Museum displays rare portrait by Winslow Homer

The Boston-born Homer was a friend of the boy's father Henry

This image released by the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., shows an 1878 oil on canvas painting by Winslow Homer of 9-year-old Charles Prentice Howland. The commissioned portrait, which previously had not been been publicly exhibited, went on display at the museum Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. The painting had been in the family since its creation and was donated to the museum by the sitter’s granddaughter Susan Montgomery Howell. (AP Photo/Clark Art Institute)

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. (AP) — A rare oil painting by the American artist Winslow Homer has been given as a gift to a Massachusetts museum.

Clark Art Institute in Williamstown says the 1878 commissioned portrait of Charles Prentice Howland has never been publicly exhibited, but will be on view starting Friday.

The institute says the portrait depicts a 9-year-old Howland, dressed for school with a book bag over his shoulder, posing “stiffly and perhaps impatiently” for the artist. The Boston-born Homer was a friend of the boy’s father Henry, a prominent New York judge, and an uncle, the artist Alfred Howland.

Clark says the painting has remained with the Howland family since 1878 and was donated by his granddaughter. Museum director Michael Conforti says the gift will add to Clark’s existing collection of Homer’s works.

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