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 the works included in this gift is the striking watercolor “September, Monhegan” which was exhibited at the Fitzgerald Studio this past summer. It can also be seen on the Legacy Collection page on this website.
Another gift came from the estate of Mrs. Inger Friis, who passed away in late 2012 at the age of 102. She and her husband Harold had a summer home at Indian Harbor, N.S. and became friends of Fitzgerald in the 1940s and 1950s when he traveled to Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. The watercolor is a beautiful seascape entitled “Ocean Waves” and was exhibited at the Fitzgerald Studio this past summer.
The James Fitzgerald Legacy is extremely grateful for these gifts, particularly as they add to our knowledge of the work that Fitzgerald sold during his lifetime.