The late John F. Gale of Cambridge, a real estate entrepreneur, grew up in the small rural Vermont town of Plainfield and he never lost his love for the Northeast Kingdom.
Nostalgia for that area, which was described in 2006 by the National Geographic Society as “the most desirable place to visit in this country and the ninth most desirable place to visit in the world,” led Gale to start collecting paintings of Vermont’s snow-covered mountains and other wintry scenes by Aldro Thompson Hibbard (1886-1972), the Cape Ann artist who wintered in Vermont and became known as “the painter of New England winters.”
Gale’s interest gradually gravitated toward paintings of Rockport and Gloucester scenes by Hibbard and other Cape Ann School artists such as Frederick Mulhaupt (1871-1938), one of its premier impressionists and dean of the Cape Ann School; W. Lester Stevens (1888-1969), Rockport’s first native-born artist; T.M. Nicholas (1963-), considered one of the most prominent painters of his generation; and Emile Gruppe (1896-1978), known not only for his portrayal of Gloucester’s harbor and houses but also for his rural Vermont scenes.
Read more of Globe Correspondent Virginia Bohlin's story here.