At First Light : Two Centuries Of Maine Artists, Their Homes And Studios by Anne Collins Goodyear and Frank H Goodyear III
View book: At First Light : Two Centuries Of Maine Artists, Their Homes And Studios
At First Light: Examining the Extraordinary Artists of Maine
Delving into the lives and artistic contributions of twenty-six remarkable artists over the past two centuries, At First Light captures the essence of Maine’s rich artistic heritage. Coinciding with the state’s bicentennial in 2020, this captivating volume sheds light on how artists have profoundly shaped our understanding of Maine’s history, its land, and its people.
Maine’s awe-inspiring and unparalleled natural landscape, with its rugged coastlines, charming harbors, majestic mountains, and lush forests, continues to inspire artists who flock to its pristine shores. Meticulously researched and eloquently written by distinguished scholars and curators, each chapter of this book centers on a different artist, showcasing their masterpieces and complemented by breathtaking contemporary photography capturing their homes, studios, and surroundings.
From idyllic bungalows to grand structures with sweeping vistas, the featured houses and studios exhibit the same diversity as the artists who inhabited them. While some of these artists are household names, others have been unsung heroes, but each has left an indelible mark on Maine’s artistic legacy. Spanning from the 18th century to the present day, these visionaries have excelled in various artistic mediums, including painting, photography, and sculpture.
This exceptional collection includes renowned figures such as Jonathan Fisher, Winslow Homer, and Frank Weston Benson, who have skillfully interpreted Maine’s charm through their brushstrokes. In addition, it highlights the contributions of Charles Herbert Woodbury, John Marin, and Marsden Hartley, artists who captured the spirit of their surroundings with unparalleled vigor. Among the esteemed artists are Rockwell Kent, N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth, each leaving their unique imprint on Maine’s artistic narrative.
The artistic tapestry further expands with Marguerite and William Zorach, whose sculptures reflect Maine’s natural splendor, as well as Eliot Porter and Fairfield Porter, whose photography and paintings vividly depict the state’s captivating beauty. The book also acknowledges Rudy Burckhardt, Yvonne Jacquette, Ashley Bryan, Lois Dodd, Alex Katz, Bernard Langlais, Robert Indiana, David C. Driskell, Molly Neptune Parker, Richard Tuttle, and William Wegman, all of whom have contributed significantly to Maine’s artistic realm.
At First Light celebrates the enduring allure of Maine and its profound impact on the creative spirit. With its wealth of knowledge, stunning visuals, and impactful narratives, this book is an homage to the artists who found solace and inspiration in Maine’s captivating landscapes, leaving behind a legacy that continues to captivate and inspire.
A Conversation with Photographer Walter Smalling
Good afternoon and welcome to the BCMA’s first program of the new fall semester. I’m Frank Goodyear and I have the pleasure of co-directing the Bowden College Museum of Art with my wife Ann Collins Goodyear. We hope that you will join us throughout the fall for a variety of virtual programs. Though the Bowden campus and the museum are unfortunately closed to the public at the moment, we will remain open as an educational resource for faculty, students, and the wider community. Please be sure to check out the online visit from home offerings on the museum’s website and consider becoming a member to stay up to date with what’s happening at the museum.
This afternoon we’re thrilled to welcome Walter Smalling, a celebrated photographer from Washington D.C. and Penobscot, Maine. He has spent nearly three decades photographing American architecture for numerous organizations including the National Park Service and the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Walter will be discussing his book “At First Light: Two Centuries of Maine Artists, Their Homes and Studios.” The book explores the places in Maine that matter to artists and features the homes and studios of 26 artists from the past 200 years. The book was published last March and serves as a companion to the upcoming exhibition of the same name at the Bowden College Museum of Art.
We hope you enjoy Walter’s presentation and please feel free to ask any questions using the Q&A function on Zoom. Thank you for joining us and without further ado, let’s hear from Walter Smalling.
Good afternoon, my name is Walter Smalling and I’m a photographer. Today, I will be discussing my book “At First Light: Two Centuries of Maine Artists, Their Homes and Studios.” The book explores the places in Maine that matter to artists and features the homes and studios of 26 artists from the past 200 years. I spent nearly three decades photographing American architecture and this project allowed me to focus specifically on the places that have inspired artists in Maine.
During the summer of 2018, my partner Ray and I traveled 5000 miles in search of the artists who were drawn to Maine’s unique light. We visited artists’ homes and studios across the state, from Ogunquit to Cape Split to Baxter State Park. Each artist had their own story and connection to Maine, but they all shared a commitment to their art and a dedication to their craft.
As a photographer, my goal was to capture the essence of these artists’ spaces and convey their unique stories. I wanted to show the spaces where they lived and worked, and to convey the sense of inspiration and creativity that permeated these places. I spent days and sometimes weeks in each location, waiting for the space to speak to me and reveal its secrets.
One of the challenges I faced was recreating the studios of artists who are no longer alive. In some cases, the studios had been converted into other uses, such as Airbnb rentals, and did not reflect the artist’s original workspace. In these instances, I worked with the owners to empty out the space and recreate the artist’s studio as accurately as possible.
Throughout the process, I was constantly reminded of the history and heritage of Maine. Many of these artists played a significant role in shaping the state’s artistic landscape. I found inspiration in their stories and was often entertained by the anecdotes and anecdotes they shared.
Overall, this project was a labor of love. It allowed me to explore the rich artistic history of Maine and capture the essence of these artists’ homes and studios. Through my photographs, I hope to convey the profound impact of place on an artist’s work and the enduring legacy of Maine’s artistic community.
Thank you for joining me today and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about the book or my photography.