Mark and I visited Monhegan island the other weekend and the whole time we were there, all I could think was, “I’m walking around in a Jamie Wyeth painting.” Arriving on the ferry, we sailed past the columned home featured in Wyeth’s Partridge House, Monhegan Island, Maine, and docked near The Red House, with its intriguing pavilion dotted with porthole windows:
We hiked for hours along the island’s massive cliffs on a gray, wind-whipped day similar to the one Wyeth depicted in Seawatchers, wandered around the white-clapboard schoolhouse and keeper’s house immortalized in Schoolhouse, Monhegan, July 4th and Monhegan Bell respectively, stopped to admire the stately Federal seen in Kyle and the Influence, and headed out to Lobster Cove to catch a glimpse of Kent House, the cottage built by artist Rockwell Kent and now owned by Wyeth.
“The problem with Monhegan is that it is such an emblematic place,” Wyeth has said, explaining why he, like Kent, has eschewed “the typical things of buoys hanging and fishermen and that sort of thing” in his work. I, too, found myself as taken in by the less-celebrated aspects of island life — the yellow-lichened roofs and patterns of new and weathered shingles decorating the homes — as I was by the picturesque, lobsterboat-dotted harbor and sweeping water views. And so, while Mark’s phone is filled with ocean scenes, mine is packed with simple, beautiful Monhegan houses — see some my favorites below. Together, I think we got the full picture.
Have you been to Monhegan? I’d love to compare notes in the comments.