Eclipse of 1932

Howard Russell Butler, American, 1856—1934
Solar Eclipse, 1932
Oil on canvas
Princeton University, gift of David H. McAlpin, Class of 1920

Butler worked with astronomers and traveled across the U.S. to make his iconic paintings of the 1918, 1923, and 1925 total solar eclipses. Then, in 1932, a curious thing happened. There was an eclipse that year, but Butler did not have to travel to see it; it came to his own backyard. For some years, Butler had spent his summers at several places on the Maine coast where he painted a number of seascapes. It so happened that the house he occupied in 1932 in York Harbor was close to the center line of the total solar eclipse of that year, so he was able to paint the eclipse (Solar Eclipse, 1932) from his own studio.