Paintings of Maine Book of Postcards
The coast of New England has long attracted tourists and artists drawn to the primal drama of the ocean. The nineteenth century brought changes as coastal communities shifted from an industrialized economic resource to a therapeutic shelter for middle-class tourists, while artists banded together for purposes of camaraderie, creativity, and commerce, and founded coastal art colonies from Connecticut to Maine.
The art colonies of New England—in Ogunquit and Monhegan, Maine, as well as in Old Lyme and Cos Cob, Connecticut—played a key role in the creation of an American national identity in the early twentieth century and were inspiration for nationally recognized artists, including Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, and George Bellows.
In search of cooler temperatures, painters from Connecticut often made trips to Ogunquit and Monhegan. Ogunquit, a picturesque fishing village in southern Maine, played host to an ideological contrast between two artistic cultures in the early twentieth century: the regionalist image of “old” New England by Boston painter Charles H. Woodbury and the modernist worldview of charismatic New York painter Hamilton Easter Field. In 1898 Woodbury established a school that literally put Ogunquit on the map as an art colony with a reputation as a haven for single women from proper Boston families, including such artists as Gertrude Fiske.
The remoteness and rugged landscape of Monhegan Island attracted Samuel Peter Rolt Triscott, Eric Hudson, and other artists as early as the 1890s, and a number of Old Lyme artists summered there. The most influential artist who worked on the island was Robert Henri. As a member of the Ashcan School and a teacher at the New York School of Art, Henri encouraged his fellow artists to visit Monhegan to escape the grittiness of the city. Henri and fellow painter Edward Willis Redfield laid the foundation for an art colony that included Edward Hopper and George Bellows. Although by the 1950s Monhegan fell out of favor as communities elsewhere in New England rose to prominence, in the twenty-first century Monhegan still attracts artists from around the country.
- Will Barnet (American, b. 1911), Winter Sky, 1985
- George Bellows (American, 1882–1925), Matinicus, 1916
- Albert Bierstadt (American, b. Germany, 1830–1902), Autumn Birches (Approaching Storm), c. 1860
- Harrison Bird Brown (American, 1831–1915), Camping on Grand Manan with the W. H. Pratt of Boston Offshore, 1870
- Clarence Chatterton (American, 1880–1973), Road to Ogunquit, c. 1940
- Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900), Mount Katahdin from Millinocket Camp, 1895
- Charles Codman (American, 1800–1842), View of Diamond Cove from Great Diamond Island, c. 1829
- Gertrude Fiske (American, 1878–1961), Silver Maple, Ogunquit, c. 1920
- James Fitzgerald (American, 1899–1971), Frank Pierce, c. 1968
- Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943), Kinsman Falls, 1930
- Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935), Isles of Shoals, 1915
- Robert Henri (American, 1865–1929), Marine–Break over Sunken Rock, Storm Sea, 1911
- Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910), Leaping Trout, 1889
- Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910), Weatherbeaten, 1894
- Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910), Wild Geese in Flight, 1897
- Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967), Monhegan Houses, Maine, 1916–1919
- Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967), Pemaquid Light, 1929
- Eric Hudson (American, 1864–1932), Manana, n.d.
- Walt Kuhn (American, 1877–1949), Lobster Cove, Ogunquit, 1912
- Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865), Castine Harbor, 1852
- John Marin (American, 1870–1953), Deer Isle Series: Mark Island Lighthouse, 1928
- Thomas Moran (American, b. England, 1837–1926), The Lotus Eaters, 1895
- Carl Sprinchorn (American, b. Sweden, 1887–1971), Gloria October, Shin Pond, Maine, 1946
- William E. Thon (American, 1906–2000), Storm Sea, n.d.
- Samuel Peter Rolt Triscott (American, b. England, 1846–1925), Untitled [View of Monhegan], c. 1918
- Neil Welliver (American, 1929–2005), Osprey’s Nest, 1979–1980
- Andrew Winter (American, b. Estonia, 1892–1958), Below Zero—Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, 1934
- N. C. Wyeth (American, 1882–1945), Dark Harbor Fishermen, 1943
- Marguerite Zorach (American, 1887–1968), The Woolwich Marshes, c. 1935
- William Zorach (American, b. Lithuania, 1887–1966), Beach at Bay Point, 1946