For two weeks this spring Dr. Daniel O’Leary, former director of the Portland Museum of Art, will have private access to the Winslow Homer Studio on Prouts Neck in Scarborough.

While at the studio, O’Leary will immerse himself in the private world of the artist most well known for his seascapes and his magazine illustrations of the Civil War. O’Leary is planning to write a book about Homer and the history of his work in Maine.

O’Leary’s book will demonstrate the extensive role that Prouts Neck and the adjacent Cliff Walk played in Homer’s art and will also identify the entire range of seascapes that can be linked to specific locations in the area.

“This is a very special opportunity, and one that I deeply appreciate,” O’Leary said. “The creative output that Winslow Homer accomplished during the 26 years in this studio represents one of the foremost achievements in American art. Homer’s work could not have evolved and triumphed without this extraordinary site.”

He added, “I view this location as the most inspiring place in the history of American art, and I will particularly value the chance to explore Homer’s beloved Cliff Walk and trace the exact locations recorded in his paintings.”

O’Leary led the Portland Museum of Art from 1993 to 2006 and helped launch the effort for the museum to acquire Homer’s historic studio, restore it to its original condition and build an endowment to preserve its future.

A graduate of Princeton and the University of Michigan, O’Leary holds a doctorate in Art History as well as a master’s degree in marketing and management. He is the chief executive officer of the Quimby Family Foundation.

Homer’s studio is where he painted many of his masterpieces from 1883 until his death. A National Historic Landmark, the newly renovated studio celebrates the artist’s life, encourages scholarship on Homer and offers the opportunity to get in touch with Maine’s cultural and natural heritage.

The studio is open to the public on a seasonal basis, with tours resuming on April 16. Tickets are $55 for non-members, $30 for members or $25 for students with valid ID. Advance reservations are required. Call 775-6148 or see to make a reservation or for more information.

This spring, Dr. Daniel E. O’Leary, former director of the Portland Museum of Art, will be an artist in residence at the Winslow Homer Studio in Scarborough.Courtesy photo

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