Rockport, Massachusetts

The beautiful red fishing shack named Motif #1, nestled on Bradley Wharf in Rockport, Massachusetts, stands as one of New England's most iconic structures.

Location Added By:

Tom Riley (GoXplr Account)

About This Location

Motif #1, nestled on Bradley Wharf in Rockport, Massachusetts, stands as one of New England's most iconic structures. Revered by artists and art enthusiasts alike, this humble yet picturesque replica fish shack has earned the title of "America's most frequently painted building." Its history, resilience, and significance in the world of art and maritime culture have made it a beloved symbol of New England's coastal life.

The story of Motif #1 began in 1840 when the original fish shack was constructed. It became a favorite subject for painters due to its unique composition, the interplay of light and shadow on its weathered facade, and its representation of the quintessential New England coastal scene. At that time, Rockport was undergoing a transformation, attracting both artists and fishermen to its picturesque shores.

The name "Motif Number 1" is said to have originated with artist Lester Hornby in the early 20th century, recognizing the shack's special significance to the town's painters. Over time, this name gained widespread acceptance and became its official title. The shack featured prominently in the works of artists like Aldro Hibbard and Harry Aiken Vincent, who were drawn to its charm and character.

In the 1930s, painter John Buckley chose Motif #1 as his studio, cementing its status as an artistic treasure. Recognizing its cultural and historic importance, Buckley sold the shack to the town of Rockport in 1945, ensuring its preservation for future generations. Since then, the town has taken great care to maintain both its structure and appearance, acknowledging its iconic value.

Today, Motif #1 continues to draw visitors from all corners of the globe to the charming coastal town of Rockport. Its enduring appeal lies not only in its visual beauty but also in the rich history and cultural significance it represents. As you explore Rockport, you'll find approximately two dozen public, free parking spaces available on T-Wharf, offering spectacular views of Motif #1. However, on pleasant days, these parking spots can fill up quickly, so additional street parking options are also available, ensuring you can experience the allure of this iconic New England landmark. Or visit during the off-season when this coastal town is very quiet.

Location Features

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Bradley Wharf, Rockport, Massachusetts

GPS Coordinates:
42.659265, -70.614833
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
There are about two dozen public and free parking spaces on T-Wharf in Rockport. The wharf offers great views of Motif #1. On nice days, parking does fill up quickly. Additional street parking is available.


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