Universal York

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Stephen Etnier of York, Pa. and South Harpswell, Maine–Part 2

Baptism at Jamaica

After reading my recent York Sunday News column on York County native artist Stephen Etnier, a friend asked if York County Heritage Trust if YCHT had any Etnier paintings. The Trust has three of his framed in its collection. Two are scenes painted in Maine, where Etnier spent most of his adult life.

The first acquisition by then Historical Society of York County was acquired by just asking the artist. According to correspondence in the Stephen Etnier file at the YCHT Library/Archives, in 1955 Director John Kilbourne wrote to Etnier, who was quite acclaimed by then, and asked if he would like to donate one of his paintings to his home town historical society. Etnier answered that he would and asked what size. Kilbourne wrote back that around 30 x 36 inches would be nice, but any size would be all right. Etnier sent Northeaster, which he had painted in 1937. The painting had been exhibited at the Carnegie Institute, Milch Galleries, and Farnsworth Library and Art Gallery and published in the New York Times and Magazine of Art. (The dimensions are 25 x 30 1/8 inches, so Kilbourne’s size request wasn’t too far off.)

Mackerel Cove

Mackerel Cove came to YCHT in 1971 as a bequest. A fairly recent gift was Baptism at Jamaica in 2000. All three paintings are fully illustrated in color, along with 56 others, in the 60 page catalog published to accompany the 1989 Historical Society of York County exhibit: Stephen Etnier, 1903-1984: A Retrospective. A few copies of the catalog are available at the York County Heritage Trust Museum Shop, marked down to a very low price.

Besides the view, owned by Wellspan VNA Home Care, of East Market Street from the Yorktowne Hotel that I included in my previous post, there are a couple of other York County scenes included in the 1989 catalog–more on those in the future.