Langlais estate in Historical Society program
Cushing — The Cushing Historical Society will meet for the final time this season Thursday, Oct. 10, at its Meeting House on Hathorn Point Road. The evening will begin 6 p.m. with the autumn potluck supper, followed by the 7:30 p.m. program titled Blackie’s World: Bernard and Helen Langlais in Cushing. Hanna Blunt and Annette Naegel will highlight their individual contribution to this highly visible project.
“I feel a sense of oneness with the state,” wrote artist Bernard Langlais of his native Maine. In 1956, after studying art in Washington, D.C., New York, Paris and Norway, Langlais and his wife Helen purchased a cottage on the St. George River as a summer getaway from their Chelsea loft. Ten years later, the couple bought the farm across River Road and moved permanently to Cushing.
Langlais was drawn back to Maine by the exalting effect it had on all facets of his art, from his subject matter to his studio practice to the media in which he worked. In the last 11 years of his life, he poured his physical and creative energy into the construction of more than 100 monumental sculptures, which he erected in the fields, ponds and on the rocky rises of his Cushing property. In her lecture, Blunt will trace Langlais’ remarkable artistic evolution as it coincided with his partial then complete return to Maine and culminated in his passionate reconciliation of art and place.
Blunt is the Langlais Curator for Special Projects at the Colby College Museum of Art. She holds an MA in Art History from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College; and previously served as a research assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Harvard Art Museum. She currently is preparing for a retrospective exhibition and catalogue on Langlais, whose Cushing home she occupied from 2010 to 2012.
Naegel will speak on Langlais past, present and future. At his home in Cushing, Langlais spoke about the land begging for sculpture — he understood and worked with the interplay between nature and art. Georges River Land Trust has the chance to echo his understanding of how art and land support each other, as it will be the new owner of the property. Naegel will discuss the land trust’s work and how the land conservation organization got to this place of creating a sculpture park at the Langlais estate and its plans for the future.
Naegel is the Conservation Program Manager for Georges River Land Trust and is responsible for the land conservation projects of the organization. The organization has conserved nearly 3,000 acres in the watershed of the St. George River and has two preserves in Cushing, Pleasant Point Nature Preserve and Cross Cushing Preserve, as well as several conservation easements.
Attendees are reminded to bring their own place settings and a contribution to the meal.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or email@example.com.