Lead: In 1861 a young American artist began a stellar career with an assignment to illustrate scenes of the Civil War.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Winslow Homer, considered one of the finest American artists of the nineteenth century, is most well known for his objective paintings of rural American life, the tropics, and the life and struggles of fishermen at sea. Homer was born in Boston in 1836. Unlike most of his contemporaries such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and James McNeill Whistler, he was not academically trained in Europe and painted a majority of his works in the United States. He was mostly self-taught; apprenticed to a lithographic firm at age 19, in 1858 he began his professional career in New York as a free-lance illustrator for Harper’s Weekly. Homer’s reputation was built responding to a new relish by the reading public for visual material to accompany printed text. He specialized in wood engravings, designs etched onto wood blocks which were then printed. Newly established weeklies as Ballou’s Pictorial, Leslie’s Weekly, and the most popular of all – Harper’s, created an unprecedented demand for illustrators. Simplified forms, crisp outlines and objectivity characterized Homer’s work and set him apart from other artists.

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