Winter retrospective on Monhegan

Jun 23, 2017
“Gulls at Monhegan” is a 1936 oil on canvas by Andrew Winter in the Collection of U.S. Department of State, Art in Embassies Program.

Monhegan — “Reckoning with Nature: Andrew Winter at Monhegan Island” is on view through Sept. 30 at Monhegan Museum of Art & History, 1 Lighthouse Hill. The opening reception will be Sunday, July 2, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Andrew Winter was an acclaimed mid-20th century artist, born in Estonia, who sailed around the world before immigrating to the United States. He ultimately made Monhegan Island his year-round home, distinguishing him from the many artists of the summer art colony. He painted snow-covered vistas, rough winter seas and fishermen at work hauling lobster traps. This summer’s art exhibition is a retrospective of Winter’s Monhegan paintings.

Winter’s love of the sea began during his childhood spent near the northern reaches of the Baltic Sea and expanded as he worked as a seaman. In 1920, he settled in New York and became a U.S. citizen. He enrolled in the School of the National Academy of Design and establish himself as an artist, living in New York’s famous Tenth Street Studio building.

After visiting Monhegan in the 1930s, Winter and his wife Mary gave up their New York apartment and bought a home on the island, where they lived until his death in 1958. Winter regularly rowed his small boat out into heavy seas to gather material for his paintings of working lobstermen. He also painted many shipwrecks that no doubt reminded him of ones he had seen during his years as a seaman.

Winter’s attraction to this remote island off the Maine coast was not a rejection of the art world. He continued to exhibit his work, including at the international Venice Biennial in 1938, with other noted painters such as Winslow Homer.

The Monhegan Museum of Art & History is located in the historic Monhegan Island Light Station and exists to steward and showcase the art and artifacts that represent the collective values of its community and to educate and communicate its meaning. The Monhegan Lighthouse Keeper’s House contains exhibits of Monhegan’s history. The Assistant Keeper’s House has an art gallery that displays annual art exhibitions featuring the museums’ art collection that spans more than 150 years.

In addition, the Rockwell Kent/James Fitzgerald Historic Artists’ Home and Studio display a collection of works by Fitzgerald. The museum is open daily, and the Kent/Fitzgerald Home and Studio are open Tuesdays and Saturdays and by appointment throughout the summer. For more information, call 596-7003 or visit monheganmuseum.org.

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

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