Surf at Lobster Cove_James Fitzgerald

“Surf at Lobster Cove,” a 1955 watercolor and Chinese ink on paper, by James Fitzgerald.

MONHEGAN ISLAND — This summer, the Monhegan Museum of Art & History celebrates the life and art of painter James Fitzgerald (1899-1971) in a retrospective of his watercolor and oil paintings. “The Odyssey of James Fitzgerald” is on view July 1 through Sept. 30, 2022.

“The Odyssey of James Fitzgerald” explores Fitzgerald’s early sketches as a student at the Massachusetts College of Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and paintings from his time in Monterey, Calif., where he was part of a community of artists and writers known as the Cannery Row circle. A special focus will be paid to Fitzgerald’s paintings of Monhegan Island, where he visited several times in the 1920s and 1930s before making the island his permanent residence. With the help of his good friends and patrons, Anne and Edgar Hubert, he purchased a home and studio built by Rockwell Kent — buildings that are now part of the Monhegan Museum. Fitzgerald’s Monhegan paintings were informed by his close observation of the place and the people, and by his interest in Asian art and philosophy, which he first encountered in California. Paintings of Fitzgerald’s annual trips to Maine’s Mount Katahdin, and from his visits to the Aran Islands in Ireland, explore his lifelong interest in the power of nature and man’s relationship to the sea.