Monhegan Museum of Art & History Announces Publication of the James Fitzgerald Catalogue Raisonné

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of painter James Fitzgerald’s death in 2021, the James Fitzgerald Legacy at the Monhegan Museum of Art & History has released the first volume from the James Fitzgerald catalogue raisonné project, entitled James Fitzgerald: The Drawings and Sketches. This first in-depth presentation of Fitzgerald’s preliminary studies discusses his drawing process and enables readers to experience the evolution of Fitzgerald’s process from initial sketch to finished work. “James Fitzgerald was not interested in self-promotion. He left the issue of his legacy to others, believing it would be taken care of after he died. He lived according to a basic philosophic tenet that held that if the work were good, it would survive, and if not, it shouldn’t,” said author Robert L. Stahl. “The James Fitzgerald Legacy hopes that this volume will continue the process that he left to others, allowing greater public accessibility while promoting
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Susan Danly joins the Legacy Board

The Legacy announces a transition in the composition of its leadership positions.  Gail R. Scott, who has worked with us as Fitzgerald Legacy Art Historian and Catalogue Raisonné Art Historian since 2009, has left our ranks.  Gail has been asked to contribute to a book for a major Marsden Hartley exhibition.  While we are very happy for Gail that she has been afforded this opportunity, we are nonetheless sad to lose her collaboration and expertise.  We all wish her the very best success and thank her for her many contributions over the years. The Legacy is extremely pleased to announce that Susan Danly will be joining our ranks.  Susan is a specialist in American Art and the history of photography, holding PhD and MA degrees from Brown University.  She has over 30 years of experience as a curator, most recently have served as Chief Curator at the Portland Museum of
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Lois Macuga Gifts Painting to the Legacy

The James Fitzgerald Legacy is very excited to announce that Lois Macuga, a painter from Queechee Vermont, has gifted to the Legacy a wonderful watercolor of Fitzgerald’s wife Pegs.  The painting, entitled “Nude”, shows the dancer drying herself after a bath, with one leg lifted on a wooden chair.  The setting of the painting is special, as it is one of only a few paintings known to have been completed showing the interior of the house/studio that Fitzgerald built in Monterey, California in the early 1930s.  We are extremely grateful to Lois Macula for gifting this wonderful watercolor, which will be on view in the Fitzgerald studio on Monhegan during the 2015 season.
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Gift of Oral History Tapes Received

In late 2012, Gail Scott, Legacy Art Historian, and Robert Stahl visited the home of George and Diana Schnake. George and Diana were close friends of the Huberts, and have long been major Fitzgerald enthusiasts and supporters. In 1990 – 1992, the Schnakes visited the Huberts in Dover, MA on several occasions and made recordings of their conversations. These oral history tapes encompass several hours, and have now been digitized at the University of Maine. We are in the process of having them keyworded and transcribed. In addition to the wonder of being able to hear the voices of Anne and Ed again, these tapes provide detailed insight into the working of the Huberts as they managed the Fitzgerald estate. We are sad to report that George Schnake passed away on February 13, 2014, at his home on Bailey Island. Our sympathies go out to Diana in her time of
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Major Gifts Received in 2013

The James Fitzgerald Legacy has received gifts of five important paintings from two estates.  These works are particularly extraordinary as they come from individuals who were personal friends of the artist.  Dr.  & Mrs. William & Betty McNeely were friends of Fitzgerald in Boston and Monhegan.  Dr. McNeely was an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and a physician at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, where he and his wife compiled the weekly Clinical Pathologic Conferences (CPCs).  The gift was announced by their daughter, Dr. Sarah K. Weinberg, who wrote: “This gift is in honor of the memories of Dr. William F. and Betty U. McNeely, who were friends of Mr. Fitzgerald during the last decade of his life. They proudly exhibited 12 of his works in their Boston home. Six of them remain with family members, but we all know about the Monhegan Museum and its collection.”   Among
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Aran Island Rowers Aquired

Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Fitzgerald Legacy has been able to acquire one of the artist’s last paintings, an oil on canvas of The Aran Island Rowers. Fitzgerald was visiting the Aran Islands when he died suddenly in 1971.  He had planned to complete a major composition of these fishermen who brave the North Atlantic off the coast of these remote Irish islands, and this particular painting is likely a preliminary for that never completed work. Indeed, when Fitzgerald left his Monhegan studio in 1971 for his final voyage to Ireland, he left behind a large canvas already stretched within a silver-leaf gilded frame on which he had planned to complete a large oil painting of these Aran Rowers. Studies for this composition, donated by the Huberts to SUNY Plattsburgh in 1991, are visible on their website (see: www.plattsburg.edu). This small oil painting was part of a collection of
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Oral History Obtained

A 2-hour oral history has been obtained from Sherman and Barbara Stanley who described their recollections of their friend, James Fitzgerald. These memories date back to Fitzgerald’s early days on Monhegan in the late 1930’s, and included both personal stories of the artist’s friendship and humor, as well as invaluable descriptions of his creative process. Captain Stanley recalled the nights he and his brother Alfred, both renowned Monhegan lobstermen, moored their dory in the Monhegan harbor and torched for herring while Fitzgerald watched from above on the porch of the Influence, the 1826 Trefethren house that overlooks the harbor. A large oil painting entitled Torchin’ is part of the permanent collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum.
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Painter James Fitzgerald Slide Talk

The following press release issued by MARC was picked up by the Bangor Daily News, the Knox Village Soup, and The Free Press.  A large and interested crowd filled the Monhegan Schoolhouse to hear this presentation. MONHEGAN – Gail Scott and Robert Stahl will present a slide talk on the James Fitzgerald Legacy Project at the Monhegan School House on Sunday, August 12, at 7:00 p.m. The talk is a benefit for the Monhegan Artists’ Residency (MARC). In 2004, longtime Monhegan Island summer resident Anne M. Hubert bequeathed to the Monhegan Museum the estate of painter James Fitzgerald (1889-1971), including all his art work (drawings, sketches, watercolors, oils) and his house and studio (both of which had been designed and built by Rockwell Kent and eventually acquired by Fitzgerald). The James Fitzgerald Legacy Project promotes, documents and maintains Fitzgerald’s estate, including artwork and historic buildings. Stahl is associate director of
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