The growth of two of New England’s oldest and most revered summer art colonies is the subject of a special exhibition, “Cape Ann & Monhegan Island Vistas: Contrasted New England Art Colonies,” at the Cape Ann Museum. The show features works by artists who visited and were inspired by both places including Theresa Bernstein, Walter Farndon, Eric Hudson, Margaret Patterson, and Charles Movalli.
Monhegan and Cape Ann trace the roots of their respective art colonies back to the mid-19th century and specifically to the years immediately following the Civil War. Summer enclaves, which emerged during that time, gave artists the chance to socialize with one another, work together, share ideas, try out new techniques, and critique each other’s works.
Located 10 miles off the Maine coast, Monhegan is much smaller than Cape Ann and more isolated, however, both places offered their own vistas and many artists moved between the two colonies. During the 20th centuries, both communities saw a surge of artists, professional and amateur, visit their shores. Today, Monhegan and Cape Ann continue to be vibrant regional art colonies of national significance.
One of the artists featured in Island Vistas is Eric Hudson (1864-1932) who was an accomplished painter and photographer. An expanded collection of Hudson’s paintings will be on display in an adjoining gallery at the Cape Ann Museum, giving visitors the opportunity to delve deeper into his work.
The exhibition includes works from the collections of the Monhegan Museum of Art & History, the Cape Ann Museum, the Rockport Art Association & Museum, and private collections. Curated by art historian James F. O’Gorman, the exhibition was organized by Cape Ann Museum in collaboration with the Monhegan Museum of Art & History on the island of Monhegan in Maine.
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Newburyport should have been one of those locations. It was the artist colony that flourished there from 1960 and is still there.
This group should be credited for the revival of the area in a very large degree.
The list of watercolor, acrylic, and oil painters that lived (live) there is very long.
I had the pleasure of watching artists such as Bechler, Hartson, and Comeau to name a fraction of the artists produce beautiful works and exhibit them in the Newburyport Art Association building.
A building that the artists themselves saved from the claw of “urban renewal” what an ugly experiment.
I now am getting involved in art and I credit much to that colony.