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Cape School of Art

Cape School of Art

To educate the artist in the perception and use of color and light in representational painting. Through workshops, classes, and lectures we work to inform a new generation of artists, patrons, Provincetown residents and visitors about the teaching and enduring influence of American Impressionist Henry Hensche and his mentor Charles W. Hawthorne, founder of Provincetown’s historic art colony and the original Cape Cod School.

In 1896 Charles Hawthorne became assistant instructor to William Merritt Chase at his Shinnecock, Long Island outdoor painting school where the lessons of the French Impressionists were first brought to American shores. In 1899 Hawthorne opened his own outdoor school in Provincetown, MA – the Cape Cod School of Art – the first school to teach outdoor figure painting. By 1915 Provincetown would grow into one of the largest art colonies in the world, attracting such luminaries as Childe Hassam, William Paxton, and Ernest Lawson. Artists who sought Hawthorne’s instruction included Emile Gruppe, Norman Rockwell, Max Bohm and Richard Miller. 
As a young student at the Art Institute of Chicago, Henry was enthralled with the strong, virile color in paintings done by some of his fellow students who had studied with Hawthorne in Provincetown during the summer break. Henry was 20 years old when he arrived at the Cape Cod School of Art, and he soon came to revere Hawthorne as a father figure. In 1928 Hensche became Hawthorne’s teaching assistant. He is lis

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