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North Haven artist to be discussed

North Haven artist to be discussed

Join the North Haven Historical Society and the North Haven Memorial Library for an illustrated talk about artist and North Haven resident Alfred Tulk. This fascinating peek into Tulk’s early years as a painter will take place Monday, May 20, 6:30 p.m., in the community room of the library.

Dr. Christopher B. Steiner, professor of Art History and Anthropology at Connecticut College, will present the program. Steiner will focus on the art and collections of Tulk created over an 18-month period (1931-1933) while the artist and his family were living in a mud hut at an African mission. This period was to influence the artist’s work for the remainder of his career. 

Steiner’s program also promises to tell the story of Ethel Chapman, a young woman raised on her family farm in North Haven. Chapman became engaged to Tulk, a graduating Yale Art School student, in 1923.

Marrying an aspiring mural painter was surely anticipated to be an adventure, but when an opportunity arose in 1931 for a trip to Africa, Ethel agreed to go along with their two young sons.

Alfred’s friend Dr. George Harley, a Methodist minister, invited the young Tulk family to join with his family for a trip to Liberia to serve at a mission in Ganta.

Although much of the art created and collected from the African trip was destroyed in a fire at Tulk’s Stamford studio in 1954, Steiner was able to assemble a collection borrowed from museums and private collections.