The White Mountains: Alps of New England

Honoring the 100th anniversary of the White Mountain National Forest, this art show & sale features award-winning landscapes by nationally-recognized plein air artists Lauren Sansaricq and Erik Koeppel of Jackson, New Hampshire.

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, numerous artists—including many from the Hudson River School—captured the awe-inspiring summits and verdant glens in the White Mountain region of northern New Hampshire and western Maine. Today, Erik Koeppel and Lauren Sansaricq create masterful works in the Hudson River style based on their love for the expressive potentials of traditional representation. Their extraordinary paintings recapture the lost techniques of the Hudson River School painters, whose works were characterized by a sense of air, dramatic light, distance, and luminosity.

The White Mountain paintings in this exhibit will be available for purchase over the duration of the show (paintings will be added on a regular basis), with a portion of each sale helping to support our public programming.

May 29 through October 19, 2018


ERIK KOEPPEL (b. 1980) was born in Oregon, and spent his childhood moving with his family through many of the most beautiful landscapes of North America—from the Rocky Mountains, to Southern California, to the Appalachian Range. At the age of ten, his family settled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where he drew obsessively from nature, and began to develop a love for the expressive potentials of traditional representation. Erik received his formal training from the Rhode Island School of Design followed by the New York Academy of Art, and an annual apprenticeship in Wiscasset, Maine, with his professor and friend, Seaver Leslie. After copying extensively from the Italian Masters, he developed a body of work that has been exhibited and collected internationally, and represented across the United States. Koeppel’s mastery of traditional techniques has led him to become one of very few young con-temporary artists whose work is regularly exhibited with historic masters of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. His work has hung beside Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, Edgar Degas, John Frederick Kensett, and George Inness, and he has had the distinguished honor of entering collections including artists of this caliber. American Artist, PleinAir Magazine, and other respected publications have covered his progress. Erik is a member of the esteemed Guild of Boston Artists.

LAUREN SANSARICQ (b. 1990) grew up in Columbia County, New York, where from an early age she was exposed to both the beauties of the Hudson Valley and, under the teaching of Thomas Locker, to the traditional painting techniques of the Hudson River School. Lauren received academic training in drawing and painting at the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in Manhattan at the Salmagundi Club and the National Arts Club. Lauren is currently represented by Hawthorne Fine Art gallery, directed by Jennifer Krieger, who co-curated the “Remember the Ladies” exhibit at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Lauren was also honored with a solo show, “Nature’s Poetry,” at Hawthorne fine Art in 2011. She has been awarded the Hudson River Fellowship three times and is also a recipient of the Henrietta Reiss Award. One of Lauren’s paintings was featured in the New York Times, in connection with the show she was a part of, “The Great Hudson River Exhibition.”

White Mountain National Forest: The Centennial Exhibition

Learn how the forested highlands of northern New Hampshire and western Maine came to be appreciated by millions for their scenic and health-giving qualities, only to be devastated by uncontrolled commercial logging and widespread fires in the final decades of the 19th century. The story of how a large portion of the White Mountain region of Maine and New Hampshire was eventually saved and set aside in 1918 for the public’s benefit will be told through paintings, historic photos, vintage artifacts, and moving images.

May 29 through October 19, 2018

Oxford County Skiing History: From Jockey Cap to Jordan Bowl

The Ski Museum of Maine’s inaugural exhibit in the “Western Mountains Gallery” traces the roots of alpine and Nordic skiing and ski manufacturing at sites located within or near the borders of Oxford County. Through images, artifacts, and vintage film, the Ski Museum of Maine presents the fascinating story of skiing history in the famed highlands of western Maine.

Robinson House: May 29 through October 19, 2018

A River’s Journey: The Story of the Androscoggin

One of the largest rivers in New England and the third largest in Maine, the Androscoggin drains an area of over 3,400 square miles in Maine and New Hampshire.  The 170-mile waterway begins its journey near Errol, New Hampshire, where the outlet to the Rangeley Lakes and the Magalloway River join, and—punctuated with numerous rapids and impressive waterfalls (including that at Rumford, shown at left)—eventually mingles with the waters of the Kennebec River in Merrymeeting Bay below Brunswick, Maine, before flowing into the Atlantic.

Molly Ockett and Her World

This exhibit tells the story of Molly Ockett, an Abenaki Indian of the Pigwacket tribe whose lifetime (ca. 1740-1816) spans an important and particularly tumultuous period in this region’s past.  Born at Saco, Maine, Molly Ockett—baptized “Marie Agathe”—is one of the best-known individuals from the local past in the mind of the average resident of western Maine.  As an itinerant healer and herbalist for both natives and newcomers, Molly Ockett established close relations with the early settlers in such communities as Andover, Fryeburg, Poland, Paris, and Bethel during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Such ties enabled her to gain an intimate view of white society as it spread throughout the vast wooded domain long occupied by her ancestors.

Bethel: A Historic Town

Situated in the fertile Androscoggin River valley surrounded by some of the highest mountains in Maine, the town of Bethel traces its origins to a 1768 grant made by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to men whose ancestors had fought in a campaign to conquer Canada in 1690. Originally named “Sudbury Canada,” in honor of these early grantees from the town of Sudbury, Massachusetts, and their campaign against Canada, Bethel was first settled by people of European descent in 1774.

Dr. Moses Mason House Period Rooms

July 5 through August 31, 2018; Thursday through Saturday, 1:00 to 4:00 PM; September through June, by appointmentDr. Moses Mason House (1813), parlor showing Chester Harding portrait of Dr. Mason

One of the finest Federal style residences in its region, the Dr. Moses Mason House was constructed in 1813 on a spacious lot facing onto the common at Bethel Hill village. According to Dr. Nathaniel Tuckerman True, Bethel’s eminent nineteenth century historian, this house was the first on the common to be painted white, the first on a high foundation of granite slabs, and the first to make use of exterior shutters. The house and grounds were renovated and restored in 1972-73 by the Bingham Trust, which presented the property to the Bethel Historical Society in memory of William Bingham 2nd, the town’s great twentieth century philanthropist.

Nine rooms in the front portion of the Mason House now appear much as they did during the occupancy of Dr. Moses Mason (1789-1866) and his wife, Agnes M. Straw (1793-1869). These rooms contain a wide variety of eighteenth and nineteenth century examples of the decorative arts, many of which are original to the house. Other furnishings from the Society’s permanent collection are also on display throughout the various rooms. The most captivating feature of the Mason House is located in the front hallway, which contains Rufus Porter School wall murals—on the upper and lower floors—painted during the mid-1830s and attributed to Jonathan D. Poor, a nephew of Rufus Porter. Depicting distant seascapes and colorful landscapes with lush foliage, these intriguing examples of American folk art have been painstakingly cleaned so that modern-day visitors can view them much as they looked during the Masons’ era.