Interior of Rockwell Kent & James Fitzgerald Studio.

The Monhegan Museum of Art & History recently announced the launch of an annual lecture series that brings leading figures in the arts and humanities to Monhegan Island. The Edward L. Deci Endowed Lecture Series honors the legacy of the museum’s longtime president and director in building a major fine art collection representing the outsize role this small island has played in the history of American art for centuries. Established on the occasion of Dr. Deci’s retirement in 2021, speakers in the series share their expert perspectives on the continuing story of Monhegan with the island community.

On July 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Monhegan Schoolhouse, the 2023 speaker in this series will be Dr. Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita of Art History at Stanford University, where she served for nearly 30 years, including stints as the director of its museum and its humanities center. She is a leading scholar of American modern art, the author of numerous influential books, and a curator of major museum exhibitions, including a pioneering one on Monhegan artist Andrew Wyeth. She will present “Artist’s Houses and their Stories” in an illustrated dialogue format, focusing on just one of Professor Corn’s many legacies that has impacted Monhegan: her lifelong commitment to studying, preserving and sharing the stories of artists’ houses, including those of Georgia O’Keeffe and Winslow Homer. 

Among other topics, she will discuss her role in forming and driving the Historic Artists Homes & Studios Program of the National Trust, with Monhegan Museum board member Dr. William L. Coleman adding context on the Monhegan Museum’s Kent-Fitzgerald House & Studio, a member site of HAHS. Coleman is Wyeth Foundation Curator and Director of the Andrew & Betsy Wyeth Center at the Brandywine Museum of Art, with additional responsibilities at the Farnsworth Art Museum, and was previously Director of Collections & Exhibitions at Frederic Church’s Olana, another HAHS site.

“This series enables the Monhegan Museum to bring distinguished scholars with a diverse range of expertise to the island to discuss topics related to the art and culture of Monhegan,” says museum director Jenn Pye. “Dr. Corn’s insights into the value of preserving spaces where artists have created will provide attendees with a new lens with which to view the Rockwell Kent — James Fitzgerald House and Studio.”

“I am thrilled that the Monhegan Museum is able to sponsor this annual lecture series that will continue the process of bringing to the island interesting information about art and history that is somehow related to Monhegan,” says Ed Deci, president emeritus of the museum.

The series will continue to bring nationally prominent speakers like Professor Corn to Monhegan annually. Each event will be recorded and shared widely, free of charge, for those who are unable to attend in person. Virtual attendance for this event will be possible via Zoom. Register online at

The Monhegan Museum of Art & History at 1 Light House Hill Road, Monhegan, is open through September, during which time the Kent/Fitzgerald Home and Studio are open three days a week and by appointment. For more information, visit

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