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“He Painted Cape Cod”: The Art of C. D. Cahoon

 

Charles D. Cahoon was born in Harwich in 1861, and like many Harwich boys, went to sea as soon as he was old enough. In his spare time, he learned to draw and paint. At age 21, he was apprenticed to a cousin and learned the new art of photo retouching, delicately adding color to the black and white photos of the time. He moved to Boston and worked in this field for 20 years, while continuing to paint. At about 40, Cahoon decided to become a painter full time. He exhibited in shows throughout the northeast, and was able to make a good living from his paintings. He eventually moved back to Harwich where he enjoyed painting the local scenes. After losing money in the stock market crash of 1929, he often paid his bills with a painting. He is thought to have created more than 2500 paintings. Cahoon is recognized today as a major representational artist, beloved for his ability to capture the mood and spirit of a by-gone era.