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James Fitzgerald and the Elizabeth Howard

January 29, 2011 – June 26, 2011

Exhibition Dates

January 29, 2011 – June 26, 2011

Exhibitions are free with admission.


James Fitzgerald and the Elizabeth Howard includes drawings and a watercolor by James Fitzgerald, an artist who lived and worked on Monhegan Island for  almost thirty years. The works depict the fishermen of the schooner Elizabeth Howard, known as the White Ghost, built in East Boothbay, Maine in 1916. Fitzgerald discovered the schooner one day in 1923 while painting in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Shortly afterward, he boarded the vessel as honorary crew member on one of its journeys to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. Fitzgerald got a little more than he bargained for during his expedition: after a successful haul of halibut, a violent storm with winds of over 120 mph overtook the schooner, badly injuring some of the crew. Upon safe return to Boston Harbor, the Captain, shaken, left the schooner for good. Two weeks later the Elizabeth Howard set sail again and was caught in a storm off Nova Scotia, broke in half, and all hands were lost. This exhibition, drawn from the museum’s holdings of American works on paper, presents the only body of work by Fitzgerald documenting life aboard the schooner.