Monhegan Alberts Red Tide Pool
Sylvia Alberts, “Red Tide Pool.”

This summer the Monhegan Museum of Art & History will present an exhibition of the Women Artists of Monhegan Island (WAMI), which will be on view from July 1 to Sept. 30.

Founded by Elena Jahn and Frances Kornbluth in the mid-1980s, and motivated by a strong desire to increase opportunities for women to show their work on and off island, this group constituted a significant part of the Monhegan art community for nearly 30 years and built on a tradition of more than 100 years of women artists on Monhegan Island. 

Beyond the practical consideration of increasing opportunities to exhibit their work, WAMI members, many of whom had past experiences co-founding women’s art cooperatives and other art collectives and organizations, saw the group as an opportunity to gather to discuss their art and their shared experience as women and artists on Monhegan. They celebrated the stylistic diversity of WAMI members, and they felt that Monhegan, above all, was their common bond.

Sixteen of WAMI’s long-term members will be featured in the exhibition, and the accompanying catalogue will incorporate reproductions of work by all former members of the group, including those who are still practicing artists today. The initial participants were Sylvia Alberts, Nancy Thompson Brown, Ruth Boynton, Evelyn Davis, Yolanda Fusco, Elena Jahn, Frances Kornbluth, Natalie Minewski, Sylvia Murdock, Susan Rosenthal, Joanne Scott, and Arline Simon. Subsequent members included Beth Van Houten, Lucia Miller, Frankie Odom and Joan Rappaport. Former WAMI artists who are still practicing today include Dyan Berk, Kate Chappell, Judy Shepard Gomez, Joan Harlow, Sylvia Murdock, Elaine Reed and Robin Young. 

The Monhegan Museum of Art & History at 1 Light House Hill Road, Monhegan, is open through September. For more information, visit

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