Dynamic Tarbell Art Exhibition at Discover Portsmouth.

Open daily through June 3, 2016, 9:30am to 5pm

Illuminating Tarbell, Discover Portsmouth, NHRenowned American Impressionist painter Edmund C. Tarbell is back. The most ambitious exhibit of Tarbell’s vibrant work is open daily through June 3 at Discover Portsmouth.

Illuminating Tarbell is a unique two-part show, with the largest local gathering of Tarbell’s original work, plus a companion gallery featuring six contemporary painters working in the Tarbell style. Running through Friday June 3, the dual exhibit also includes a lecture series, a 72-page color catalogue, and a re-creation of Tarbell’s seaside New Castle, NH studio.

“This is a must-see show,” says DPC Executive Director, Kathleen Soldati. “While many know Tarbell as a Boston artist, he had close ties to the Portsmouth region. We’re bringing in works from collections all across the country, and many have never been exhibited to the public before.”

Edmund C. Tarbell (1862-1938) was a pioneer of the “Boston School” of painting at the Museum of Fine Arts. His work, evocative of 17th-century Dutch artists, is known for its rich hues and an emphasis on light and tone and delicate brushwork. Unlike previous exhibitions of Tarbell’s work, Discover Portsmouth’s show will emphasize, not just his paintings, but engravings, drawings, and oil studies. When shown in conjunction with a careful selection of the finished oil paintings, these will demonstrate Tarbell’s process from conception to completion.

Purchase the Tarbell Exhibit Catalog

Illuminating Tarbell: Life and Art on the Piscataqua

Illuminating Tarbell: Life and Art on the Piscataqua, the primary exhibition by curator Jeremy Fogg, fills the first floor of the Academy Gallery in a beautifully restored 1810-era building located in downtown Portsmouth. The show features nearly 60 works from the artist’s 30 years living along the Piscataqua River. This unique display captures Tarbell’s vision of his family, their friends, clients, even horses, as well as the river and the surrounding landscape. The exhibit and accompanying catalogue also document Tarbell’s life and art with family photographs, personal letters, and ephemera. A meticulous reconstruction of his studio includes cherished family furniture and studio props.

Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action

Bach Bourree

Paul Inbgretson, The Bach Bouree in E Minor, 2013, oil on linen, 50 in. x40 in.

Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action, the companion show, is located upstairs in the Academy balcony gallery. Curator Alastair Dacey makes the case for Tarbell’s ongoing influence as a painter and teacher. Tarbell’s impact and artistic principles are revealed in close to 50 works by six contemporary painters: Don Demers, Paul Ingbretson, Jean Lightman, Mary Minifie, Colin Page, and Alastair Dacey.

A fully illustrated catalogue, published by the organization’s Portsmouth Marine Society Press, contains essays by curators Jeremy Fogg and Alastair Dacey. The catalogue features an introduction by Susan Strickler, director of the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH, and a new study of Tarbell’s life in New Castle by artist Christopher Volpe.

Illuminating Tarbell runs from Friday, March 4 through Friday, June 3 at Discover Portsmouth, and is sponsored by The Tarbell Charitable Trust, Brown & Company Design, Devine Marketing Group, FREEMAN’S, Central Signal Corporation, Anthony Moore Painting Conservation, HOEFLE, PHOENIX, GORMLEY & ROBERTS, P.A., George Beland Furniture, Guido Frames, Puttin’ on the Glitz, and Old as Adam Antiques & Vintage Haberdashery. Donations are gratefully accepted at the door.

Lecture Series

A series of presentations from March through May expands upon the exhibition’s focus on the life and works of Edmund Tarbell and the local character of his work. Lectures are $10 for members, $20 for non-members.

March 17 Laurene Buckley, Ph.D., Art Historian, author and museum consultant to the American Alliance of Museums
“Edmund C. Tarbell: Poet of Domesticity”

Thursday April 14, 6pm, Jeremy Fogg and Alastair Dacey. Jeremy Fogg is a paintings conservator and guest curator for “Illuminating Tarbell: Life and Art on the Piscataqua” and Alastair Dacey is an artist and guest curator for “Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action.” Jeremy Fogg, painting conservator and guest curator for Illuminating Tarbell: Life and Art on the Piscataqua and Alastair Dacey, artist and guest curator for Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action will join us for a fascinating evening. We’ll hear their stories about how they created this two-part exhibition that weaves the Tarbell retrospective and Tarbell today into a cohesive and stunning Spring exhibition.
Note: Members will want to arrive early for the Annual Meeting at 5:30pm of the Portsmouth Historical Society, which will briefly cover a look back at 2015, and votes on the bylaws and new board members.

Thursday April 28, 5:30pm Paul Ingbretson and Jean Lightman, artists “Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action” Get a firsthand look inside the painter’s head. Artists Paul Ingbretson and Jean Lightman, two of six artists featured in the companion exhibition, Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action, give a brief power point presentation showing the individuals and ideas that make up the Boston School thinking that Tarbell so ably taught. They will include among others the works of Da Vinci, Velasquez, Vermeer and Monet. Then they will take you on a walk through the exhibition pointing out how the artists on the walls put these concepts into practice.

Saturday May 7, 1pm, Mary Minifie, Paul Ingbretson and Alastair Dacey,The Education of the Artist
Three of our show’s featured artists have been recipients of Tarbell’s Boston School training legacy. They are also teachers. At this event, they will discuss the unique ideas and skills they pass on to their students enabling them to master the truth and beauty of the visual impression. The training begins with the classical skills acquired through cast drawing and modeling, then in still life and figure painting, always aiming towards achieving the vibrant beauty of color in natural light. Let them show you how that training plays out in their work and why it is a vital and dynamic form in today’s world.

Thursday May 19, 5:30pm Elizabeth Ives Hunter, art consultant and independent curator.

Closing Gala Friday May 20, 2016 6-9pm


About the Curators

Jeremy G. Fogg, of South Berwick, Maine, is a painting conservator and manager of Anthony Moore Painting Conservation in York. He is also a private art researcher, collector, and independent curator. Fogg has conserved and restored dozens of Tarbell paintings, and has an intimate knowledge of their construction and unique characteristics. Over the years he has worked closely with the family to further study and preserve the Tarbell legacy.

Alastair Dacey is a fine art painter living in New Castle and working in Portsmouth, NH. His artistic training spanned seven years, beginning at the Rhode Island School of Design. Dacey also studied at the Ingbretson Studio of Drawing and Painting and Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy. Focusing on portraiture and figurative work, Dacey has been a professional for ten years, fulfilling notable commissions and winning awards regionally and nationally for his work. He has had studios in Boston, New York, San Antonio, and Mexico.

Article links

Antiques and Fine Art article on the Tarbell Exhibit by Jeremy G. Fogg
SeacoastNH article on the Tarbell Exhibit by J. Dennis Robinson
NH Weekend, Union Leader by Julia Ann Weekes
Creative Spark, NH Weekend in the Union Leader by Julia Ann Weekes

 Steve Sanger, Creative Director of SangerBrands, gives us an inside look at preparing for our new Illuminating Tarbell exhibition – talking with our registrar, Nina Maurer:

Tarbell Movie 1 from SangerBrands on Vimeo.

Tarbell’s Legacy

Tarbell’s Legacy Movie from SangerBrands on Vimeo.

About Discover Portsmouth

Discover Portsmouth, located at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH is operated by the nonprofit Portsmouth Historical Society, which also operates the John Paul Jones House Museum. Open daily from 9:30-5pm, Discover Portsmouth remains open until 8pm for Art Round Town, the first Friday of each month (3/4, 4/1, 5/6 and 6/3). For further information on exhibitions, publications, gift shop, lectures, rentals, and tours, please call 603-436-8433.

Thank you to our Sponsors

The Tarbell Charitable Trust

2016 Season Sponsors

Brown & Company Design
Devine Marketing Group

Tarbell Exhibition Sponsors

Central Signal Corporation
Anthony Moore Painting Conservation

George Beland Furniture
Guido Frames
Puttin’ on the Glitz
Old as Adam Antiques & Vintage Haberdashery