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For centuries, Maine, with its rugged coastlines and equally craggy people, has attracted artists, and it continues to do so today. The Wyeths, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Fairfield Porter, Robert Indiana, and countless others have found their way to its shores. Porter’s affiliation with the state began as a child, when his father acquired Great Spruce Head Island, in Penobscot Bay, and built a twelve-bedroom house for family and friends.
Martin Puryear’s Cane reveals the artist’s ongoing interest in African American history and culture. Sculptures in the artist’s oeuvre, such as Some Lines for Jim Beckwourth, 1978, collection of the artist, and Ladder for Booker T. Washington, 1996, Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, pay tribute to significant African American figures. Cane is Puryear’s response to an important literary work from the Harlem Renaissance, Cane by Jean Toomer.
The rarest of the North American songbirds, Bachman’s warbler was named by John James Audubon for his friend and collaborator, the Lutheran minister Reverend John Bachman of Charleston, South Carolina. Unusual even in Audubon’s time, this delicate bird, native to the southeastern United States, is now believed to be extinct. Through various artistic tropes, the artist emphasizes the elusive quality of the species, which he never observed in its natural habitat.
Drive to back entrance to house. Includes slate walk around west end of house.
Barnstormers Roscoe Turner and Harry Runser standing by their plane, an Avro 504, on the front lawn. Also in the photograph are three men and four children, including Nancy Reynolds