Largest gift in museum’s history

$1 million Wyeth grant for Monhegan Museum

Mar 30, 2018
Photo by: Alan LaVallee The Monhegan Museum of Art & History is located in the historic Monhegan Island Light Station.

Monhegan — The Monhegan Museum of Art & History has received a $1 million challenge grant from the Wyeth Foundation. The Wyeth Foundation is funded by the generous support of Jamie and Phyllis Wyeth.

The museum has up to three years to match the gift, the largest in the museum’s history. This grant from the Wyeth Foundation will support the museum’s campaign to raise $4 million toward an endowment, with income from the endowment going to support operations and capital improvements to the museum’s buildings.

“Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth have been extremely generous to the Monhegan Museum for the past three decades,” said Monhegan Museum President Edward L. Deci.

The couple has encouraged the museum’s many efforts to restore its historic buildings; and has been very enthusiastic about the exhibitions it has mounted through the years, Deci said. This generous gift is one of the many ways they have supported the museum, and is intended to encourage other people to join them in ensuring the sustainability of a world-class museum on Monhegan Island.

“We are excited to present this gift to the Monhegan Museum to recognize the museum’s 50th anniversary, to honor its commitment to the economic and social well-being of the Monhegan community and the preservation of its history, and to secure the sustainability of the museum into the future,” said Jamie and Phyllis Wyeth.

The Wyeths have made this investment in the future of the museum out of their own enduring connection to Monhegan Island. They own a historic house built by Rockwell Kent on the island.

The museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary this season with the exhibition and commemorative book “The Monhegan Museum: Celebrating Fifty Years.” On view July 1 through Sept. 30, the exhibition will highlight major works from the collection including works by George Bellows, James Fitzgerald, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Louise Nevelson, Andrew Wyeth and more than 70 other artists who have worked on Monhegan since the 1850s.

The Monhegan Museum of Art & History is located in the historic Monhegan Island Light Station, 12 nautical miles off the Midcoast. The Monhegan Lighthouse Keeper’s House contains exhibits of Monhegan’s history; and the Assistant Keeper’s House has an art gallery that displays annual art exhibitions featuring the museum’s art collection, which spans more than 150 years. In addition, the Rockwell Kent/James Fitzgerald Historic Artists’ Home and Studio display a collection of works by Fitzgerald. For more information, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.