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James Fitzgerald papers, 1905-1992

Biographical Note

Painter James Fitzgerald (1899-1971) lived and worked in Monterey, California and Monhegan, Maine and is known for his watercolors of seascapes, animals, and nature.
Born in Milton, Massachusetts, Fitzgerald studied from 1919 to 1923 at the Massachusetts School of Art and from 1923 to 1924 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School with Philip Hale, Leslie P. Thompson, and Edmund C. Tarbell. From 1923 to 1928, Fitzgerald took a break from his art studies to travel, sailing and crewing on fishing ships and freighters on the coasts of northern America. During a trip along the West coast in 1928, his travels brought him to Monterey, California where he established a studio and met and became associated with a group including John Cage, Martha Graham, E. F. Ricketts, and John Steinbeck.
From 1936 to 1942, Fitzgerald taught painting in California, then sold his studio the following year to settle in the artists' colony at Monhegan, Maine, which he had first visited in 1923. From 1944 to 1971, Fitzgerald made annual trips to Mt. Katahdin and also formed friendships with other Monhegan residents, including Rockwell Kent and Anne and Edgar Hubert. Fitzgerald died suddenly on the Irish island of Arranmore Ireland, where he had traveled to paint in 1971.