Arthur A. Thompson (1907-1988), one of Maine's great 20th Century Modernists, was first educated in architecture at Harvard University and M.I.T. During a time when large building and school complexes were changing the face of Bangor, he worked as a designer
for Eaton W. Tarbell Assoc., planning and supervising public buildings such as the Recreation Center and Bangor High School. Free hours were devoted to experimentation
in the visual arts, working out of doors where the changing aspects of nature required the accuracy of a quick media. Thompson was influenced by John Marin, a fellow architect/artist, who captured the coast of Maine in watercolor. Arthur Thompson moved on to his
mature full-blown colorist work in oil pastel in the sixties, creating scenes of his home in Sorrento, Maine, and the nearby shoreline of Schoodic Point and Mount Desert Island. Four exhibitions of his work arranged by the University of Maine in Orono have made his name synonymous with the expansion of crayon and pastel strokes into heroic size drawings.
Although he often returned to favorite sites to draw, each piece captures the energy of that particular moment in time. His architecturally trained eye translated life into line and color with an awareness of geometry of planes and the 2 dimensional surface of the paper, taking
a cue from the father of Modernism, Cézanne.
For an extended view of Arthur Thompson's career, click the links below.