My historical fiction novel writing friend advised me to look into art. “It’s a great resource for costumes and scenes and hints about the way people used to live.”
Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by the Cleveland Art Museum, and I now get what my writer friend means. Before the Impressionists, art functioned as photos do today — portraits, but also scenes of people living their lives. The Cleveland collection has some gems, and there’s no admission charge. Just wander in the door and view to your heart’s content. With permission, I took non-flash photos in the nineteenth century rooms.
“The Boat Builder,” 1904 is by John George Brown. The painting of the steamships is a detail from a much larger painting by Thomas Eakins called “The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake,” 1873.