Farnsworth to Celebrate 75th Anniversary with Major Exhibitions in 2023

  • ROCKLAND, Maine
  • /
  • December 17, 2022

  • Email
Erin Johnson (b. 1985), Lake, 2020, Edition 1/3, 2 APs, HD Video, Museum Purchase, Lynne Drexler Acquisition Fund © Erin Johnson

The Farnsworth Art Museum is excited to announce its 2023 schedule of major exhibitions, in celebration of the museum’s 75th anniversary. From February 11 through June 17 the museum will open a series of important shows that will transform every gallery and feature beloved favorites, as well as dozens of new acquisitions to the collection. Exhibitions feature: an exploration of Rockland, Maine by Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, a collection of Andrew Wyeth’s watercolors traveling to Maine from Japan, and a new mural by Rachel Gloria Adams and Ryan Adams.

In preparation for these events, the Farnsworth will close its galleries to the public on January 1, 2023, reopening on Saturday, February 11 with the first two of these exhibitions: The Farnsworth at 75: New Voices from Maine in American Art and Maine in America 2023: A Celebration of the Alex Katz Foundation.

Drawn from the museum’s collection, Farnsworth at 75: New Voices from Maine in American Art is a two-part exhibition presented on the occasion of the institution’s 75th anniversary. The first part—The Farnsworth at 75—reexamines a selection of objects that underscores Maine’s important artistic contributions to American art during its early defining moment, and allows viewers to explore how a collection comes into being. Founded as a bequest of Lucy Copeland Farnsworth in honor of her father, today the museum’s collection includes more than 15,000 works by approximately 1,300 artists, as well as two historic sites—the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House. The Farnsworth’s collection is nationally recognized as one of the finest repositories of American paintings.

New Voices from Maine in American Art unveils new acquisitions to the museum’s collection from the last two years and offers a window to the future of art in Maine. Organized thematically, the new acquisitions revisit histories, narratives, and myths about the sea, industry, identity, community, and both real and imagined places. Artwork—in all media and dating from the 20th- and 21st-centuries—offers new perspectives when viewed in dialogue with beloved favorites. As we celebrate Maine’s role in American art, how do art, artists, and ideas encourage us to see things anew?

“Founded as a small art museum in midcoast Maine, the Farnsworth of today serves a national audience with its outstanding collection, and plays a vital role in our community, our state, and the nation,” commented Farnsworth Director Christopher J. Brownawell. “We’re planning a spectacular year—one that tells our incredible story and will delight and inspire”.

The Farnsworth Art Museum will also celebrate the Alex Katz Foundation for its years of philanthropic contributions of artwork by emerging artists, made to museums throughout Maine. These gifts—at times, an artist’s first museum acquisition—helped artists establish and chart the direction of their careers. Maine in America 2023: A Celebration of the Alex Katz Foundation showcases a selection of the more than 60 works the foundation has given to the Farnsworth. The Alex Katz Foundation will also receive the museum’s prestigious Maine in America Award in 2023.

On May 27, the museum opens Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth: Rockland, Maine, which runs through August 27, 2023One of Hopper’s most productive summers occurred in 1926 in Rockland; Wyeth, on the other hand, found inspiration in the town’s architecture, schooners, and environs for decades. The exhibition features the artists’ watercolors depicting places throughout Rockland, a city much loved by both of these prominent American artists.

On June 17, the Farnsworth opens Alvaro’s World: Andrew Wyeth and the Olson House, at the Wyeth Center, with works from the Marunuma Art Park in Asaka, Japan that are rarely seen in the United States. Also, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary, the museum invites Portland-based artists Rachel Gloria Adams and Ryan Adams to create a new mural on Museum Street, extending art beyond the interior galleries. The pair will combine their signature styles of vibrant colors, “gem” (or geometric) letters, and flowers to paint a tailor-made mural for Rockland.

During the museum’s closure, the Farnsworth will continue to offer programming on its website, as well as in person at our Gamble Center for Education. The Farnsworth will also continue to share content through its weekly Art Cannot Be Contained email newsletter. For more information regarding Farnsworth programming, or to sign up for the museum’s newsletter, visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org.

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.

  • Email

Related Press Releases