Still Lifes & the Legacy of Charles Ethan Porter

Arts Center East is pleased to present an exhibit of contemporary Still Lifes alongside artwork and information about 19th and early 20th century Rockville artist, Charles Ethan Porter.

Charles Ethan Porter was a renowned Still Life Artist in the 19th and early 20th Century. He lived in Rockville, CT for most of his life. Porter not only studied art at the National Academy of Design in New York City, he was one of the first Black artists to exhibit there. He was the only Black artist at the turn of the century who painted still lifes. His work can be found in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, and more. Most recently, a painting of Porter’s was acquired by the Florence Griswold Museum in Connecticut. It is also likely that much of Porter’s work is owned privately but has not been officially authenticated.

With this exhibit, we are shining a light on Charles Ethan Porter and celebrating artists who are working in the style of still lifes today.

Exhibit Talks:

Sunday, April 3, 3:00pm: “Charles Porter, Artist from Rockville,” Jean Luddy, Vernon Historical Society

Sunday, April 10, 3:00pm: “Without Money Or Moneyed Friends: Mark Twain, Charles Ethan Porter, and Art Patronage in the Gilded Age,” Erin Bartram, Ph.D., Mark Twain House & Museum

Saturday, April 23, 3:00pm: “Charles Ethan Porter’s Refusal of Marginalization, Cynthia Hawkins, Ph.D.

Congratulations to the Award Winners
Best-in-Show: Autumn Still Life, Jean Dalton
First Place: Through a Glass Brightly, Karen Israel
Second Place: Lemons in Copper Shauna Shane
Third Place: When we get a little older…, Steve Wilda

Honorable Mentions
Flowers on a Pedestal, Bernard Duffy
Cool Down Mojito, Arpita Kurdekar
Lighthearted, Jane Penfield

View the program

If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces in the exhibit, please email with the title of the piece and the artist’s name.

*All images are the property of the artists are are not for individual downloads.

Exhibits at Arts Center East are free and open to the public. We are grateful for the support from our community and visitors.

This exhibit is made possible by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Vernon Greater Together Community Fund.
Thanks to our Juror
Barbara Groff
Sponsored by