Martha’s Vineyard Museum spotlights artist Stan Murphy

Portrait of Claire Duys by Stan Murphy. — Photo courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Museum

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum Spotlight Gallery is currently featuring a group of Stan Murphy paintings from the museum collection, a selection of plein air pieces completed during the Island Fall for the Arts festival in October, some examples of steamship ferries that traveled to the Vineyard years ago, and a selection of religious art.

Island artist Stan Murphy, who died in July 2003, painted a number of portraits, including Claire Duys, a Chilmark resident who moved to the Island from Switzerland in 1913. Featured in the Spotlight Gallery right now is an oil portrait as well as a graphite, ink, and watercolor study both depicting Claire holding her violin that she played in the Island Symphonetta. Also on display is a portrait of Chip Chop, Katharine Cornell’s home on the beach between Lake Tashmoo and Vineyard Sound, that Mr. Murphy painted in 1949.

Last October the museum hosted a plein air session each weekend at a different museum property. Some of the works created on those weekends are now on exhibit in the gallery, depicting scenes from the Museum’s Edgartown campus, the new Vineyard Haven property, and the Gay Head and Edgartown Lighthouses. Artists include Nina Gomez Gordon, Josh Yates, and Deborah Magiera.

The museum also has a large collection of religious art from many places around the world. Currently on exhibit are two pieces from artist Magda Polivanov who emigrated from Russia to Oak Bluffs. Her works show her interest in both religious themes and found objects. Also highlighted is religious art from Portugal, which was made to show religious devotion and artistic expression and was passed down from generation to generation.

The Spotlight Gallery is an always-changing exhibition highlighting rarely seen collections, new acquisitions, and curators’ favorites, according to a press release. The last day for the public to see the plein air pieces in this exhibit will be February 28.

Visit for more information or call 508-627-4441 about upcoming programming and exhibits. The Museum is open year-round, 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday.