While the coast of Maine provides a consistent backdrop for the subject matter of the exhibition, the diversity of artists brings a uniqueness and freshness to the show. Many works from the estate of Sears Gallagher are included and of particular note is the artist's rendition of Monhegan Harbor. Painted late in the afternoon, the small oil is luminous and rich. Manana Island is cast in blueish-purple shadows and warm green highlights. Fishing boats rest in the quiet harbor, surrounded by a robin egg blue sea. Gallagher was comfortable in many mediums, including etching, watercolor and oils. His delicate and fuzzy lined etchings depict many familiar scenes on Monhegan in the early 20th century - Fish Beach, old fishermen cleaning fish, card games in the fish shacks at night, seine fishermen and lobstermen at work.
Contrasting Gallagher's clear realism is a collection of watercolors and ink washes by former Port Clyde artist, William Thon. Thon gained national attention with his soft, ethereal works of schooners under sail, often dissolving in an atmosphere of sea mist or spray. The artist is represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum, among others.
The exhibition is rounded out by works from many prominent American artists inspired by Maine, including James Fitzgerald's views of Mt Katahdin, Alice Kent Stoddard's “Wik Wak, Monhegan,” Frank Benson's "Bluebills and Canvasbacks in Flight," Rockwell Kent's "Mountain Climber," Morris Shulman's "Nesting Cormorants," and Andrew Winter's "Pilot Boat" and "Grand Manan Light."
"Sears Gallagher, William Thon and 20th Century Maine Art" will continue at the Wiscasset Bay Gallery, 67 Main Street, Wiscasset, Maine through August 2nd. For further information, call (207) 882-7682 or visit the gallery’s website at www.wiscassetbaygallery.com. The Wiscasset Bay Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Wiscasset Bay Gallery is located at 67 Main Street (Route 1) in historic Wiscasset village. Parking is available on side streets throughout the village’s downtown.