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Anne Eisner (1911-1967), “Woman with Jug (Congo 1956).”

Gleason Fine Art celebrates the inaugural show of the paintings of two mid-20th century sisters: Anne (1911-1967) and Dorothy (1906-1984) Eisner in an exhibition that runs May 24 to June 25.

A reception for “Sisters” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. June 7. Christie Eisner McDonald will be attending the reception and will happily share stories about both sisters.

A catalog with essays by noted arts writer Carl Little and Dorothy Eisner’s daughter (and Anne Eisner’s aunt) Christie Eisner McDonald is available.

Anne and Dorothy Eisner represent an extraordinary example of sibling creativity. Cherished daughters of well-off European immigrants to New York City, each of them pursued a life in art from an early age through trying times that included the Great Depression and World War II. They had many adventures along the way. Anne spent nine years in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). Dorothy attended the Leon Trotsky trial in Mexico City and, while there, befriended leading Mexican artists. Wherever they found themselves, the sisters responded to what they witnessed.

Both Anne and Dorothy found inspiration while staying at the famous Maine art colonies on Monhegan Island and Cranberry Island. In 1944, Anne Eisner painted Monhegan’s iconic Island Inn against a lush summer landscape. In watercolor, she paid homage to the woodstove, an island mainstay, and to the cool light of Cathedral Woods. On Cranberry, Dorothy Eisner painted croquet matches that she and her husband John McDonald hosted and energetically contested, as well as lively cocktail hours attended by fellow artists William Kienbusch, John Heliker, and Robert LaHotan and beach outings on Cranberry’s popular Preble Beach.

While living in the Congo with her anthropologist husband Patrick Putnam, Anne kept her paints close at hand to capture village life among the Mbuti pygmies of the Ituri rainforest, a tribe she adored and who adored her in return. Leaving her traditional painting style behind, she explored using a looser, modernist form of expression, such as exhibited in her vibrant oil “Woman and Jug” and her elegant forest series done in brilliant blues and greens.

The Eisner sisters remained unconventional all of their lives. While Dorothy Eisner’s paintings are well-known in Maine — shows of her work have been held at the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, as well as at Gleason Fine Art — Anne Eisner makes her Maine debut here in Boothbay Harbor. “Sisters,” which marks the first time Anne and Dorothy’s paintings have been show together, offers a splendid opportunity to appraise and admire their individual visions. The show is a tribute to two artists whose paintings continue to make an indelible mark on the rich canvas of twentieth-century art.

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Kevin Beers, “Waiting for the Boat.”

Also on view at Gleason Fine Art is a solo exhibition by acclaimed plein-air painter Kevin Beers. “On My Own” runs through July 9, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. June 7.

An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., when guests can meet Beers.

Leaving New York City for small-town Maine is a big decision for anyone, let alone for a former advertising director turned full-time artist. But Beers was chasing a dream, that is, to come as close as he could to the powerful realism practiced by his heroes and mentors, renowned painter and teacher Robert Henri and Henri’s equally famous students, George Bellows, Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent.

Maine, particularly Monhegan, that remote artists’ island an hour and 15 minutes by ferry from Boothbay Harbor, was a life-altering source of inspiration for Henri and his followers. Beers realized that he needed to experience the sharp, clear light, timeless villages, and rocky coast of Maine full on and in all seasons. So nine years ago, the artist packed up his beloved Park Slope, Brooklyn, apartment and moved to midcoast Maine. As a Mainer, Kevin has taken full advantage of being able to explore the coast’s many nooks and crannies on his own schedule.

Along with the rest of the fine art community, Beers has weathered some ups and downs over the years. However, no challenge has been as unexpected and devastating emotionally as the autumn 2023 fires that ripped through the village of Port Clyde, destroying several buildings, and, as it happened, many paintings, including a trove of Beers’s own work on view at the time. Kevin has compared the feeling to that of losing a favorite pet or even a child.

The Port Clyde fires not only destroyed cherished works of art but also have had an impact on Kevin’s sense of well-bring. In fact, he has found it difficult to find the peace of mind to paint. With the show “On My Own,” the gallery seeks to honor Kevin’s many years with us by offering a select group of what might be called “Kevin’s classics” for show and sale. There are many treasures available as well as a few old friends.

Gleason Fine Art is at 31 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor. For more information, call Gleason Fine Art at 207-633-6849, email the gallery at [email protected], or go to

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