Old Speck from Sunday River Whitecap, marquetry by Craig Altobello. Submitted photo

Throughout the summer, the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society plans to host “Drawn to Mountains: Two Perspectives,” an exhibit of unique White Mountain Art by New Hampshire artists Craig Altobello and Mary Graham, in the Howe Exhibit Hall of the Dr. Moses Mason House, 14 Broad St., Bethel, according to a news release from the society.

A reception with the artists, including a brief talk about their work, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 8.

Opening Friday, July 1 and on view through Saturday, Aug. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, the exhibit brings together Altobello’s marquetry and Graham’s landscape paintings to explore the many-layered beauty of the White Mountains and the many-layered life this magnificent range supports.

Altobello was introduced to woodworking in 1978 during a workshop with designer/craftsman Thomas Moser of Maine, and has been making furniture for his family and friends ever since. His path to marquetry grew out of teaching middle school science, where he and his students documented their outdoor explorations through writing and art using cut paper collage.

Altobello saw the potential to work with the colors and grain patterns of wood to bring “collage” to his woodworking. Sawing his own veneer and using only the natural color, grain, and texture of the wood, he creates intricate, fine-grained landscapes and portraits of the birds and plants he encounters along the trail.

Graham was born in Manhattan and began her art career as a stage designer and scenic artist. After attending art schools in New York City, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Since graduating, her work has focused on landscapes both invented and observed, and on still life paintings of natural objects.


Influenced by the paintings of the 19th century, particularly the Hudson River School and the American Luminists, Graham uses color and atmosphere in her paintings to evoke the solitude, silence, and transcendence found in nature.

The work of these two artists is grounded in an experience of hiking, sketching, and, most broadly, contemplation of all that a mountain wilderness offers those who would wander and wonder with open eyes and an open heart.

For more information, contact Museums of the Bethel Historical Society at 207-824-2908 or [email protected].

Nancy Cascades oil painting by Mary Graham. Submitted photo


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