Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update Monhegan: Kent House

Why did I buy this at the MFA, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston?

Yes, it was on sale with the Jamie Wyeth exhibition over. Yes, it would fit in fine with my grocery bags that I keep in the car. But . . .

. . . it was the familiarity of the art. I knew this view painted by Jamie in 1971. Since then a dormer was added to the front as seen in my August 2013 painting.

Yes, I'd seen, painted, and posted this view before I ever saw Jamie's painting. I'd posted it HERE in 2013. It's the view from the boat when I departed Monhegan and they captain took the long way around the island by the Kent House.

Early in his career Jamie Wyeth purchased the Kent House on Monhegan Island, Maine with money he earned from his painting sales. The two exchanged letters in 1970, Jamie first buying one of Kent paintings and then Kent House.

"About the situation of the house," Kent wrote, "you will be interested to know that when I built it so very close to the sea, I was warned by old Monheganers that it would never stand up against stormy weather. But since there was grass growing in the scanty soil on that site, I was certain the sea would never reach it. But for a year or two after I built the house, I had nightmares over its being washed away and of myself swimming about in the wreckage."

Rockwell Kent and Jamie Wyeth never met. Kent died in 1971, the year that Jamie painted The Kent House.

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