Stanley Murphy Study


Often forgotten when looking at a work of art is the body of knowledge, skill, and practice that came before. This occurs in a broad context– the artist may have studied, either formally or informally; and a narrow context – an individual work may be the result of planning and experimentation. In both cases, the process is equally invisible in the finished work. The Museum is fortunate to have an extensive collection of materials created by Stanley Murphy in its collection. These archives, sketches, studies, partially completed works, and finished works offer more than a glimpse into the process of this painter who integrated himself so thoroughly into the life of this Island.

Murphy spent many hours developing, learning, and experimenting with media and style over his decades-long career on Martha’s Vineyard, which began when he moved here with his young family in 1948. This study for a painting of one of the stone walls so emblematic of the up-Island landscape lays out ideas for composition, color ideas, and lighting notes.


Artist Stanley Murphy
Title Study
Date 1978
Type Drawing
Medium Watercolor and Marker on Paper
Credit Gift of the Murphy Family
Ref No 2008.003.223
Thematic Collection 100 Years, 100 Stories: Artists of This Island
Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.