History

Henry Strater

Henry Strater painting en plein air on the Ogunquit shore.

Henry Strater and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Born in Louisville in 1896 to a wealthy Kentucky snuff maker, Henry Strater first came to Ogunquit in 1919 to study at Hamilton Easter Field’s Summer School of Graphic Arts.  Part of the Lost Generation of expatriate American authors and artists who lived in Paris in the interwar period, Strater found success as a painter in France before returning to the U.S. and building a permanent home  in Ogunquit in 1925. In 1951, he purchased an oceanfront spot from Charles Woodbury’s family that generations of painters had come to know as Narrow Cove, and chose architect Charles S. Worley, Jr. to design a museum.

The Museum of Art of Ogunquit, as it was called until 1992, opened in 1953, and the collection grew rapidly with select works by artists associated with Ogunquit’s famous art colonies of the early 20th century and with the art schools of Charles Woodbury and Hamilton Easter Field.

Today, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art houses a permanent collection of important paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs from the late 1800s to the present and is the only museum in Maine devoted exclusively to the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of American Art.

This map of Perkins Cove is a great way to experience the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of Maine’s first art colonies.

If you have old photographs, letters, books or catalogs pertaining to the art or artists from Ogunquit, please consider donating them to the museum archive, where they will be preserved for future generations to research and enjoy.  For more information, contact Membership Coordinator Amanda Nardini at 207-646-4909, or email anardini@nullogunquitmuseum.org.