Maine Canvas

The exhibitions and books telling the state’s story through art

Out in March are two books from RIZZOLI to honor Maine’s bicentennial and the state’s long contribution to the visual arts. At First Light: Two Centuries of Maine Artists, Their Homes and Studios chronicles 200 years of artists living and working in Maine, and photography by Walter Smalling captures the state’s landscape in a manner that is both nuanced and overwhelming in its breadth. Artists featured include Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Marsden Hartley, Robert Indiana, and Lois Dodd. Maine and American Art: The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates the Rockland museum and its influential collection. The Farnsworth has positioned Maine prominently in the realm of American art, and this compendium highlights over 200 works by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Francesco Clemente, Robert Rauschenberg, and Alex Katz.

The FARNSWORTH ART MUSEUM is currently exhibiting Maine: The Farn-sworth Collection, which,in addition to the bicentennial, commemorates the museum’s 70th anniversary. From the over 15,000 works in the museum’s permanent collection, curators chose the most gripping pieces from thousands of paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures. The exhibition, on view until April 14, 2021, showcases interpretations and renderings of Maine through the eyes of the many artists who traveled out of the cities for the summers, seeking inspiration and community in the bucolic Great North. Note: the museum is currently closed until April 6.

The PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART (PMA) is also recognizing Maine’s 200th birthday with Stories of Maine: An Incomplete History. The exhibition, presented in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council (MHC), will run from March 28 to October 25. Objects on view range from well before Maine’s statehood to present day. Along with other PMA staff, curator Diana Greenwold, director Mark Bessire, and the MHC assembled two advisory panels—one in northern Maine and one in southern Maine—to develop the themes and stories for this all-encompassing look at Maine’s complex and complicated history. In hearing from many different perspectives, visitors will form a more holistic understanding of the state’s challenges and its victories. Note: the museum is currently closed until April 13.

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