Emily Muir was born in 1904 in Chicago. She studied
art with Richard Lahey at the Art Students League in New York.
She married sculptor William Muir and moved to Stonington, Maine
in 1939. She was an accomplished painter, sculptor, writer, designer,
architect, conservationist and community activist. She was the
first woman to serve on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's National
Commission of Fine Arts; and later President Richard Nixon appointed
her to the advisory committee for the Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts. She built a substantial career for herself as
a painter and a designer of homes.
Although Emily Muir was primarily known as a "Maine
artist," in her earlier years she painted quite a number
of scenes from the West Indies. She and her husband Bill built
dioramas for the Moore-McCormick steamship line, which were displayed
at street level windows in New York. Thus they were able to sight-see
and paint while on Moore-McCormick's payroll.
She also wrote a charming autobiography
called "The Time of My Life". Her descriptions of her
early years at The Arts Students League, where she met her husband,
and their struggles as starving artists during the Depression
are particularly poignant. It was also the title of her retrospective
at The Farnswoth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine from April to
August 2002. Copies of the book are available at The Liros gallery