Anna Held Audette (1939-2013), Suisun Bay II, oil on canvas, 26″ x 40″, 1995, catalog #223; courtesy of Louis Audette.
The Noble Maritime Collection at Snug Harbor Cultural Center opens its new exhibit, Modern Ruins, Paintings by Anna Held Audette (1939-2013), on Sunday, July 17 with a free public reception. The exhibit will feature Audette’s exploration of Staten Island’s ship graveyards and will continue through December 11, 2016.
“Audette’s paintings evoke the aura of a dark building with a single shaft of light coming through a dusty back window, or the loneliness of windshield on an abandoned truck where a vine comes back in summer, and grasps and holds its place as it climbs up it,” says Erin Urban, Noble Maritime Collection director.
Anna Held Audette was a teacher and artist whose work explored the remains and memories of the industrial era. Audette’s work includes landscape and obsolete machinery, vehicles, and structures via both literal and abstract works. The upcoming exhibition will feature some of Audette’s large paintings, including those which were developed on the Staten Island shoreline’s ship graveyards.
Anna Held Audette next to one of her paintings. Image via Connecticut Art Scene
Audette’s work shares an inescapable connection with the Noble Maritime Collection and its founder, John A. Noble. Noble was an artist who was also inspired by a declining industrial age. According to the Collection’s history of Noble, the Kill von Kull waterway separating Staten Island and New Jersey had a profound effect on his work. The website states, “Filled with new but obsolete ships, the great coalport had become a great boneyard. In 1941, Noble began to build his floating studio there, out of parts of vessels he salvaged.”
Audette came to Staten Island in 1994 and investigated John A. Noble’s work. She was inspired by his career capturing “the ruins of the Age of Sail.”
Samples of Audette’s work. Images via The Arts Paper
The opening reception on Sunday, July 17, 2016 will be free to the public and runs from 2 pm to 4 pm.
The Noble Maritime Collection is a museum and study center located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center at 1000 Richmond Terrace. It is open to the public on Thursdays through Sundays from 1 pm until 5 pm and by appointment. School trips and tours are available as well. Admission is by donation. For more information visit www.noblemaritime.org or call (718) 447-6490.
Next, here’s more information about Snug Harbor Cultural Center and A Look at the New York Wheel on Staten Island, Currently Under Construction.