587 Commercial Street

Merry Meeting House

No. 587 has been known by the delightful name “Merry Meeting” at least since the 1910s. It was owned for many years by Albion E. Kelley, assistant postmaster, whom we met at 584 Commercial. Beginning in the late 1950s, it was the summer home of Robert Richenburg (±1917-2006), a well-respected and influential Abstract Expressionist painter who had studied in New York with Hans Hofmann. “Mr. Richenburg was praised by critics and sought after by collectors,” Randy Kennedy wrote, “and was particularly known for ominous paintings in which fields of black were punctuated by bursts of color and line.” (Randy Kennedy, “Robert Richenburg, 89, Artist of Abstract Expressionist Work, Dies,” The New York Times, 13 October 2006.)

The house has itself been a painter’s subject: Arthur Cohen painted Merrymeeting in 2001. It is currently owned by Christopher M. Pula and Thomas A. Biggert, who also own the MacMillan home at 473 Commercial.

[Updated 2012-10-16]

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