Machyar Kumbang, 2001; oil on canvas, 36 inches wide x 24 inches high.
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THE SPIRIT OF DUNGENESS, despite being in ruin, is still vibrant; not just because of its imposing physical structure, but because somehow, it still bespeaks the unique influence of the preservationist Lucy Carnegie, a member of the industrialist Carnegie family. The ruins of the mansion are striking. Nearby, they also built Plum Orchard a Georgian revival-style mansion. The family contribution along with funds from supporting foundations helped win Congressional approval for establishing the Cumberland Island National Seashore. Eighty percent of the Island is now owned and managed by the National Park Service though a few, privately owned tracts remain.
My personal inspiration for executing this painting of Dungeness was born out of my visit to the mansion. Being there surrounded by the ruins, the wildlife, the secluded island atmosphere; imaging what life must have been like here over a century ago was a heady experience for me. This home and the people who built it played an important and critical role in the growth and maturation of the United States.