Motif Number 1: Rockport’s Heart and Soul

| Published: | Last Updated: April 22, 2022 | , , , , ,

The most-painted building in America located in Rockport

Here’s the story behind America’s most-painted building, a red shack located at the end of Bradley Wharf in Rockport, Massachusetts. Originally built in the mid-1800s to store fishing gear, by 1900, the building became a frequent subject of the painters who had begun spending their summers in Rockport. Thanks to artist Lester Hornby, in the 1930s the humble shack acquired the rather imposing name it’s still known by today: Motif Number 1. Watch the video to find out why!

Over time, a belief has developed that Hornby’s use of the word motif means cliche and over-done. In getting the perspective of some Rockport locals on Motif Number 1, it’s clear the iconic site has meaning that is far from trite. In fact, Motif Number 1 offers some timeless truths about what it means to be a part of a community.


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