“George Daniell: Picturing Monhegan Island” opens at PMA

Untitled, 1936, by George Daniell

The Portland Museum of Art will showcase an intimate selection of approximately 20 photographs and drawings that George Daniell (United States, 1911–2002) created on Monhegan Island during the summer of 1936. George Daniell: Picturing Monhegan Island will be on view March 1 through August 3, 2014.  In search of adventure and escape from a sweltering August in New York City, Daniell sojourned to Maine, where he spent the month fervently documenting the island that captured his heart and imagination. The featured works, culled from the PMA’s permanent collection, show the young artist honing his eye for composition and tonal value while depicting Monhegan’s distinctive topography and character. Shingled houses, hardworking fishermen, and rugged terrain—these were the subjects that Daniell explored in both crayon drawings and black-and-white photographs.  After his Monhegan sojourn, he established a reputation as a keen photographer of authentic, human moments within everyday life. He traveled the world capturing candid moments in a wide range of settings, including Hollywood film sets, metropolitan streets, army bases, and seaside villages. The artist exhibited widely and contributed his images to Time and Life magazines. Though he is best known for his photographs, Daniell was also an avid painter throughout his career. In 1960, returning to the state that had been so meaningful to him at the outset of his career, Daniell moved permanently to Trenton, Maine, where he continued working until his death in 2002.