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Selected Examples of works by Ralph Cahoon

Cold Beer                                        
Ralph Cahoon (1910-1982)
Oil on wood panel

Ralph Cahoon often based his paintings on 18th- and 19th-century paintings and prints. He paid close attention to the exhibitions of museums all over this country and in Europe.              

In April 1955, a special exhibition opened at the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibit showcased an important gift to the museum, a collection of watercolor drawings by the Italian-born artist Nicolino V. Calyo (1799-1884) from his series “The Cries of New York.”

Cahoon borrowed Calyo’s composition Root Beer Seller and expanded the theme.

Cold Beer was painted sometime in the 1950s, early in Mr. Cahoon’s easel painting career. His palette is that of his furniture painting, and the piece does not feature mermaids. The fact that the painting is not on masonite also helps to set the date.

The Sailors’ Favorite
Ralph Cahoon (1910-1982)
Oil on masonite

Ralph Cahoon painted “The Sailors’ Favorite” to commemorate the Old Howard, a famous Boston burlesque theater which had closed its doors in 1953. (In 1958, plans were under way to convert the theater into a museum when a fire destroyed much of the building. It was soon razed.) During its 115-year history, the Old Howard fostered the careers of such notables as the Booths (Edwin, Junius Brutus and John Wilkes), Jenny Lind, William Macready, Fanny Brice, Gypsy Rose Lee and Sally Rand. The building was designed by Isaiah Rogers, and its Gothic design is considered unique in the history of American theater architecture. The Old Howard was an upstairs house with an orchestra pit and parquet, a horseshoe balcony and gallery of wooden pews. The sides were lined with stage boxes. Altogether, the theater seated 1,500.

Located on Howard Street near Court Street, the building was once a huge wooden structure dignified by the name Tabernacle. Here, the disciples of the self-proclaimed prophet William Miller awaited their ascension on the night of April 23, 1843, which their leader predicted would bring the Second Coming of Christ. But the following morning, the congregation dispersed ingloriously back out onto the streets.

Renamed the Howard Athenaeum, the building was then leased out for theatrical performances. It opened Oct. 13, 1845, and promptly burnt down. It was rebuilt and opened the following October. It hosted such traveling shows as “Scout of the Plains,” with Buffalo Bill and Kit Carson, and gave Bostonians their first Italian opera, Verdi’s “Ernani.” In 1868, it became a vaudeville theater. In the early 1900s, nicknamed the “Old Howard,” it primarily featured burlesque shows that attracted a seedy, but picturesque Bohemia, especially Harvard undergraduates and furloughed servicemen.

Sailor Valentine with Dancing By The Sea
Ralph Cahoon
(1910-1982)
Oil on Masonite
Bernard Woodman 
(1920-1986)
Shells on Board

Bon Appetit
Ralph Cahoon
(1910-1982)
Oil on Masonite

Seaside Apple Harvest
Ralph Cahoon
(1910-1982)
Oil on masonite

A View of Barbados, W.I.
Ralph Cahoon
(1910-1982)
Oil on masonite
Bernard Woodman 
(1920-1986)
Shells on Board

Megansett Tea Room
Ralph Cahoon
(1910-1982)
Oil on Masonite

Cotuit Oyster Company   Ralph Cahoon
(1910-1982)
Oil on masonite

Selected Examples of works by Ralph Cahoon :: Selected Examples of Works by Martha Cahoon
American School Paintings :: Maritime Paintings :: American Impressionism :: 19th Century :: 20th Century
21st Century Cape Cod Artists