This watercolor was almost certainly painted in Gloucester, Massachusetts, during the summer of 1934 when Rothko and his wife Edith Sachar (1912–1981) vacationed there with the Averys—Milton (1885–1965), Sally, and March—and Esther and Adolph Gottlieb (1903–1974). Rothko rented a house on Calder Street, East Gloucester, about half a mile from the working wharfs of Smith Cove, the center of the city’s fishing industry. This watercolor appears to depict a schooner at a wharf with one or more of its sails lowered to dry. The prominent building visible against the sky on the horizon at upper right may be City Hall, which would have been visible from Smith Cove to the north across the harbor (fig. 1).
Mark Rothko: Works on Paper will ultimately document approximately 2,600 works from public and private collections worldwide. Cataloging is ongoing, and works and information will be added to the site during the coming years.