When, in his twenties, Philip Barter discovered Marsden Hartley, he felt a calling: to further the vision of the great American modernist. This was an ambitious undertaking for a brash, self-taught artist from Boothbay, Maine, but Barter’s passion for Maine and its fiercely independent people gave his work a unique, unencumbered vision. Barter spent the next half-century painting the landscape of his home state, becoming the “painter laureate” of the region.
By the early 1990s, Barter had come into his own, and was receiving widespread critical acclaim. He was given a twenty-five year retrospective at the Bates College Museum of Art in 1992. In a review for Maine Times, Edgar Allen Beem noted the painter’s progress “toward a more idealized vision of the northern landscape, a vision tempered by the spiritual simplicity of Arthur Dove and the physical simplicity of Milton Avery.”
Success continued with acquisitions by the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art. A feature in Down East magazine followed, and Barter went national when, in January 1995, Tim Sample highlighted Barter’s life in one of his “Postcards from Maine” segments on the CBS Sunday Morning program hosted by Charles Kuralt.
Barter’s work has been widely collected throughout his career and is included in numerous private and public collections, including the Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, and the Bates College Museum of Art, among others.
In 2017, Marshall Wilkes published Philip Barter: Forever Maine, a comprehensive hard cover book on Barter’s work and career by Carl Little.
NEW BOOK Philip Barter: Forever Maine
Books will be available to purcahse at the gallery. At 5:30pm author Carl Little will introduce Philip Barter, who will talk about his work.