Artist Studios: Homer, Wyeth and Langlais
Three artists deeply inspired by Maine’s beauty —Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth and Bernard Langlais — lived and created on the coast.
Winslow Homer’s Prouts Neck Studio
Critics agree, the mostly self-taught Winslow Homer truly came into his own as a painter when he relocated permanently from New York City to Scarborough, Maine around 1884. His studio in Prouts Neck was a converted carriage house perched only a few dozen feet from the rocky shore. Homer lived and worked there until his death in 1910, drawing inspiration for notable works like Eight Bells and The Gulf Stream from his daily walks along the coast. The studio was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Guided tours are available through the Portland Museum of Art.
Andrew Wyeth and the Olson House
Acclaimed illustrator and painter N. C. Wyeth moved into a summer house in Port Clyde in 1930 and built a small studio at the water’s edge, where he produced some of his finest work. He named the studio “Eight Bells” after the painting by Winslow Homer, whom he greatly admired. He shared the studio with his daughters, Henriette and Carolyn, and his son Andrew, who would go on to become one of America’s most celebrated artists. Andrew's best-known work is the 1948 painting Christina’s World. In it, Wyeth depicts his neighbor, Christina Olson, lying in a field looking up at a gray house on the horizon. Located in Cushing, Maine, the Olson House was a frequent subject of his work; he painted the Olson siblings and the house numerous times from 1939 to 1968. While the Eight Bells studio is no more, the Olson House is now a National Historic Landmark owned by the Farnsworth Art Museum.
The Langlais Sculpture Preserve and Studio
Opened in 2017, the Langlais Sculpture Preserve, also in Cushing, is a nature and sculpture preserve celebrating Bernard “Blackie” Langlais’ artistic legacy. Langlais was born in Old Town, Maine, and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, as well as the Corcoran School of Art and the Brooklyn Museum Art School. Like Winslow Homer, Langlais left New York City for the inspiration of Maine’s coast. He purchased the Cushing property in the mid-1960s, creating more than 65 monumental wood sculptures on the land. The house and artist studio are open to the public. The preserve remains home to several of these sculptures, including the larger-than-life Local Girl (Christina Olson), his homage to Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting.