A painting depicting a whaling scene by local artist Roger Dennis normally finds its home in the lobby of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. However, the lobby at the hospital is being refurbished and L&M needed to find a place where the artwork could be safely housed.
“Because it is a large painting, L&M had no place they could store it in proper conditions,” said Vice President of Collections and Research Paul O’Pecko.
The work came to the Seaport in part because L&M Hospital Director of Public Relations Michael O'Farrell used to work at the Seaport. “The collections facility there is top notch,” O'Farrell said. “And, well, the topic is appropriate.”
Once the hospital finishes working on the lobby, Dennis’s mural will be returned to L&M Hospital.
Another local artist, Thomas Petersen, from Noank, influenced the mural Dennis created. Petersen completed four murals that all used whaling as their main topic. One of them, Nantucket Sleighride, directly inspired Dennis to paint his whaling scene.
“Guess where these murals are now?” O'Farrell asked. “Mystic Seaport! So the painting is now connected to its original inspiration.”
According to O'Farrell, while the Seaport owns the four murals some of them are loan and not currently at the Seaport.
Dennis’s mural was donated to L&M Hospital in 2000, in memory of Charles Poole by his family.
Corrected: August 14, 2011 3:30 p.m.: An earlier version of the story misspelled L&M Hospital Director of Public Relations Michael O'Farrell and incorrectly stated the Dennis mural would be returned to its location in the lobby of L&M Hospital. While the painting will be returned the hospital has not yet decided where it will be located.