Founded as a bequest of Lucy Copeland Farnsworth in honor of her father, the museum’s collection began as a modest holding of several hundred objects. Farnsworth at 75: New Voices from Maine in American Art is a two-part exhibition presented on the occasion of the 75th anniversary. The first part–Farnsworth at 75–reexamines a selection of objects that underscores Maine’s important artistic contributions to American art during its early defining moment. Paintings by Alvan Fisher, Martin Heade, Eastman Johnson, Fitz Henry Lane, N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Marguerite Thompson Zorach will be punctuated by contemporary interventions by artists Jason Brown aka Firefly, Lauren Fenstersock, Steven Hannock, and others. Today the Farnsworth’s collection is nationally recognized as one of the finest repositories of American art.
New Voices from Maine in American Art unveils new acquisitions to the museum’s collection in the last two years. Organized thematically, these objects revisit histories, narratives, and myths about the sea, industries, identity, community, and places, both real and imagined. Artworks by Eric Aho, Elizabeth Atterbury, Katherine Bradford, Kathy Butterly, Ann Craven, Carly Glovinski, Billy Gerard Frank, Ayumi Horie, Erin Johnson, Daniel Minter, Emilie Stark-Menneg, Aaron Stephan, and Hannah Secord Wade offer thoughtful perspectives when viewed in dialogue with beloved favorites, connecting stories across time and media. As we celebrate Maine’s role in American art, how do art, artists, and ideas encourage us to see things anew?