Yvonne Jacquette spent summers since the mid-60s at her home in Searsmont. She was a nationally recognized artist known for her aerial views of landscapes. Photo by Kevin Ryan

Yvonne Jacquette began her time in Maine more than 50 years ago by painting the foundation and beams of the barn on the Searsmont property where she and her family spent summers.

Later, she set her sights higher, hiring a pilot out of Belfast to take her up in a two-seat plane so she could paint the state’s coastline and woods from above.

“She’d have the pilot circle back over places while she sketched,” her son Tom Burckhardt said on Wednesday. “She had a series of pilots in Maine and they were all very patient.”

Jacquette, a nationally recognized artist known for her aerial views of landscapes, died April 23 in her Manhattan home, said Burckhardt, who also is an artist. She was 88. The cause was a heart attack but she also had been dealing with dementia, her son said.

Jacquette was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She was living and working in New York City with her husband, the artist and filmmaker Rudy Burckhardt, when she first spent time in Maine. She and her husband were encouraged to come to Maine in 1964 by artist Alex Katz, who had a home in Lincolnville. Jacquette and her husband rented a house with artists Red Grooms and Mimi Gross and writer Edwin Denby.

“Yvonne was a very serious painter and had a unique vision of art in the world,” Katz, 95, said via email from New York on Thursday.


In 1965 Jacquette and her husband bought a 100-year-old farmhouse in Searsmont, near Lincolnville, and began spending summers there. Jacquette continued to come to Maine each year, including last summer, her son said. She took advantage of Maine’s “unique light” for her work and enjoyed walking the roads with her husband. He died in 1999.

Jacquette had first thought about going up in planes or up in tall buildings for her art while taking an airplane trip to see her parents in the late 1960s, her son said.

Waterfront of Belfast Maine, 1990 Oil on canvas 70 x 84 inches Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York.

She began flying in commercial airliners to study cloud formations and weather patterns, according to her obituary. During a flight on a cloudless day, she began to take notice of the landscape below her and the opportunities it presented. She began sketching and painting natural landscapes as seen from above, starting a process that developed into a defining element of her art.

While she painted many Maine locations – including Belfast Harbor, Rockland Harbor and a paper mill in Madison – she’s also well known for painting New York City scenes such as Times Square from tall buildings.

Jacquette painted aerial landscapes across the country and world, including city views of Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Vancouver and Tokyo. She often worked from vantage points such as the World Trade Center and the Washington Monument.



Two concurrent exhibitions featuring Jacquette’s artwork are set to open Thursday at the DC Moore Gallery in New York. The exhibitions will serve as a tribute to Jacquette’s life and work as an artist.

“Yvonne Jacquette: Looking Up/Down/Inside/Out, which features the artist’s paintings and works on paper from 1962 through 1976 and “Yvonne Jacquette: Recent Views, Maine & New York,” new paintings that were completed in 2022, will run through June 10. Jacquette had been planning to attend the exhibition, her son said.

Madison Paper Co. II, 1989 Oil on canvas 83 1/2 x 63 inches Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York.

Bridget Moore, the director of the gallery, described Jacquette as one of Maine’s most prominent artists.

“Maine was such an important part of her life,” Moore said in a telephone interview Wednesday evening. Moore has connections to Maine as well, having grown up in York. DC Moore Gallery has represented Jacquette since 1995.

Moore said that Jacquette possessed a unique vantage point of her surroundings. She was able to step back, observe and see beauty in scenes and objects that others might have overlooked.

Many of her paintings were based on aerial views of Maine locations including the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant in Wiscasset and the Dragon Products cement manufacturing plant in Thomaston.


“There was something about the perspective of her work that made her stand out,” Moore said. “She painted epic pictures of places from an aerial perspective. She had sense of freedom in her work and seemed enthralled with these views.”

Her artwork has been included in a number of exhibitions, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Bowdoin Museum of Art in Brunswick and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. According to Moore, Jacquette’s work is included in the collections of more than 40 museums – among them the Metropolitan Museum, the Portland Museum of Art in Maine and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

In 2019-20, the Farnsworth Art Museum presented an exhibit titled “Slab City Rendezvous,” which took its title from a 1964 Red Grooms painting, that presented the works of Jacquette and her artist friends who began painting in midcoast Maine in the post-World War II years.

“The museum is deeply saddened to learn of Yvonne’s passing. She had a long and fruitful career and loomed large in American art. As part of the New York-based avant-garde group of artists, she returned to realism and figuration in reaction to Abstract Expressionism which dominated headlines during her early career,” Farnsworth Director Christopher Brownawell said in a statement. “After World War II, Yvonne and her fellow artists discovered Maine for its rugged beauty and inspiration.

“We will miss her and celebrate her many contributions to American art,” Brownawell said.

This story has been updated to show that the “Slab City Rendezvous” exhibit at the Farnsworth Art Museum occurred in 2019-20 and that the exhibit took its title from a painting by Red Grooms. 

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