Farnsworth Celebrates Andrew Wyeth at 100 with Major Watercolor Exhibition

  • ROCKLAND, Maine
  • /
  • January 25, 2017

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Andrew Wyeth, Alvaro and Christina, 1968, Watercolor on paper, 22.50 x 28.75 inches, Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum

Beginning on Saturday, April 15, the Farnsworth Art Museum, in Rockland, Maine, will present a series of exhibitions to mark the centennial of Andrew Wyeth’s birth that will include over 100 of the artist’s works. Andrew Wyeth at 100 will feature a major retrospective exhibition of the American master’s Maine watercolors. Four other shows will explore his temperas and drawings while a photography exhibition will focus on the Olson House, a major inspiration to the artist for three decades. This year-long celebration will be on display throughout the museum’s Wyeth Center, as well as its Hadlock and Wyeth Study Center galleries.

Andrew Wyeth: Maine Watercolors, 1938 – 2008 will feature many of the painter’s most important watercolors of Maine spanning his entire career, from 1938 through 2008, including a study for his final work Goodbye my Love. The exhibition will be co-curated by Farnsworth Chief Curator Michael K. Komanecky and renowned American art scholar Henry Adams.

In addition to Maine Watercolors, the centennial celebration will include two special exhibitions centered on two of his best known temperas—his intriguing “self-portrait,” Dr. Syn, and Her Room, which the Farnsworth purchased in 1964 for what was at the time a record amount for the work of an living American artist. The Olson House: Photographer’s Muse will feature photographs of the house made famous by Wyeth’s iconic Christina’s World, and will include works by Paul Caponigro, Linda Connor, Tillman Crane, James Moore, Bradley Prescott, Peter Ralson, Kosti Ruohomaa, George Tice, Brian Vanden Brink, and Eva Zembroski; and finally an exhibition of the artist’s Maine drawings will complete the series. These five projects will be accompanied by a single illustrated catalogue documenting each show, with essays by Farnsworth Michael K. Komanecky and Henry Adams.  The catalogue will be published by the Farnsworth Art Museum.

It was in 1944, four years before the Farnsworth opened to the public, that the museum purchased watercolors by the emerging young artist out of a show at Macbeth Gallery in New York City. In 1951, the museum, in collaboration with the Currier Gallery (now the Currier Museum) of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, mounted Andrew Wyeth's first solo museum retrospective.

Farnsworth Chief Curator Michael K. Komanecky will be organizing the exhibitions in collaboration with Amy Morey, curator of the Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection; and Henry Adams, professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University. “The Farnsworth Art Museum has had a close relationship with Andrew Wyeth from even before the museum opened in 1948,” commented Mr. Komanecky. “In addition to building a strongcollection of his work, the museum has shown works by Andrew Wyeth every year for almost seventy years”.

One of the exhibition’s Lead Sponsors is Camden National Bank. “Andrew Wyeth is an American master and his depictions of Maine have set the standard,” commented Farnsworth Director Christopher J. Brownawell. “We’re delighted to once again have Camden National Bank, Maine’s largest community bank, as Lead Exhibition Sponsor for this important show.”

“Camden National Bank is devoted to engaging with our communities to promote and celebrate art, culture and education,” said Greg Dufour, president and chief executive officer of Camden National Bank. “Our continued partnership with the Farnsworth Museum, in support of this innovative exhibit, will bring world-class cultural experiences to the residents and visitors of Maine and plays a significant role in enhancing the community.”

Andrew Wyeth’s birthday will be officially celebrated on Wednesday, July 12, with a 3 p.m. party at the museum’s Wyeth Center. The Lead Exhibition Sponsors for Andrew Wyeth at 100 are Camden National Bank and Down East magazine. Other sponsors include The Grasshopper Shop of Rockland; and Hampton Inn & Suites - Rockland/Thomaston. Related programming for this exhibition will include this year’s annual Wyeth Day lecture, Heaven is Under our Feet as Well as Over our Heads: Henry David Thoreau and the Wyeth Family of Artists. The lecture, by Elliot Bostwick Davis, will take place on Wednesday, July 12, at 2 p.m. at the Strand Theatre.

The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s ongoing role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 15,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The National Register-listed Farnsworth Homestead; the Olson House, a National Historic Landmark; and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex. Please visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org for more information on current exhibitions, programs and events.

David Troup
Farnsworth Art Museum

Farnsworth Art Museum
16 Museum Street
Rockland, Maine
About Farnsworth Art Museum

Celebrating Maine’s Role in American Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. With 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 10,000 works in the collection, there is always something new on view at the Farnsworth. The museum houses the nation's second-largest collection of works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center exclusively features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth. The Farnsworth's library is also housed in its Rockland, ME, campus. Two historic buildings, the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House, complete the museum complex.

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