May 30th, 2023

On the 5th of June, the Castine Historical Society opens a second iteration of  “Clark Fitz-Gerald: Castine’s Celebrated Sculptor-in-Residence.”  The exhibition is comprised almost entirely of works not seen in last year’s presentation, expanding on and emphasizing his primary, interwoven themes of religion, abstraction, and observation of the natural world. With a focus on the artist’s sculpture, as well as drawings and sketchbooks, the show dives deeply into the artist’s unhurried process, including studies for sculpture commissions and public artworks. This exhibition is funded in part by two grants from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

View of Clark Fitz-Gerald’s sculptures in the Castine Historical Society exhibition

A longtime resident of Castine, Clark Fitz-Gerald (1917 – 2004) was commissioned by cities and universities to create large-scale artworks such as One Final Look, the large sculpture of a whale here on view courtesy of the Zillman Art Museum at the University of Maine. Fitz-Gerald also crafted works specifically for private collections as well as churches at home and abroad. His religious works, including drawings and sculptures of Christ, archangels, and the cross belie Fitz-Gerald’s study of the Bible, to which he returned again and again for creative inspiration.

Fitz-Gerald moved from advertising to teaching art at the college level, much like his Post-War peers in New York. He moved to Castine in 1956, where the quiet repose allowed him to dedicate himself full-time to his art practice. It was here that he would live and work for the remaining 48 years of his life. Maine’s rugged yet tender natural environment was a perfect match for Fitz-Gerald, who studied the natural world with incredible zeal and superb draftsmanship. In particular, the artist trained his eye on shells, seed pods, mushrooms, and creatures of every stripe. Taken as a whole, Fitz-Gerald’s body of work reflects his immense and dedicated homage to the incredible perseverance of life force.

Special thanks to Clark Fitz-Gerald’s children, Stephen and Leah Fitz-Gerald, who generously donated the artist’s archive to the Castine Historical Society, without which these exhibitions would not be possible. And thanks also to guest curator, Carl Little, who organized both of CHS’s remarkable and rigorously researched exhibitions of Fitz-Gerald’s work. Little has curated a number of exhibitions and written extensively on Maine artists. In 2021, Little was awarded the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for art writing.

The Historical Society exhibits are free and open from June 5 – September 4, Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m.. Fall hours are September 8 – October 9, Friday, Saturday, Monday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Free one-hour walking tours of Castine are offered Friday, Saturday, and Monday at 10:00 beginning June 23.

The Castine Historical Society opens a window onto Castine’s extraordinary past by collecting and preserving artifacts, archives, and local art that tell stories of life in Castine from pre-European contact through today. CHS hosts annual exhibitions, as well as lectures, town walking tours, and house and garden tours. Exhibitions are housed in CHS’s Abbott School gallery at 17 School Street, where visitors will also find a gift shop, and a community meeting space. The  neighboring Grindle House at 13 School Street houses offices and a research library, where visitors are welcome by appointment year-round. For further information about exhibits, events, and the Historical Society visit, call 207-326-4118, or email