Nantucketby Ruth Haviland Sutton
Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
Nautical themed pictorial map of Nantucket with illustrations of local flora, fauna, boats, lighthouses, important buildings, and the Nantucket Central Railroad.
The map includes an inset map of the Nantucket Town showing street names and buildings.
The pictorial border features views of literary and historical events, lists of businesses, key to the town, hotels, and a historical timeline. The title is displayed as a banner supported by a spread eagle. Corners show ship figureheads and ships, and the center of bottom border illustrates the carved sternboard of the ship Eunice H. Adams, 1866.
Ruth Haviland Sutton first came to Nantucket with her mother in 1924 to study with Frank Swift Chase. A core member of the Art Colony, Sutton occupied various waterfront studios, including the Choo Choo Studio on Steamboat Wharf, where she stayed with her mother in 1925. By 1936, she was a permanent Nantucket resident, working and exhibiting from the Scallop on Commercial Wharf in the summer and passing her winters in Harborview.
Sutton received her artistic training at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of the Arts in Philadelphia and at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City. She was commissioned in 1933 by the Works Progress Administration to paint two large murals at the Museum of Natural History in Springfield, Massachusetts. She attended the Art Students League in New York City, where she studied drawing and anatomy with George Bridgman and sculpture with Mahonri Young.
A student of printmaker George C. Miller, Sutton employed lithography and woodcut to create her popular prints of familiar Nantucket scenes, including the Easy Street Basin, the wharves, Stone Alley, Main Street, and other island subjects. She developed a series of printed postcards called "Pencil Print Notes," along with her frequently reproduced works including a map of Nantucket, and a print of famous island attractions.
In addition to her print work, Sutton was an accomplished oil painter, creating charming landscapes and townscapes under the direction of Chase. Perhaps her finest work, however, came in a series of oil and pastel portraits of well-known Nantucket characters.
One of its most active artists, Sutton was also an important promoter of the Art Colony, supporting the Sidewalk Art Show after its establishment in 1930, serving as a charter member of the Artists Association of Nantucket and on its first executive committee, and exhibiting at the Kenneth Taylor Galleries and later the Lobster Pot Gallery on Old South Wharf. In 1945, she purchased four waterfront properties from Florence Lang's estate, refurbished them, and continued to rent them to artists at affordable rates. In 1950, she bought and remodeled the Candle House Studio into a home and studio for herself, providing an unobstructed view of the harbor directly from her living room. She was a cofounder of the Boston Printmakers in 1947, with her friend Elizabeth Saltonstall, and an active member of the Springfield Artists Guild and the Springfield Art League.