Renowned Georgetown artist
died at home Friday, Feb. 10

PORTLAND — Dahlov Ipcar died at 99 on Friday evening Feb. 10. She was a woman of enormous energy, wonderful talent and great wisdom. She remains a living legend in her work. Her paintings and soft sculptures are in major museums across the state and her marvelous children’s books are in most schools across Maine.

Dahlov’s home is as beautiful as one of the stories in her children’s books. Her white farmhouse overlooks an apple orchard. Monumental sculptures can be seen throughout the secluded and private family grounds.
Entering the area on Georgetown Island, where Dahlov’s home is located is like entering Sherwood Forest. A field stone bridge, which looks like an illustration from a children’s book, greets the visitor as one travels down a private narrow road. High on a hill is located Dahlov’s white farmhouse where she  painted for over seven decades.
Last Friday, she had a full and creative day. She met her son Charlie in her home in the morning, to select works that are planned for an exhibit next summer. Her son Bob called from New York to arrange an interview with a writer for an article. All seemed smooth as usual in her active life, but later in the evening after supper at 6, she did not feel well, and called her son Charlie at 6:30. By the time the emergency team arrived 10 minutes later, she was barely conscious; she had a heart attack. Tragically, they could not revive her.  However, to have a full, independent, creative day at age 99, before departing for heaven, is something we all would like to attain.
Everywhere one looks in Dahlov’s home one sees beauty. Walking into her home one immediately sees over the mantle in the living room the work titled “Golden Jungle,” a magnificent tapestry in needlepoint which Dahlov created in 1978 and shows her interest in fabric design. A sculpture by her father, William Zorach, can be seen near the mantle.

Walking into her studio, another room in her home, is a special delight. It vibrates with creativity. Dahlov’s paintings hang on the walls. Her father’s sculptures can be seen on a shelf behind three large chairs that give an appearance of a couch. Plants hang in space over windows that go to the ceiling for white light.
Dahlov not only created art, but in comfortable farmhouse home, she lived among many pieces of art.

She was born in 1917 in Windsor, Vt., and brought up in New York City in  the winters and Maine in the summers. Her mother, Marguerite Thompson Zorach, a creator of tapestries, was a leader in modern art in the early 1900s.

Last summer,  “Tree of Life Coverlet” by Marguerite Thompson Zorach was on exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art on loan from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her father, William Zorach, created monumental sculptures found in many museums across the nation as well as the state of Maine; one of which is titled “Spirit of the Sea,” located in the front of the Bath Public Library.
The entire area in Georgetown where Dahlov lived looks like a wildlife preserve. In fact an area on Georgetown Island has been named, “The Ipcar Wildlife Preserve,” in memory of  Dahlov’s husband, Adolph Ipcar, who was a strong environmentalist.
        Dahlov will always be remembered in her art. She wrote 44 children’s books, painted 11 murals in public places, and has major works of art in museums across the state. Museums in Maine with Ipcar works include: the Colby College Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Museum of Art, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, and the Portland Museum of Art. In addition, Dahlov’s works are found out of state in the following museums in New York; the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her work is also in the Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey, and the Shriner’s Hospital For Children, Springfield, Massachusetts, just to name a few locations.
Dahlov once said,” A child raised without art is as surely deprived as a child raised without love.” She lived a creative life and shared it with her children, Charlie and Bob, and their families. She created for her own children, and others in her books. Children across the state can find her work in her books like “The Calico Jungle,” and “The Cat at Night.”

She once said, “Creating designs for children’s books allows fine art to be brought into every child’s life into their own home.” Those of us who love her work will carry her in our hearts forever.

Pat Davidson Reef writes about art for the Sun Journal and is the author of “Dahlov Ipcar,” A Maine Art Series for Young Readers,” a biography of Ipcar republished and updated in 2016.

Artist Dahlov Ipcar, left, with Nancy Payson of Portland and author, Pat Reef, during a happy visit with Ipcar this past summer.

Dahlov Ipcar’s Georgetown farmhouse is alive with art, created by hershelf, her mother, Marguerite Thompson Zorach and father, Robert Zorach.  Ipcar’s “Golden Jungle” tapestry hangs over the fireplace; one of her father’s sculptures stands to the right of the mantle. 

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