Researching Downeast Maine and Maritime Canada Families Together
Valdine Atwood did an article on him for the newsletter of the Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society. Don't think she would mind if I copied it here for you. If you are interested in joining, so that you get a copy of the newsletter, it's $10, sen to Carole Sprague, 301 Ridge Road, Marshfield, ME 04654. This group is an expanded form of the old Washington County Genealogical Society.
So this gives his date of death but not where he is buried. Perhaps someone else will come forth with that information for you. My mother has a few of Dougal Anderson's paintings, as do some relatives, and I got to see a variant of one of my favorite scenes at Valdine's. Then, of course, there are some wonderful ones at the Library in Eastport.
EASTPORT’S DOUGAL ANDERSON Imagine if you will a small child who when hepainted a picture of a bird on the floor it looked so realthat his mother tried to pick it up. Or in later years a manpainting a water scene, when a tourist, admiring his work exclaiming at great length that he should have formal training at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the man replying that he didn’t think they would take him as a student as he had taught there for two years. This is just two sides of the artist, Dougal Anderson, who has captured for all time through his paintings the by-gone days of Eastport, Maine at the turn on the 20th century. Although not well known outside of the Passamaquoddy area, his extraordinary talent for capturing the life and scenes of the area is growing. He saw beauty everywhere and set it down with an understanding of color and technique which is in the category of the American Masters. A quiet and unassuming person he was not one to herald his own worth, but as time goes on more and more people are beginning to realize his genus with a brush. Dougal Anderson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 25, 1854, the fifth child of Dougal and Mary (Horan) Anderson. His father was of Scottish decent, having migrated to Charlestown from Rathlin Island of the northeast coast of Ireland. In 1856 the family moved to Kendall’s Head in Eastport where they established a farm home. Dougal attended the local Eastport schools where his talent for drawing soon became apparent, so much so as to qualify as a life’s calling. In January of 1882 he enrolled in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where he remained for six years where he earned three scholarships, one each in 1884-85 and 86. One of the scholarships was for study in Europe which took him to France and Italy. He also spent time in Mexico and California. Upon his return he taught for two years at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His health then forced him to return to Eastport where most of his remaining years were spent and his work as an artist completed. He worked more often in watercolor than in oil, but was a master in both mediums. For a time he was a partner in an art and photographic studio and from this association many photographs were taken and these were the basis for his production watercolors – pot boilers – or money making paintings. Theseworks were very popular in the community for wedding and birthday gifts. Many of these gifts were painted to order, such as the prospective bridegroom who presented his intended with a scene of the romantic site of his marriage proposal, or the housewife who gave her husband a painting of a handyman coming out of the family woodlot. Among his more popular subjects was the “Tow” a picture of a tugboat towing in the sail operated fishing fleet, or his many views of “Friar’s Head” at Campobello, and the Eastport waterfront. The major portion of his paintings dealt with the water, although there were a few inland scenes. His painting portrayed the life style of Eastport and many of his settings are easily recognized even today. Anderson’s beautiful watercolors of local scenes are treasured by their many fortunate owners, and the esteem in which they are held is evidence by the fact that approximately eighty of his paintings are still found in local homes, almost 90 years after his death. A close-knit family, his father died when Dougal was 12 leaving his mother with raising of the family of five boys and three girls. The family were devout Catholics with one brother going into the priesthood while a sister became a nun. Douglas, one brother and two of the sisters never married but lived together at the family farm home on Kendall’s Head. For a time he and his brother operated a small sardine factory, but painting was his main direction and pleasure in life and to it his attention was always primarily directed. A shy, modest man he was highly respected and loved in the community, not only for his work but for his fine qualities as a man. Possessed of a keen intelligence and understanding of men and affairs, he was an interesting and agreeable companion to those who knew him. His quietness and unobtrusiveness added to rather than detracted from his personality. He was extremely loyal to his friends and was devoted to his aged mother during her lifetime and in later years to his invalid sister. Following a period of ill health he died unexpectedly of heart failure on October 20, 1921.
Wow! This is an excellent article! All I really knew about Dougal is that he studied and taught at the MFA in Boston. This has given me some insight into who Dougal was. Thank you so much! My father had 3 of Dougals' paintings which were passed on to his sister, my Aunt, after my Dad died. I need to visit her and photograph them.
I would like to note an error in the article. Dougal was the 7th child of Dougal and Mary (Horan) Anderson. Their 5th child was also named Dougal Francis Anderson. This first Dougal was born 18 Aug 1852 and died 17 May 1854.