Wyeth was the foremost American illustrator of the first half of the 20th century, as well as the patriach of a famous family of artists (including son Andrew and grandson Jamie). His realistic and engaging pictures made for reproduction in books and magazines created iconic images of such popular characters as Buffalo Bill.
An intrepid globe trotter, Boston-born artist Edwin Lord Weeks regularly used sketches and photographs made on his travels - including several trips to India - to endow his Orientalist pictures with a sense of closely observed authenticity.
Although the sculptures that you see here were created in Rome and inspired by the classical marbles of that city, they are also the products of the 19th-century Portland's strong artistic community. Born and raised in Maine, sculptors Benjamin Paul Akers and Franklin B. Simmons rose to fame as the city of Portland and its residents increasingly championed their work, as well as that of their talented fellow artist. Akers's The Dead Pearl Diver ((1858), the first exhibited in Portland in 1859, was the very first work of art to be acquired by the Portland Museum of Art (then the Portland Society of Art), Simmons, in turn was selected to create public sculpture in Portland's Monument and Longfellow Squares.
Both artist spent time studying and working in Italy, however, they neither forgot nor were they forgotten by the city of Portland. Simmons left the entire contents of his studio, including a version of his statue of Ulysses S. Grant created for the U.S. Capitol to the City, which in turn donated them to the Museum. The Museum was presented with the opportunity to purchase The Dead pearl Diver, many of Portland's most prominent citizens helped by contributing funds.
We started out camping in a free sunny parking lot in downtown Portland, however, when we awoke one morning and it was already 82 degrees at 9:30 we changed our plans to a cool shady spot by the lake where we could use our air conditioning when needed.