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winslow homer book cover

William R. Cross with Winslow Homer: American Passage

Author Event
May 16, 2022

Moderated by John Kaag, author and professor of philosophy


The definitive life of the painter who forged American identity visually, in art and illustration. Winslow Homer’s impact was comparable to that of poet Walt Whitman and novelist Mark Twain.

Winslow Homer (1836–1910) captured the landscape of a rapidly changing country with an artist’s probing insight. The story of his life tale is one of America in all its complexity and contradiction. Personally and professionally, Homer evolved and adapted to restless spirit of invention transforming his world. In Winslow Homer: American Passage, William R. Cross reveals the man behind the art, his life led on the front lines of history. His 1860s Harper’s Weekly illustrations portray abolitionists alongside Frederick Douglass, declaring “the freedom of all mankind.” His masterful prints, water colors, and oil paintings, dating from the 1850s through to his death in 1910, were powerful; the moral urgency of his work speaks to his viewers to this day.


William R. Cross


William R. Cross is an independent scholar and a consultant to art and history museums. He served as the curator of the nationally renowned 2019 exhibition Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869–1880. He is the chairman of the advisory board of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He lives on Cape Ann, north of Boston.


John Kaag is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He is the author of American Philosophy: A Love Story and, most recently, Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life. He is currently working on a book about Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Order a copy of our featured book from Porter Square Books​​ at​​Place the code AMINSP22 ​​in the comments field, and your book will come ​signed by the author. Special for this event: If you would like your book personalized, place a name and, if you like, a salutation (Happy Birthday, Congratulations) in that same comments field. Books will be shipped next week.

Signed copies of moderator John Kaag’s book Sick Souls, Healthy Minds are also available at, using the code AMINSP22. Personalization is also available, following the same process as above.