crepeau discoved mudheads being used to re-inforce the walls of the building! They immediately became sought after by collectors and few from this first discovery are in the open market.
This year, in a building four houses away, a new group was discovered. Below are four pieces from the new find and now at the gallery. They are all pre-war, painted on compressed cardboard, and some of the best we have seen to date.