The documentary “Ralph Stanley: An Eye for Wood” tells the life story of the legendary boat builder and will be shown at the Jesup Memorial Library on Friday, March 13, at 7 p.m. PHOTO COURTESY JEFF DOBBS PRODUCTIONS

Boat builder Stanley’s story will be told at the Jesup

BAR HARBOR — The life of legendary boat builder Ralph Stanley will be in focus at the Jesup Memorial Library on Friday, March 13, beginning at 7 p.m.

“Ralph Stanley: An Eye for Wood,” a new documentary from Bar Harbor-based Jeff Dobbs Productions, uses extensive interviews with Stanley along with photos and Stanley’s own documents to showcase the life of a man renowned worldwide for his wooden boat building and design.

Stanley received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1999, which was presented in Washington, D.C., by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who called him a “living treasure.”

He also was named a Maine Boat Builder Laureate by official proclamation of then-Governor Angus King.

It was 1946 when Stanley began building wooden boats in Maine, and 1973 when he opened a shop in Southwest Harbor, which launched its last boat in 2009.

This new documentary goes beyond Stanley’s boat building, however, to encompass his family’s generations-long life on the Maine coast and his passion for history, genealogy and making fiddles, a craft he picked up when his boat building days ended.

Author, actor and movie-maker Gunnar Hansen wrote the story, local musician Bob Bowman provided the music, and former State Senator Dennis Damon narrated.

Jeff Dobbs will introduce the film and answer questions after the screening, which is free and open to all.

Call the Jesup at 288-4245 or email [email protected]


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