Project Description

Charlie Ferguson Daybooks

There is no artist more intimately associated with Fishers Island than the late Charles B. “Charlie” Ferguson (1918-2018).

Charlie painted regularly on Island from mid-1940s to the mid-2010s. From sweeping beachscapes to evocative landscapes, from poised egrets to swooping peregrines, from classic golf holes to spinnaker-filled sailboat races, he captured countless facets of Fishers Island’s life—both natural and social—on canvas, board, paper and wood during his long and varied career as an artist.

Some of his least known works are captured in 70 small black “daybooks” that are filled with Charlie’s writings, drawings, and watercolors. He created these diaries of art both on Fishers Island and at locations around the world during his travels. They contain some of Charlie’s most spontaneous works with, as one would expect, much whimsy scattered throughout.

Although there are some outlier books from the 1940s when he was still at art school at the Art Students League of New York, most date from the early 1970s through to the mid-2010s.

Utilizing grant funds from the Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation, the Museum has scanned hundreds of pages from his Fishers Island books. A sampling of those is presented here in memory of a man who was in so many ways synonymous with Fishers Island. When digitization is complete, the full sweep of the day books will be accessible at the Museum.

Pierce Rafferty, Director HLFM

Charlie painting a watercolor in a daybook, 9/8/2011. Photo by Marnie Briggs.