Mid-Shore Arts: Famed McMartin Woodcuts at Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery


This September, Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery in Easton will be presenting a very special exhibit of the woodcuts of Philip McMartin. McMartin’s son, Jim, is well known in the area as an exceptional designer and creator of benchcrafted artisan furniture and co-owner of McMartin and Beggins in Wittman, Md.

Philip McMartin was born and raised in Plattsburgh, New York. Moving to Vermont in his early twenties, his first job was as a reporter for the St. Johnsbury daily newspaper. His early reporting career gave him experience in both photography and writing, two skills he would use throughout his life.

The series of woodcuts were done over an approximately five year period. It’s likely that the experience gained working with wood in the course of repairing and restoring his boats influenced his interest in choosing wood as a medium for his art. He produced a total of about 20 woodcuts over the period beginning in 1968.

In retrospect, he was a completely self taught man in virtually all of the endeavors of his life. Included in that was his art. A very independent and solitary man by nature, he taught himself the art of the woodcut having no formal training. His chosen subject matter was very close to his heart. The romance he felt for the water is certainly expressed in his woodcuts. Add to that the admiration and respect he felt for people who make a living using their hands, their wits and wisdom, in particular those among us who wrest a living working on the water.

The exhibit opens on September 1 with a special reception during First Friday’s Gallery Walk. Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery is located at 23 N Harrison St. For more information please call 410-310-8727 or visit trippehilderbrandtgallery.com.

Write a Letter to the Editor on this Article

We encourage readers to offer their point of view on this article by submitting the following form. Editing is sometimes necessary and is done at the discretion of the editorial staff.