In 1967, his last one-man show with Betty Parsons was greeted with coldness and disappointment. The Italian market was also utterly closed to his work.
Freed from any need to sell his work thanks to the inheritance he received after his mother’s death, Congdon became an artistic hermit. Surprisingly, he blossomed again under these conditions. The years 1966-1979 were a period of great creativity. This phase was marked by a return to themes of his past paintings. His travels, particularly from the mid-1970’s once more become an essential stimulus. Congdon was no longer the romantic and solitary traveler of twenty years before: he now traveled in organized groups, but he was still a painter keen to take advantage of unexpected events. He was especially attracted to Africa and the Far East.