American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: Martin Johnson Heade, American, 1819–1904

Lynn Meadows


Oil on canvas

12 3/8 × 30 3/8 in. (31.4 × 77.2 cm)
Gift of Arnold H. Nichols, B.A. 1920
In this painting, Martin Johnson Heade captures a place of transition. Some old-fashioned square-riggers appear in the far distance on the water. Along the railroad that bisects the marsh, a modern train exits the scene, polluting the air with coal smoke. Men dig clams from the mudflats, a traditional form of labor, adhering not to the railroad’s schedule but to that of the tides. Although Heade’s pastoral frankly acknowledges the railroad, which was playing a major role in the Civil War, it offers no hint of the dramatic transformation of nearby Lynn, Massachusetts, into a major industrial center.
Made in New York, United States
Not on view
19th century

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 242–43, 247, no. 138, ill.

“Recent Gifts and Purchases,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 32, no. 1 (Spring 1968): 27.

“The Artists’ Fund Exhibition,” Albion (1866): 561.

Theodore E. Stebbins Jr., Martin Johnson Heade, exh. cat. (College Park, Md.: University of Maryland, 1969).

Theodore E. Stebbins Jr., The Life and Works of Martin Johnson Heade (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1975), 46, 73, 99.

Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. and Galina Gorokhoff, A Checklist of American Paintings at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982).

Malcolm Robinson, The American Vision: Landscape Paintings of the United States (London: Octopus Books, 1988), 30-31.

Louise Minks, The Hudson River School (New York: Crescent Books, 1989), 60-61.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 29.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.