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Art of Penobscot Bay

by Carl Little and David Little

Glorious Penobscot Bay, on the coast of Maine, with its quaint mainland towns, bustling tourist centers, and island fishing villages, stands as the backdrop of daydreams. The bay’s sheer beauty has attracted generation after generation of artists to its shores. For Art of Penobscot Bay, brothers David and Carl Little, well-known stewards of Maine art, have selected art and artists, from history and today, that celebrate the myriad of inlets, islands, coves, and peninsulas—the “nooks and corners” of the region. Above all, they sought out art infused with a remarkable representation of place by more than 120 artists who have embraced the area and its people. Art of Penobscot Bay includes artists from the 19th century through the 21st century, including Fitz Henry Lane, Waldo Peirce, Edward Hopper, William Zorach, John Marin, Emily Muir, Greta Van Campen, Alex Katz, Eric Hopkins, and Amy Peters Wood. Combined with text by the Little brothers, the art takes readers on a wondrous visual journey around, across, and through a breathtaking bay.

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Eric Hopkins

Eric Hopkins grew up on North Haven and maintains a studio on the island. A passion for flying led to his signature aerial images of Penobscot Bay. By taking to the air, he found a new way to approach his home bay and to capture the curvature of the earth. Hopkins says Summer Island #1 is all about "the interactions of land, water, and sky through time, space, and place" nature's designs as seen from on high.

Eric Hopkins

Summer Island #1, 2004

Watercolor on paper, 21 3/4 x 29 inches

Bates College Museum of Art,

Jane Costello Wellehan Collection


"There is no greater joy than rounding the bend of North Haven and seeing the entrance to Pulpit Harbor," says Amy Peters Wood. She brings this sentiment to life and light in her egg tempera painting Coming Home (2021). She has ties to this "refuge" island that go back generations, a place her family "will forever call home."

Amy Peters Wood

Coming Home, 2021

Egg tempera on cradled panel, 36 x 48 inches

Collection of Linda Cabot and Ed Anderson

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Elaine Crossman

As a Vinalhaven year-rounder since 1976, Elaine Crossman knows winter. Regarding her painting Icy Ledges (2021), she notes her love of "the spare bony majesty of this rocky place in the middle of the enormous sea, especially in winter when the gale winds turn the waves translucent green."

Elaine Crossman
Icy Ledges, 2021
Oil on canvas, 19 x 38 inches
Collection of Steve and Mary Karth
Courtesy of New Era Gallery
Vinhalhaven, Maine
Photo by William Trevaskis


Francis Hamabe

Francis Hamabe (1917-2002) moved to Maine in 1947 after serving in World War II and finishing his art studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. The Maine coast became a constant source of inspiration. Throughout his life, Hamabe was an aretistic jack-of-all-trades, bringing art—joy, really—into so many lives with so many creative talents: painter, puppeteer, printmaker, potter, professor, art editor, draftsman, calligrapher, and cartoonist.

Francis Hamabe

Castine Wharf, 1961

Oil on canvas, 23 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches

Gift of Waldo Peirce

Bates College Museum of Art

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N.C. Wyeth

N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), founding father of a line of extraordinary artists that includes his son Andrew and grandson Jamie, often focused on the heroic aspects of Maine coast livelihoods, including the lobsterman who, in his day, hauled traps by hand from small craft. 

N.C. Wyeth
Mending Traps, Martinsville, Maine, 1938
Oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 40 inches
DeNormandie Family Collection

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Ruth Rhoades Lepper

A Map of the Maine Coast from Rockland, thru Schoodic, to Corea (detail), 1970

Color lithograph, 20 x 48 in.

Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education

Photo by David Neikerk

Loretta Krupinski

View from the Second Tower, Matinicus Rock Light, 1904, 2012

Oil on canvas, 28 x 22 in.

Courtesy of Bayview Gallery,

Brunswick, Maine

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