Step Closer 
John Singer Sargent 
On the Verandah (Ironbound Island, Maine 
On the Verandah (Ironbound Island, Maine) 
Photo of Sargent painting a watercolor aboard Dwight Blaney's Yacht Norma Ironbound Island Maine
The Artist Sketching 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter  
Private collection on loan to the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, Providence 
Oil on canvas 
55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28 in.) 
Jpg: Local source
(Click on image to Step Closer)

Sargent painted his friend and artist Dwight Blaney. This would be one of Sargent's last scene paintings. 

From: Ben Blaney  
bb la 
Date: Wednesday, December 17-20, 2003  

 JSS visited my grandfather Dwight Blaney several times on Ironbound Island, and made at least 7 paintings there, only 2 of which I found on your site-- 'On the Verandah' & 'The artist sketching' (both showing his friend and fellow artist Dwight Blaney). . .  Both . . . were painted on Ironbound Island, Dwight Blaney's summer home in Maine, where a number of fellow artists visited him. See the article 'Dwight Blaney: An American Impressionist' in American Art Review, vol. 19, no. 1(Jan-Feb, 2002),p.184-187.  

Dwight Blaney's Ironbound Island lies in Frenchman Bay, about 3 miles East of Bar Harbor, ME.  Dwight died in 1944, though the family still goes there seasonally.  The big house (the one in 'On the Verandah' [Thumbnail]) burned the summer of 1944. A log cabin stands on the site today. 

'On the Verandah' shows Dwight Blaney & his wife Edith with their 2 daughters Elizabeth (l) and Margaret (r).  

I have been told that Edith was the photographer of the photo of Sargent on Dwight's yacht [Thumbnail]. Note that Sargent, who always like to paint under a large parasol/umbrella, had no place to put the parasol on board the boat, so he tied it to his leg, with supporting stays to various parts of the boat. Several of those lines are visible in the photo.  

I am currently researching his life and work, and I hope to live long enough to see it published. The article in American Art Review gives a short biography of Dwight. 

Elizabeth Stillinger has a chapter on Dwight in her book The Antiquers (NY: Knopf, 1980), 105-112. She, of course emphasizes his role as an antique collector of American antiques. Dwight was interested in all kinds of craftsmanship, whether painting, woodworking, silver, etc. 

Perhaps, in view of the fact that these two JSS paintings show the painter Dwight Blaney, you might include him in your list of artist friends of Sargent.  

Ben Blaney 

(Editor's Note - What a great idea) 

* * *

Dwight Blaney (1865-1944) was from Salem and Boston. He became a well-known draftsman, authority on antiques and a gentleman artist. He was a graduate of the Chauncy Hall School in Boston and later associated with the Carnegie Institute (Marblehead Mag) 



John Singer Sargent, An Exhibition -- Whitney Museum, NY & The Art Institute of Chicago 1986-1987 The Smithonian Archives of American Art has Dwight Blaney papers, [ca. 1883-1930].


Parke Bernet Galleries Sale Catalog: No. 1175, 1950, lot 620.
McKibbin, David, "Sargent's Boston," Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 1956.

SIRIS  81690475
CMM    K229
JSS     10001



From:  Ben  Blaney 
bb la
Date: Friday, December 5, 2003  

Enjoyed your site immensely & will enjoy exploring it further. JSS visited my grandfather Dwight Blaney several times on Ironbound Island, and made at least 7 paintings there, only 2 of which I found on your site-- 'On the Verandah' & 'The artist sketching' (both showing his friend and fellow artist 
Dwight Blaney). Would you happen to know where 'On the Verandah' is currently? I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of the gallery! 

From: Natasha 

All I know is what we see here. What can you tell us about what the family knows about Sargent's visits?  

I don't know the owner of the painting.

Subject: Image of  Elizabeth Blaney portrait 
From: Alan Murgida,
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2001 

Thank you for taking time to read my email. 

I once saw a portrait by JSS of 'Elizabeth Blaney' of Boston and am interested if you can direct me where I might find prints/reproductions of the painting. I saw it in the home of Mrs G Frank Cram (nee, E.B.) of Marblehead MA (General Glover House).  She also had sketches by JSS in a great tome that greeted guests that visited them on their island home off the coast of Bar Harbour ME. (Guests would sign the book. Poets would scribble limericks/rhyme. And, painters would sketch.) She was a girl of approximately age 12-16, I believe, at the time the painting was made. It's almost a full portrait of her seated at a table beside the fireplace in the manor of the island home. It had somber colors except for her sailor's blouse and bright face. She would tell me stories of her childhood, and, although I lost touch with her many years ago, I would like to see the picture once again. With much appreciation should you have any thoughts or knowledge of the painting or prints.  

Alan Murgida, Al 

From: Ben Blaney  
bb la
Date: Thursday, December 18, 2003   

The portrait of Elizabeth Blaney mentioned by Alan Murgida was not  painted by JSS, but rather by William Paxton, another good friend of  Dwight's, in 1916. The painting was exhibited at the MFA in Boston in  1986 and a color photo of it appeared in the catalogue of that  exhibition [The Bostonians: Painters of an Elegant Age, 1870-1980,  (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1986), plate 15]. I don't know whether  any posters of it are available, as the painting was sold after her  death. 


Works by Blaney 
Spring in the South of France 
Early Snow, October 
Ironbound Island, Maine 

Rooftops in the Rain 

Porch at Ironbound  
(Hollyhocks by the Sea) 
c. 1921

Hanging Canada Goose 



Created 4/11/2001