Two years shy of her 100th birthday, Emily Muir has her own exhibit at the Farnsworth Art Museum. She was unable to attend the April 21 opening, but two days later she traveled to Rockland from her home in Stonington to view the show. Modest and self-effacing, Emily’s spirit is readily felt with her marvelous sense of humor and persistent spark for life, as evidenced by the red-and-bright-purple jacket she wore with a matching hat. No one better exemplifies the saying, “When I am old I shall wear purple.”
Emily moved to Stonington in 1939 with her husband, William Muir, the sculptor. Coastal villages and fishing communities inspired much of her work, and her style has been compared to that of Marguerite Zorach and Walt Kuhn. A few of William Muir’s pieces are also included in the exhibit.
In addition to the show, The Time of My Life, published by the Island Institute further celebrates Emily’s life and contribution to the Maine coast. Emily Muir recently established the Emily and William Muir Fund at the Island Institute, and sales of her book will benefit the fund.
Emily 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. Her paintings are included in public and private collections and include works in the Brooklyn Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the University of Maine, and the Farnsworth Art Museum.