Jack Kennealy, Maine Photographer
Great Spruce Head Island, Penobscot Bay

Great Spruce Head Island, in Maine's Penobscot Bay, was acquired by Chicago architect and real estate tycoon James Porter in 1910. By 1913, he'd finished building a 12-bedroom house (The Big House) to host family and friends on summer vacations.

Two of James Porter's sons, Eliot (photographer, 1901-1990) and Fairfield (painter, 1907-1975) were among the most respected 20th-century American artists. Both were considered pioneers in their respective fields. When James Porter died, Fairfield inherited The Big House. Eliot Porter had already built a smaller summer home on Great Spruce Head Island for himself and his family.

Much of these artists' best work was done on Great Spruce Head Island. Eliot Porter's book, Summer Island, provides some rich history of the island as well as relating some of Eliot's own experiences there. Summer Island is filled with arresting images from Eliot's photography on Great Spruce Head as well as of/on neighboring islands.

In June 2005, I was honored to be included among a diverse handful of artists from around the country invited by the Porter family to spend a week on Great Spruce Head Island, living in The Big House and working creatively at our respective crafts.

My own landscape photography encompasses numerous Maine coastal images illuminated with the warm, rich light of sunrises and sunsets. However, heavy fog was omnipresent the entire time that I was on Great Spruce Head Island. I never saw a single sunrise nor sunset. It became a fascinating challenge for me.

Nevertheless, Great Spruce Head Island will always remain a truly magical place in my memory. On the next two pages is a collection of some of my images from that thoroughly foggy and extraordinarily beautiful week. Some of these images have already become prized among people who collect my work, but I will forever wish that I had also photographed a few other ethereal island scenes that nurtured my soul so well for that week.

Images from Great Spruce Head Island