Sunday, October 18, 2020

Monhegan Island Art Story

A Charming
Monhegan Island Art Story

Once upon a time there were two fellows, painters, who summered on Monhegan Island, Eric and George. It was the early 1900s.

Maud Knowlton and Alice Swett Sketching
Eric Hudson (1864-1932), American
Oil on canvas, 1905
Monhegan Museum

Eric painted two of the island's female painters of the day while they sketched. Soon, Eric and his wife would have two daughters. His painter friend George and his wife would also have two daughters. Eric's youngest daughter was Jackie.

Jackie Hudson
William McGregor Paxton (1869-1941) American
Oil on canvas, circa 1920s
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Exhibit in the Cape Ann Museum - Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA.

Paxton, co-founder of The Guild of Boston Artists, is known for his portraits, including those of Presidents Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge.

Their daughters posed for many paintings now in museums. Eric's youngest daughter, Jackie (Jacqueline), would grow up and become a painter, graphic artist and benefactor of the arts. In 1968 she'd become a co-founder of the Monhegan Museum of Art & History.

George Bellows
On Monhegan Island September 24, 2017

In 1914 both of artist Eric's daughters, Julie and Jackie, would pose for his painter friend, George. The summer before, George was really busy with his art.

Iron Coast, Monhegan
George Bellows (1882-1925), American
Oil on cardboard, 19" x 15" (w x h), September 1913
Monhegan Museum of Art & History

George enjoyed painting on Monhegan so much that in one year on Monhegan Island he completed 117 paintings.

In 1913, George was an especially happy painter. He was involved in planning the noted 1913 Armory Show, exhibiting six paintings and eight drawings in this show.

In September George painted Iron Coast, Monhegan, which would eventually, and ironically, be donated to the Monhegan Museum in 1998 by his friend Eric's daughter, Jackie. In 1913 Jackie was only three-years-old.

It was the next summer, as a four-year-old cutie, when Jackie would pose for George. And as an adult she'd go on to become an artist, too.

Untitled (Monhegan Island)
Jacqueline Hudson (1910-2001), American
Woodcut print, 12" x 9" (w x h), 1935
Private collection
Originally: "To Mr. and Mrs. Wright, 1935"

Jackie studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Student League. She lived and carried on with her art career during summers in the family home on Monhegan Island, a member of the island community. She'd spent winters in nearby Damariscotta, Maine.

Fish House
Jacqueline Hudson (1910-2001), American
Stone lithograph, 18" x 12" (w x h)
Private collection, Maine 1975 Exhibition

Jackie's art would be exhibited at the American Watercolor Society, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Rockport (Massachusetts) Art Association as well as at the Farnsworth Museum of Art and the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art.

Julie Hudson
George Bellows (1882-1925), American
Oil on Masonite, 25" x 30", July 1914
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In the summer of 1914 Monhegan's art and fishing communities celebrated the 300th anniversary of the island's founding. George played in the celebration's band. This was also the summer Julie and Jackie posed, separately, for George. It was probably in their family home. In July Jackie's Older sister, Julie, posed for George's painting. Today that painting lives in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Meanwhile, in 2020 the painting George completed that 1914 summer of little sister Jackie is coming home to live in Maine.

Jackie (Jacqueline Hudson)
George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Oil on panel, 25" x 25" (w x h), 1914

Jackie (1910-2001) was four-years-old the summer she posed for her father's friend, George, on Monhegan Island. The painting stayed in George's family until George's wife, Emma, completed her journey through life in 1959. Then Max Dreyfus, an art collector from Bronxville, New York, obtained the painting. And then he gave the painting to his chauffeur. Upon the chauffeur completing his journey through life the painting came up for auction in July, 2020. Good fortune beckoned.

The painting's winning bid was $106,250, those winning funds generously donated to the Monhegan Museum by Susan Bateson and Stephen S. Fuller in honor of Edward L. Deci, director of the museum from 1984 to 2019. Jackie (Jacqueline Hudson) is coming home to Monhegan Island.

Jackie will be seen at the museum beginning in the summer of 2021.

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