In what would have been his 100th birthday, Stan Murphy is having a renaissance on the Island. At the 100-year career retrospective of his work held at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum this year, Mr. Murphy’s portraits of the common man on Martha’s Vineyard and his evocative Island scenes proved their lasting appeal.

Although the museum exhibition ended last month, a smaller exhibit is currently underway nearby at the Louisa Gould Gallery.

“No one [else], to me, has been able to paint the steel grays and the damp winters on the Vineyard,” said Louisa Gould, whose Vineyard Haven gallery is hosting a small show of Murphy paintings being sold by his son David Murphy.

“When I was first approached by David to sell some of [Stan Murphy’s] sketches I was like ‘oh my gosh, what an honor,’” she said.

Ms. Gould described her show as “just a taste” of the artist’s Island works, including charcoal sketches, oil paintings, Vineyard landscapes and even a hypnotic portrait of dancer Martha Graham in swirling crayon. One of the portraits on display, a blocky oil nude in pink and peach, comes with an extra gift: on the reverse is an unfinished example of one of Mr. Murphy’s fantasy scenes.

This is a common practice of artists, said Mrs. Gould.

“If you don’t like something, you flip it over and use the other side of the canvas,” she said.

The works are on display at 54 Main street in Vineyard Haven from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays through Dec. 18. David Murphy will host a meet and greet event on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.

Another one of Mr. Murphy’s works, a grand double portrait of fishermen Oscar and Robert Flanders, is available for viewing (and for sale) in the research library of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. The portrait, explained owner Peter Rose, was purchased by his father Charles Rose at the behest of another noted Vineyard artist, Thomas Hart Benton. Later, the portrait hung for many years in Peter Rose’s gallery in New York city before making it back to the Vineyard.

For more information about the show at the Louisa Gould Gallery, visit

For inquiries about the Oscar and Robert Flanders portrait, contact