The building in Rockport that best exemplifies the town’s rich history from fishing village to artist colony is Motif Number 1. The iconic red building was originally constructed in the 1840s to house fishing supplies and daily catches of local fishermen in the area around Bearskin Neck. As the neighborhood shifted towards an artists colony, the building was used by artist John Buckley as his personal studio. The bright red building was commonly the focal point in paintings for the artists nearby, and the building gained international notoriety. In 1945, he gifted the building to the Town of Rockport to stand as a memorial to those who served in the Armed Services. Sadly, the building was destroyed in the Blizzard if 1978, but was rebuilt within the year thanks to funds from the town and citizens.
The building’s name, Motif Number 1 is believed to have been coined by painter Lester Hornby, who referenced it as being the favorite subject of the town’s artists.