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Concord Museum: Home: Paintings by Loring W. Coleman

December 31, 2021

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:00 am on Friday, repeating until January 30, 2022

The Concord Museum is pleased to bring back a popular exhibition with some new additions – Home: Paintings by Loring W. Coleman, a notable en plein air painter of New England landscapes. Home will be on view Friday, November 19, 2021 through Sunday, January 30, 2022 in the Wallace Kane Gallery.


In 2017, the Concord Museum was honored to receive an anonymous gift of forty-seven works of art by Loring Wilkins Coleman. Originally displayed in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, few visitors were able to come and see this remarkable collection of paintings that reveal a fascination with, and a sadness over, the changing New England landscape. Curator David Wood explained, “We are pleased to present this exhibition that celebrates the work of an accomplished artist who had a strong Concord connection and who explored a changing New England with a sense of wonder and authenticity.”


2017.13.42Home will feature over twenty-two of Coleman’s works in watercolor. Loring Coleman’s paintings reward close looking. Drawn from real-life subjects in and around Massachusetts primarily, they are often monumental in size and incredibly detailed. Though he trained in oil painting, Coleman primarily worked in watercolor, a technique he taught himself. Watercolors let him play with tone, texture, and abstraction; they also require precision and speed. As Loring Coleman explained, “All painting is exciting, but watercolor painting is no easy matter. It doesn’t give the painter time to contemplate, because the paint is drying before his eyes and he has to move ahead quickly.”

Why this fascination with the old farms of New England, particularly the crumbling barns? Henry Adams, Ruth Coulter Heeds Professor of Art History, Case Western Reserve University and a student of Coleman’s, stated “I think Loring Coleman was inspired by different crosscurrents of emotion, and it’s the interweaving of these crosscurrents that makes his painting authentic rather than trite. At the root of his emotional response to these things is something that clearly goes back very early, to his happy experiences on his grandparents’ farm in Concord, a respite from the misery of his childhood in 1930’s Chicago. Skilled with a gun or a fishing rod, gifted at woodman’s skills, handy at farm chores, he found a world he could master and in which he could excel. At the same time, what’s astounding about these paintings is the sense of sorrow and loss that runs through them- a sorrow over the decay and disappearance of the rural New England he knew as a boy.”*


“Coleman’s paintings are composites of familiar subjects, including old barns, houses, or roads set with dramatically scaled, and even haunting, composition.

Dilapidated buildings, bare trees, peeling paint, and rusted vehicles are common features. Yet, there is beauty amidst the wreckage,” said Curator David Wood.


After a childhood in Chicago, Coleman lived at his grandmother’s Concord house, Tanglewood, on 200 acres overlooking the Sudbury River. He attended Middlesex School, where he was taught by Russell Kettell, whose influence on the Concord Museum is extensive. After service in War War II, Coleman taught for many years, including twenty-seven years at Middlesex School, while exhibiting his work across the country. He was an Academician of the National Academy of Design and a member of the American Watercolor Society, Concord Art Association, and Salmagundi Club.

Photo Captions


Loring W. Coleman | Sterling, Massachusetts, 2003

Watercolor on paper| Anonymous Gift (2017) 201.13.4

Photograph Courtesy of the Family of Loring W. Coleman, Concord Museum


Four Winds are the Ringmaster

Loring W. Coleman| Watercolor on paper

Anonymous Gift (2017) 2017.13.27

Photograph Courtesy of the Family of Loring W. Coleman, Concord Museum


Early Spring

Loring W. Coleman | 2017_13_42 20210001

Permissions Courtesy of the Family of Loring W. Coleman, Concord Museum


Home: Paintings by Loring W. Coleman will be accompanied the following creative programs:


Loring Coleman: Artist, Teacher, Friend

Tuesday, November 18, 7:00- 8:00 pm

Henry Adams, Professor of American Art at Case Western Reserve University and descendant of John Adams, joins the Concord Museum for a conversation on his former teacher and mentor Loring Coleman. This Concord Museum Virtual Forum is free. Register on www.concordmuseum.org


Watercolor Landscape Workshop

Wednesday, January 12 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Unleash your inner artist in a watercolor paint night at the Museum! This special evening begins with a visit to the exhibition Home: Paintings by Loring W. Coleman, where instructor Kat O’Connor will introduce a selection of Coleman’s paintings that exemplify the study of light and time in the New England landscape. In the second part of the workshop, observe a watercolor demonstration and experiment with brushes, washes and mark-making as you create a landscape of your own. Bring a friend or make a few as you discover the fun of watercolor. In partnership with the Umbrella Arts Center.  Register on www.concordmuseum.org


Frozen Over: Boston’s Nineteenth Century Ice Age

Tuesday, January 25 | In-person and Virtual Forum

The Boston area, and Concord in particular, became a key center of ice production and trade in the nineteenth century. Concord native and Boston University professor, Andrew Robichaud, explores Boston’s economic cultural “ice age,” and considers its lasting implications. Register on www.concordmuseum.org


The Concord Museum is grateful to the sponsors of the exhibition: Middlesex Savings Bank; Elise and Pierce Browne; Kate and Robert Chartener; Middlesex School; Powers Gallery; Three Stones Gallery.


*From the Foreword to the 2011 autobiography, Loring W. Coleman: Living and Painting in a Changing New England, published by Hard Press Editions
















December 31, 2021


Concord, MA 01742 United States + Google Map