Page 161 - The Hunt - Spring 2019
P. 161

An artsy heaven in mid-coast Maine
Linda Bean’s estate.
(Inset) Bean framing a view on the boat excursion.
One day, leafing through the pages of The Hunt, I noticed an advertisement for “Wyeths by Water,” a group of
boat tours off Port Clyde, Maine. The tours are run by an outfit called Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine, headed by a third-generation member of the L.L.Bean family.
Most Wyeth watchers know that the Chadds Ford family spent summers in mid-coast Maine. In 1920, N.C. Wyeth, the patriarch of this storied family of artists, bought an island home there that he named “Eight Bells.” After a little remodeling, he installed
his wife and five children—the youngest of whom was Andrew, then age three—into this modest Cape Cod-style home and barn purchased from fisherman Norris Seavey. Seavey later appeared in some of N.C.’s paintings.
For the next century, N.C., then Andrew, then Jamie summered here and found inspiration for some of their most famous works.
My husband and I headed up for an idyllic few days in late September, lodging at the Seaside Inn at the harbor.
There are three boat trip itineraries, with a different one offered every weekday. Each tour shows several sites depicted in well-known paintings. The new-build authentic lobster boat holds 20 passen- gers per trip. Our guide, in this case, was Ron Crusan, director of the Wyeth Gallery, which features original works, rare signed prints, books and reproductions. It’s located on the second floor above the
charming Port Clyde General Store (great for breakfast, lunch and gourmet treats, boat services, and provisioning) and the wharf-side Dip Net restaurant. Luscious lobster meals abound.
Crusan held up a reproduction of each famed painting as we cruised by: Lobstering off Black Spruce Ledge; Island Funeral (both N.C.); Christina’sWorld(Andrew),etc.YoualsogettoseeEightBells,theart studio beside it, Betsy Wyeth’s home and compound, and several historic islands and lighthouses—all fodder for the three painters. One island is the 1605 landing spot of Englishman George Weymouth, who explored the area, befriending the Pemiquid natives and bringing a few of them back to England.
Besides circling the various islands and getting close-up views of the houses, studio and the Marshall Point Lighthouse, we learned much about the lobster business in Maine. We even motored
over to various traps, pulled them up, and measured the lobsters caught inside. They must weigh at least one pound to be pulled up
By merrill witty
Wyeths by
    “Lobstering off Black Spruce Ledge,”
N.C. Wyeth.
      www.ThehunTMagazine.coM 159

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