The Art Gallery
By the early 1990s, the museum’s collections had grown to the point where additional display and storage space was sorely needed. An assistant light keeper’s house and accompanying storage shed had been built on the property in 1858 but were torn down in the 1920s when they were no longer needed. To rebuild the assistant keeper’s house as an art museum and the storage shed as a storage vault for the collections seemed like a perfect solution to the space problem. From old photographs and drawings obtained from the Coast Guard files, a design was worked out that duplicated the exterior of the buildings almost exactly as they had been. The interiors were designed to provide optimal display and storage space. Parts of the old foundation were still in place, making it possible to position the new buildings on the spots where the originals had been.
On July 5, 1998, the Monhegan Museum had a gala celebration to open the new replica buildings. The special exhibition in the new art gallery showed the works of Rockwell Kent who first painted on Monhegan in 1905. Each summer since, a different season-long art exhibit has been mounted in the new assistant keeper’s house, continuing the tradition that was started in the keeper’s house many years ago.