Emily Muir (1904-2003)

Biography Press Publications
EMILY MUIR
Geranium Porch
oil on canvas, 26 x 34 inches
EMILY MUIR
Autumn Trees
oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
EMILY MUIR
Colorful Landscape
oil on canvas, 20 x 29 inches
EMILY MUIR
Strange Trees
oil on canvas, 21 x 30 inches
EMILY MUIR
Lady at her Dresser
oil on canvas, 14 x 20 inches
EMILY MUIR
Crashing Waves
oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches
EMILY MUIR
Marsh and Sea
oil on canvas, 16 x 24 inches
EMILY MUIR
Cattails
oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
EMILY MUIR
Stark Apple Trees
oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
EMILY MUIR
Bare Birches
oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches
EMILY MUIR
Pottery Studio and Two Figures
oil on canvas, 20 x 23 inches
EMILY MUIR
Apple Trees in Bloom
oil on canvas, 21 x 26 inches
EMILY MUIR
Ames Family Evening
oil on canvas, 36 x 44 inches
EMILY MUIR
Red Trees
oil on canvas, 40 x 28 inches
EMILY MUIR 
Dinner Alfresco
oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches
EMILY MUIR
Gardens by White House
oil on canvas, 23 x 48 inches
EMILY MUIR
Farm and Cows
oil on masonite, 24 x 48 inches
EMILY MUIR
Setting Sun over Stonington
oil on canvas, 14 x 20 inches
EMILY MUIR
Sitting by the Sea
oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
EMILY MUIR
Circle of Children with Goats
oil on canvas, 19 x 35 inches
EMILY MUIR
Sprice Silhouette
oil on canvas, 21 x 28 inches
EMILY MUIR
Schoodic Surf
oil on canvas, 19 x 26 inches
EMILY MUIR
Schooner Sunrise
oil on canvas, 16 x 22 inches
EMILY MUIR
Winter Barn with Silo
oil on canvas, 17 x 24 inches
EMILY MUIR
Surf on Granite
oil on canvas, 19 x 26 inches
EMILY MUIR
Winter Trees with House
oil on canvas, 22 x 32 inches
EMILY MUIR
Lobster Boats and Buoys
oil on masonite, 20 x 35 inches
EMILY MUIR
Woman Knitting
oil on canvas, 23 x 38 inches
EMILY MUIR
Apple Trees in Bloom
oil on canvas, 19 x 35 inches
EMILY MUIR
Orchard Abloom
oil on masonite, 19 x 39 inches
EMILY MUIR
Mountain River
oil on canvas, 25 x 38 inches
EMILY MUIR
Dock
oil on canvas
EMILY MUIR Geranium Porch oil on canvas, 26 x 34 inches
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EMILY MUIR Autumn Trees oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
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EMILY MUIR Colorful Landscape oil on canvas, 20 x 29 inches
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EMILY MUIR Strange Trees oil on canvas, 21 x 30 inches
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EMILY MUIR Lady at her Dresser oil on canvas, 14 x 20 inches
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EMILY MUIR Crashing Waves oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches
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EMILY MUIR Marsh and Sea oil on canvas, 16 x 24 inches
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EMILY MUIR Cattails oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
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EMILY MUIR Stark Apple Trees oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
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EMILY MUIR Bare Birches oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches
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EMILY MUIR Pottery Studio and Two Figures oil on canvas, 20 x 23 inches
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EMILY MUIR Apple Trees in Bloom oil on canvas, 21 x 26 inches
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EMILY MUIR Ames Family Evening oil on canvas, 36 x 44 inches
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EMILY MUIR Red Trees oil on canvas, 40 x 28 inches
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EMILY MUIR Dinner Alfresco oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches
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EMILY MUIR Gardens by White House oil on canvas, 23 x 48 inches
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EMILY MUIR Farm and Cows oil on masonite, 24 x 48 inches
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EMILY MUIR Setting Sun over Stonington oil on canvas, 14 x 20 inches
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EMILY MUIR Sitting by the Sea oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches
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EMILY MUIR Circle of Children with Goats oil on canvas, 19 x 35 inches
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EMILY MUIR Sprice Silhouette oil on canvas, 21 x 28 inches
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EMILY MUIR Schoodic Surf oil on canvas, 19 x 26 inches
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EMILY MUIR Schooner Sunrise oil on canvas, 16 x 22 inches
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EMILY MUIR Winter Barn with Silo oil on canvas, 17 x 24 inches
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EMILY MUIR Surf on Granite oil on canvas, 19 x 26 inches
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EMILY MUIR Winter Trees with House oil on canvas, 22 x 32 inches
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EMILY MUIR Lobster Boats and Buoys oil on masonite, 20 x 35 inches
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EMILY MUIR Woman Knitting oil on canvas, 23 x 38 inches
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EMILY MUIR Apple Trees in Bloom oil on canvas, 19 x 35 inches
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EMILY MUIR Orchard Abloom oil on masonite, 19 x 39 inches
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EMILY MUIR Mountain River oil on canvas, 25 x 38 inches
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EMILY MUIR Dock oil on canvas
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Emily Muir (1904-2003) Biography

Emily Muir (1904-2003) was born in Chicago, moved to Brooklyn as a child, and traveled the world on art assignments in her youth. She settled down with her husband Bill, also an artist, in Stonington, Maine, where she painted, created ceramics and mosaics, and designed architectural house plans. Her legacy, besides her beautiful homes, is primarily her painting.

In the late 1920s, she took classes at the Art Students League in New York City where she met her future husband, who was working at the League as a sculpture class monitor. She day studied portraiture at the League as well (Isamu Noguchi was in her class), and helped to pay some bills in this manner. During the Depression, she and Bill were successful commercial artists, making dioramas that they sold to travel agencies. As she wrote in her autobiography, “With luck, love, and ingenuity, we survive the Great Depression.”

One of her major influences was Richard Lahey, whom she studied under at the Art Students League. He was influential, she noted, because he pushed her to paint with feeling “ to paint what she felt, not so much what she saw.” But it was her husband Bill, whom she married in 1928, who was her major and life-long inspiration. She said it all came naturally to him: “With him it is no theory, it is a response to life.” Both artists were selected to show at the University of Maine by Maine legend Vincent Hartgen, once they had settled in the state in 1939. Portraits were not an uncommon subject for Emily, though landscapes and seascapes predominated. Over the years many people came under her spell as friends and fans of her paintings. Her work is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine, the University of Maine, Portland Museum of Art, and numerous private collections.

In her life outside of the studio, Emily Muir was the first woman to serve on the national Commission of Fine Arts, a precursor to today’s National Endowment for the Arts. She was appointed by then-Senator Margaret Chase Smith, whose portrait Emily had painted. And she was actually one of the first — if not the first — to suggest that a percentage of the cost of any new government building should be set aside for art to enrich that building — what today is called  “The Percent for Art Program,”  that later caught on nationwide.

An artist for most of her long life, Emily explored many styles and materials. She had her own take on cubism, for instance, where space, light and color are employed to present faceted scenes of lobstermen and their boats and the seas upon which they toil. It is a fascinating hybrid of styles. Her various trips to different parts of the world are also well represented in the body of work that she left. Villages around the West Indies, such as Trinidad, and parts of South America, as well as familiar scenes of her adopted homeland along the Maine coast are lovingly portrayed in her paintings.

 

Press

September 2009
Bangor Daily News

Keepers of the Legacy

Ellsworth gallery owners embrace a chance to manage the estate of William and Emily Muir, prolific artists whose substantial contributons continue to impress Last Christmas, Karin Wilkes’ husband, Michael, gave her a present that made her smile. It was an autobiography of artist Emily Muir, who together with her husband and fellow artist William Muir […]

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Publications

 

Exhibition Catalog 2009
Emily & Bill: The Muir Estate
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Exhibition Catalog 2010
Emily Paints the West Indies
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