1916: The Great Provincetown Summer

WhenTuesday, July 26, 7pm



Price$10 Museum admission (free for PAAM members)

A lecture with author Amy Whorf McGuiggan

As war raged in Europe, artists and writers who would have spent the summer in Paris returned home, converging on Provincetown, where they mixed and mingled with students in Charles Hawthorne’s painting class, Portuguese fishermen, and vacationers. The cast of luminaries included journalists and activists Mary Heaton Vorse and John Reed; writers Susan Glaspell and her husband George Cram “Jig” Cook; printmakers Blanche Lazzell and B.J.O. Nordfeldt; poet Harry Kemp; and a young, unknown playwright named Eugene O’Neill, whose work would change the face of American drama.

History is a continuum, the carryover of yesterday’s events into the present and tomorrow. If it is virtually impossible to say precisely where, when or why a particular event in history began, it is sometimes possible to point to a defining cultural moment, when visionary ideas, bold artistic spirit, a supportive environment, creative collaboration, and creative rivalry all converge in a rare synergy. Such a moment was the Provincetown summer of 1916.

About the speaker

Amy Whorf McGuiggan is the granddaughter of artist John Whorf. She spent idyllic childhood summers in the West End and traces her Provincetown roots back to before 1760, proudly claiming eight generations buried in the Provincetown cemeteries! She is the author of My Provincetown; Christmas in New England; Take Me Out to the Ball Game: The Story of the Sensational Baseball Song; and John Whorf Rediscovered.

In 2013 she curated Moments in Time, Pictures of Place, an exhibition of Albert Edel’s etchings at PAAM, and in 2014 she wrote and curated Forgotten Port: Provincetown’s Whaling Heritage at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Most recently she has been working with the Provincetown Cemetery Commission to identify historic graves and develop a brochure for visitors interested in learning more about Provincetown’s many notable citizens. She is currently at work on a genealogical memoir, Finding Emma.

The Fredi Schiff Levin Lecture Series

Established in 2003 in honor of the artist Fredi Schiff Levin who was a member of Provincetown’s arts community from the 1960s until her passing in 2002. PAAM gratefully acknowledges John and Toni Levin, and Liz Lovati of Angel Foods who make this program possible with their generous support. FSL lectures are free to members of PAAM or with the cost of Museum admission. A selection of previous lectures can be viewed on our YouTube page.