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It’s a Small (Art) World After All

Connections with the Memorial Art Gallery can run far and wide. Possibly inspired by the series of posts that our Chief Curator, Marjorie Searl added to our Facebook page, we received a beautiful image from long-time MAG friend, Phillip Koch.

“MAG was a big influence on my decision to become an artist. Am up staying in the Hopper studio in South Truro, MA right now. Here’s the view the other morning. Best, Philip Koch”

South Truro, MA

South Truro, MA

Which then turned into a conversation and sharing of his experience during his stay in this former Edward Hopper studio.

“My single best art teacher in high school was your Winslow Homer oil of the artist’s studio in the fog. I loved that painting especially as it looked ever so much like the fog at the beachfront home I where I grew up in Webster. Your Homer and Lake Ontario imagery are right at the core of my vision as a contemporary landscape artist. So MAG & Rochester’s wonderful setting and the drama of its weather are things I carry with me. Unfortunately, I never was able to take classes at the museum.

It was from reading your website that I learned MAG had held a major exhibition in 1915 of my grandfather’s then cutting edge invention of Kodachrome, the first commercially available color film. It is my hope that one day MAG can continue this link and hold an exhibit of my Rochester-influenced landscape work.

Unlike the Winslow Homer studio in Maine that’s now in the Portland Museum of Art’s hands, the Edward Hopper studio is a private home. I am extremely fortunate to have been granted unprecedented access to it. This morning here was foggy in a way worthy of our friend Homer.
Best, Philip
If you’re going to be New York City, George Billis Gallery in Chelsea is holding another solo show of my work Dec. 11- Jan. 19, 2013″

“We got back late last night from our stay up at the Edward Hopper studio in S. Truro and I’ve had a chance to look through some of the photos we took. Thought you’d get a kick out of these.

Here’s me on Oct. 2 walking back up the path Hopper used to take to descend 60′ down to Cape Cod Bay. Apparently Hopper used to love to go swimming in the Bay alone, as he did so many other things.”

walking back up the path Hopper used to take

Walking back up the path Hopper used to take

One more  note from Phillip:

“Was just going through my new photos from the Hopper studio trip of last week. Thought this one gave a wonderful sense of the sweep of space Hopper confronted looking out his window.

It’s ironic, as nearly all his art tends toward more interrupted, sometimes crowded or more intimate spaces. One of the great lessons I’ve absorbed over my repeated stays in Hopper’s studio is how amazingly rigorous he was in selecting motifs to work from- 9 out of 10 other painters would have painted this view, but to my knowledge Hopper only did one not very resolved watercolor of these dunes and shoreline.

Best, Philip”

View from Edward Hopper's MA studio

View from Edward Hopper's MA studio

Thank you for sharing so much of your life and art, Phillip. It is quite amazing to learn of the connections, influences and common thread that we have across the miles.

Need more Homer? Enjoy a video of  Winslow Homer’s studio in Maine, from the CBS Morning Show. It covers his Maine studio and the current exhibit that feature’s ‘our’ Homer – the one that Marjorie hand delivered to the Portland Museum of Art. Full circle.

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