7 Off Cemetery Road

7 Off Cemetery Road, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap. 
Jackson Lambert (self-portrait), Provincetown (ND). Collection of Helen and Napi Van Dereck. Courtesy of Helen and Napi Van Dereck.From what one has heard of the artist Jackson Lambert (1919-2011), it seems reasonable to surmise that he would have been quietly amused by the notion of dying on a street called Off Cemetery; indeed, that he might have executed a deft cartoon on the very topic. This was his home for the last five years of his life. He moved here in 2006 from 150 Commercial Street so that Maggie, his lab, could have an enclosed yard. (Sally Rose, “Provincetown Artist Jackson Lambert Celebrates Nine Decades of Creative Life,” The Provincetown Banner/Wicked Local, 14 November 2009.)

Lambert grew up on a farm in Illinois and briefly studied art and sculpture at the University of Illinois. He was introduced to Provincetown in the 1930s by one of his professors, LaForce Bailey (1893-1962), who had studied with Charles W. Hawthorne and made it his annual habit to spent summers on the Lower Cape. (Provincetown Artist Registry.) Lambert got the idea of Provincetown pretty much right away when he spied the sandal-maker Menalkas Duncan (later of 447 Commercial Street) walking down the street dressed in a chiton.

Lambert served as a tank gunner in the Army during World War II and survived the landing on Omaha Beach during D-Day. He studied with Provincetown’s farm team — the Art Students League of New York — and spent time in the painters’ studios at the Days lumberyard on Pearl Street.

With his wife, Carmen Felt (d 1998), he moved to Provincetown year-round in 1966. He then entered into an enormously productive collaboration with Anton “Napi” Van Dereck Haunstrup as Napi and his wife Helen developed their restaurant at 7 Freeman Street. Lambert was responsible for much of the aesthetic sensibility of the place, with his sculpture, artwork and signage. He transformed Freeman Street with tilework and the whimsical murals on a pump house just outside Napi’s known as the Douglas N. Trumbo Memorial. He also worked with Frank D. Schaefer on the White Horse Inn, 500 Commercial Street.

Perhaps his largest audience, however, came in the pages of The Provincetown Advocate and then The Provincetown Banner, for which he produced a weekly illustrated column and commentary called “Jackson Hole” over four decades.

By his own choice unrepresented in any Provincetown gallery, Lambert worked instead with the dealer Lynne Burns in New York. Though his work is almost instantly recognizable, it is not because of monotony. “Throughout the years he would vary his style,” Sally Rose wrote in his obituary, “from a funky primitive pop art to a sometimes mosaic-like impressionistic approach, or his very own creation, ‘fettucine impressionism,’ in which vertical parallel lines structure the painting.” (Sally Rose, “Artist Jackson Lambert Dies at 91,” The Provincetown Banner, 8 September 2011.) When Rose asked him how he would like audiences to respond to his work, Lambert answered, “I like them to sit in a stunned silence and moan a little bit.”

He died in this house on 1 September 2011, at 91. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-05-25


 

Bar sign by Jackson Lambert, Provincetown (ND). Collection of Helen and Napi Van Dereck. Courtesy of Helen and Napi Van Dereck.

 

"Souvenir of Provincetown," by Jackson Lambert. Copyright © 1988 by Jackson Lambert. Napi Van Dereck Press.

 

7 Freeman Street, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.Jackson Lambert (self-portrait), Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.

 

Douglas N. Trumbo Memorial, Freeman Street, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.

 

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