Motif #1 was so-named by Lester Hornby, probably best known for his WWI sketches and etchings. In 1918, Hornby received a pass from General Pershing in order to portray the American Army in advances along the Marne and the Meuse Rivers. He ate, slept, lived and advanced with the American Doughboys and was hospitalized once after a mustard gas attack. During the war he was able to depict American fighting men with inordinate sensitivity and compassion.
After the War, Hornby taught in Cape Ann, and the story goes that his students so often used this fishing shack as a subject for their work that he named it Motif #1.
In fact, Motif No. 1 is outranked as an artist's image only by the Mona Lisa. When it collapsed in the Blizzard of 1978, the townspeople quickly rebuilt it – such is the place of art (and tourism) in Rockport.
February 10, 2002
From journal Rockport in the Off-Season