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Emily Lansingh Muir


A small exhibition of oil paintings and watercolors by well-known artist Emily Muir will open at the Farnsworth Art Museum on Sunday, April 21, continuing through August 13, 2002. The exhibition celebrates Muir's long career (she turned 98 this year) and the publication of her book "The Time of My Life" by the Island Institute. An autobiography, the book chronicles Muir's fascinating life and career as an artist, which began in the 1920s. The exhibition will also include some examples of work by her husband, sculptor William Muir (1902-1964).

Emily Lansingh Muir was born in Chicago in 1904, attended Vassar College and studied painting with Richard Lahey at the Art Students League in New York. Her painting style has been compared to that of Marguerite Zorach, Marsden Hartley and Walt Kuhn, painters who, like Muir, found inspiration in the coastal villages and landscapes of Maine.

Muir first visited Maine as a child when she summered on Deer Isle with her parents. She married sculptor William Muir, and they moved to Stonington in 1939. She built a substantial career for herself as a painter and a designer of houses. While not trained as an architect, Mrs. Muir has designed and built forty homes on Deer Isle, which are much admired for their elegant simplicity, minimal environmental impact, their use of natural and local materials and their careful siting on the spruce-clad shores of the island.

Muir was the first woman to serve on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's National Commission of Fine Arts, and later President Richard Nixon appointed her to the Advisory Committee for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Muir's paintings are included in public and private collections and include works in the Brooklyn Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the Univeristy of Maine, and the Farnsworth Art Museum.

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