WISCASSET — “American Artists Here and Abroad” opens at the Wiscasset Bay Gallery on Wednesday, July 1. Many American artists came to the New England coast to capture its untamed beauty or sail its vast, meandering shoreline dotted with islands.

Emily Muir (American, 1904-2003), “Fox Island,” oil on board, 17″ x 32” Submitted photo

Such was the case with Chicago-born artist, Emily Muir (1904-2003), who settled in Stonington with her husband, sculptor William Muir. Together the two artists utilized paint and granite to depict the essence of Maine coastal life in the mid-20th century.

Emily Muir’s “Fox Island” appears deceptively simple with its clean, bold forms and colors, but closer observation reveals her keen eye at work exposing in nuanced hues the rugged boulders and sharply articulated islands that give Maine its distinctive character.

Warren W. Sheppard (American, 1858-1937), “Venice” oil on canvas, 14″ x 20″ Submitted photo

Warren Sheppard (1858-1937) was another American artist who drew his artistic inspiration from sailing trips to Maine, as well as travels across Europe from 1888 to 1893. Sheppard’s lifetime exploration of the play of light on water is no more evident than in his depiction of the Venetian Lagoon. Calm, sparkling water reflects the sunlit Italian architecture and foliage as elegantly dressed figures step into a gondola.

Focusing on the more straightforward urban scene is Reginald Marsh’s “Tug on the East River,” rendered in strong blacks and warm browns and showing the New York skyline in the 1930s. Max Pollak’s “The Battery, New York” likewise utilizes the waterfront and skyline of New York Harbor in his richly varied aquatint.

Other noted American artists featured in the exhibit include Leon Kroll (1884-1974), Andrew Winter (1893-1958), Jay Hall Connaway (1893-1970), Eric Hudson (1864-1932), Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837-1908) and Abraham Bogdanove (1886-1946).

“American Artists Here and Abroad” will continue through Friday, Aug. 7, at the Wiscasset Bay Gallery, 67 Main St. For more information, call 207-882-7682 or visit www.wiscassetbaygallery.com. Follow the gallery on Instagram @wbaygallery and Facebook.

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