John Kleinhans

An image of Monhegan

Precipice Publications [mail]

West Hurley (N.Y.), 1997

bibliothèque insulaire
N.E. of America
An image of Monhegan / platinum prints by John Kleinhans ; introduction by Raymond J. Steiner. - West Hurley (N.Y.) : Precipice publications, 1997. - 58 p. : ill. ; 19x24 cm.
ISBN 0-9660091-0-X

DESCRIPTION : Monhegan Island, Maine, is one of the treasures of America's seacoast. A scant square mile in area and lying ten miles off the mainland, Monhegan, visited by John Cabot in 1497, has been home to a fishing and lobstering community since the 1700's. For a hundred years, the beauty and isolation of the island has attracted artists in large numbers. Rockwell Kent, George Bellows, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper and three generations of Wyeths are among the painters who have worked there.

Photographer John Kleinhans has explored this island since 1984. Working with large format cameras, he creates quiet, contemplative platinum prints. An Image of Monhegan presents a unique interpretation of defining motifs of this magical place. A description of platinum printing is included.


Here lies the crux of [Kleinhans'] genius : his unerring ability to separate himself from his subject, his willingness to allow the thing being photographed to speak for itself, to shine forth without any interpolation of formulaic theories of esthetics. Offering as it does a full range of Monhegan « sights » — its unique confrontation with the surrounding sea, its down-home practical architecture — this series of images allows the reader, much the same as it allows the visitor to island, to come away with whatever private impression of Monhegan that one wishes. Aside from the handiwork of man, there are few people in Kleinhans' images, as if to insure the island's integrity and aloofness from human intervention. Is it the stark, almost forbidding seacoast side that lures the eye or the quieter coves on the leeward side ? The wind-blasted tree or secluded cottage garden ? The Hand of God or the hand of man ?

In a very real sense, Kleinhans' images of Monhegan more closely reflects the written account of those earlier chroniclers that do those of his painterly compeers, closer, in fact, to the Monhegan that exists in objective reality than those found in the artistic consciousness. « Here » his photographs seem to say, is the island uncluttered by my or anyone else's interpretation, figured forth for your interpretation only. Make of this Monhegan your own legend, your own mythos.


Introduction, p. 7

  • John Kleinhans, « An image of Monhegan » new ed. with and introduction by Edward L. Deci and a foreword by Will and Jane Curtis, West Hurley (N.Y.) : Precipice publications, 2000
  • Alta Ashley, « Hark to the bell buoys' song : letters from Monhegan island, 1976 to 1985 », Monhegan (Maine) : Grey gull publications, 1990
  • Jan Bailey, « Heart of the other : island poems », Greenville (South Carolina) : Fish press, 1998
  • Clara Burton, « Monhegan memories », Westford (Mass.) : Impatiens press, 1999
  • Jane and Will Curtis (et al.), « Monhegan, the artist's island », Camden (Maine) : Down East books, 1995
  • Julia Dean, « A year on Monhegan island », New York : Ticknor & Fields, 1995
  • Eric Hudson (et al.), « An eye for the coast : the maritime and Monhegan photographs of Eric Hudson », Gardiner (Maine) : Tilbury house publishers, 1998
  • Charles Francis Jenney, « The fortunate island of Monhegan », Worcester (Mass.) : The Davis press, 1922
  • Elizabeth Kelly, « The miracle on Monhegan Island », New York : Liveright, 2016
  • Carl Little, « The art of Monhegan Island », Camden (Maine) : Down East books, 2004
  • Richard H. Malone, « Rediscovering S. P. Rolt Triscott : a Monhegan Island artist and photographer », Gardiner (Maine) : Tilbury house publishers ; Monhegan (Maine) : Monhegan museum, 2002
  • Charles B. McLane, « Islands of the mid-Maine coast (vol. 3) Muscongus bay to Monhegan », Gardiner (Maine) : Tilbury house publishers, 1993
  • Marjorie Mir (ed.), « Poet's cove, an anthologie : Monhegan in poetry, 2000-2002 », Monhegan (Maine) : New Monhegan press, 2003
  • Ida Sedgwick Proper, « Monhegan, the cradle of New England », Portland (Maine) : The Southworth press, 1930
  • Richard Russo, « Le phare de Monhegan, et autres nouvelles » trad. par Jean-Luc Piningre, Paris : Quai Voltaire, 2004
  • [Spanierman gallery], « Abraham J. Bogdanove (1886-1946) : Monhegan summers », New York, 2001
  • Margot Sullivan, Cynthia Hagar Krusell, and John J. Galluzzo, « Monhegan island », Charleston (South Carolina) : Arcadia, 2009, 2008
  • Mark Warner, « Monhegan : a guide to Maine's fabled island », Camden (Maine) : Down East books, 2008
  • Charles Levi Woodbury, « Pemaquid and Monhegan », Hyde Park (Mass.) : Hyde Park historical society, 1892

mise-à-jour : 26 juin 2005