My grandparents arrived at Great Spruce Head Island by steamboat the summer of 1913 to take up residence in
the newly-built Big House. Two of their children, my uncles, Eliot and Fairfield, became well-known for their work
in nature photography and in painting. The island greatly inspired their work. Eliot Porter’s book
Summer Island
influenced many photographers of his day. Another,
In Wildness is the Preservation of the World,
was published by
the Sierra Club with Thoreau quotes. Fairfield Porter influenced many artists from the 50s to the 70s and beyond.
I grew up summering on the island where my father, John, a high school teacher, introduced us to the glories
of geological phenomena, the tides, the stars and the identification of birds. He taught us tennis, sailing, rowing,
carpentry and exploring. My brothers, cousins and I ran barefoot on the mossy, rooted woods paths and swam in
the cold Maine waters from pebbly beaches and coves. It was a very rich time of eating fresh garden produce, fish,
clams and crab. Clam bakes and hearth fires provided gatherings where music and singing prevailed.
The Art Week was an idea I came up with twenty years ago when, as a painter, I wished to share this rich envi-
ronment with other like-minded folk. Each year twelve artists including painters, photographers, poets, sculptors,
wood carvers, print makers and book artists, are invited to share the Big House for a week of intense artistic energy.
They enjoy three gourmet meals a day and have access to island trails, beaches, boats and views unlimited. The
family corporation has generously allowed this to happen one week each year. I love sitting around the fireplace
in the evenings reading poetry, telling stories and playing games. The Art Week is usually held at the end of June
when the days are longest and the spring birds, flowers and bees are busying about. Many artists arise with the sun
when the light can be dramatic. Sometimes we have silent mornings which are helpful for artistic introspection.
My greatest reward is hearing of shifts in an artist’s creative vision and output after spending a week with others at
Great Spruce Head Island’s Art Week.
Gr ea t Sp r uc e Head I s l and : An i na Po r t e r Fu l l e r
56 / 57
Anina Porter Fuller
My greatest reward is hearing of shifts in
an artist’s creative vision and output after
spending a week with others at Great
Spruce Head Island’s Art Week.
1...,40-41,42-43,44-45,46-47,48-49,50-51,52-53,54-55,56-57,58-59 62-63,64-65,66-67,68-69,70-71,72-73,74-75,76-77,78-79,80-81,...