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Lake Erie Shore

1961 Werner Groshans Born: Eutingen, Germany 1913 Died: Catskill, New York 1986 oil on canvas 17 1/8 x 23 1/8 in. (43.6 x 58.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Henry Ward Ranger through the National Academy of Design 1999.16 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 39A

Luce Center Quote

"What interests me is the mysterious element that really does exist in nature, sometimes the most commonplace objects and situations—that magic moment that makes an unexplainable experience linger in your memory." The artist, quoted in Dulac, "Werner Groshans: Painter of Realism & Fantasy," American Artist 34, no. 6 (June 1970)

Luce Center Label

In Lake Erie Shore a man and his springer spaniel enjoy a day at the beach, apparently oblivious to the woman walking toward them. The dark clouds that fill the sky and the disconnected footprints in the sand add to the unsettling feeling of this otherwise conventional scene. Werner Groshans always began his paintings with a pastel study, which he transferred to canvas using tracing paper. He used a wide brush to finish the paintings, which minimized the visibility of his brushstrokes, resulting in a dream-like feeling in his art. Groshans would spend months on a single image and often had several in progress at the same time. His landscapes often contain strange juxtapositions of figures who appear unaware of one another's presence.

This artwork was recommended by citizen curators as part of our Fill the Gap project on Flickr. They said:

"I like it because it is mysterious. The narrative is not clear so it lends itself well to multiple interpretations. I like the artist's use of red." -Mary

"Thematically it seems to relate to the other works in exploring ideas of humanity's relationship with the natural world. Technically it utilized an atmospheric style + subdued palette that references the other works as well as provides contrast of mood." -Jennifer Younger



Figure group

Figure group - male and child

Landscape - coast

Landscape - lake - Lake Erie


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Werner Groshans

Born: Eutingen, Germany 1913 Died: Catskill, New York 1986