November 12 – February 14, 2016
Opening Nov 19, 2015
Julie McCarthy’s series Edna at Steepletop is a biographical portrait of the late poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. McCarthy photographed the poet’s home as she left it for over two years.
McCarthy’s Edna at Steepletop will be featured in the Griffin Museum’s Atelier Gallery at the Stoneham Theatre in Stoneham, MA, November 12-January 31, 2015. It runs parallel to the theater’s production of “Christmas on the Air.” A reception is November 19th, 2015, from 6:30-8:30pm. The artist will be present and give an informal talk about the exhibition.
McCarthy focuses on the details that depicted Millay’s bohemian lifestyle, books piled high on tables, a blue box containing a braid of red hair tied with a blue ribbon. “When I finished, I felt that I had been in an intimate conversation with a brilliant and complicated woman,” states McCarthy, “the photographs convey a sense of mystery and time gone by. I chose details of her home that, to me, depicted Millay’s inner life and the dichotomies that describe her character”
“Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poetry commonly regarded the notion of memory. She’s referred to herself in I Think I Should Have Loved You Presently as “a ghost in marble of a girl you knew,” now resonating differently as we meet her through McCarthy’s intimate photographs,” says Frances Jakubek, Associate Director of the Griffin Museum, “The conversation bounces between past and present, temporal and everlasting, a concept that Millay would often reference as something doomed. The typewriter belonging to Millay stands sturdily by the bedside that has been empty for years. The photographs in this series act as another layer of Millay’s observance of death through the objects that outlived her.”
McCarthy grew up in New York City, acquired a BA in Education with the knowledge that she may never want to teach. In other ways, McCarthy spread her knowledge by receiving a Masters Degree in counseling and spent her career in social work, much of that time as a bereavement counselor. Her background in Hospice instilled her interest in learning about other people’s stories and she has used photography as the medium to tell her own.
McCarthy currently lives and works in Stockbridge, MA. She has studied at the Main Photographic Workshops and learned about photography through jobs at local newspapers and workshops around the country. Her work has appeared in national publications such as The Sun, Shots, and has been exhibited at the Monmouth Museum, Norman Rockwell Museum and many others. In 2015, she was the artist in residents at Chesterwood, home of the sculptor, Daniel Chester French.