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Directors' Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail
May 21 - September 20, 2015
Directors' Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail presents highlights from Maine's most-renowned museums -- bringing the best art Maine has to offer together for the first time. (right: Andrew Wyeth (United States, 1917-2009), Turkey Pond, 1944, tempera on panel, 32 1/4 x 40 1/4 inches. Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Wyeth in memory of Walter Anderson, 1995.2)
Art and culture has defined the identity of Maine since artists began visiting Monhegan Island and trekking up Mount Katahdin before Maine even became a state. This magnificent environment and the art it's inspired has captured the public imagination for centuries, and to this day a growing number of visitors from around the world continue to affirm that Maine's galleries, studios, and art museums are unlike any in the world. The goals of the Trail are to promote public access to the arts, to educate the public about the state's cultural heritage, to enable the museums to become strong visible partners in the state's efforts to promote cultural tourism, and to forge new partnerships among businesses, the arts, and education.
Directors' Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail lets us see these museums through the eyes of their directors, who have specially curated selections of Maine masterpieces from their respective museums' collections. The artists and artworks presented in this exhibition embody quintessentially Maine ideals of fierce independence, self-sufficiency, and a strength of character that is built from tradition, admiration, and respect for the rugged and unspoiled qualities of this land.
This is the Maine that inspired Berenice Abbott, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, John Marin, Louise Nevelson, N.C. Wyeth, and Marguerite Zorach. This is the Maine that continues to inspire contemporary artists Ahmed Alsoudani, Lois Dodd, David Driskell, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, William Pope.L, Richard Tuttle, and Jamie Wyeth.
Directors' Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail shares the rich cultural legacy of our state while providing a platform to highlight the visionary artists of our future. The world holds an enduring fascination with Maine, and this exhibition helps demonstrate why.
About the art
Directors' Cut breaks the mold by offering artwork from seemingly disparate viewpoints, entirely different eras, and contrasting styles, in the same room-side by side. You may have spent time admiring a Homer painting at the Portland Museum of Art, but never before has that experience been feet away from an abstract sculpture by John Bisbee. Perhaps you're familiar with the works of George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, and Andrew Wyeth -- but have you ever seen them together and juxtaposed with works by Lois Dodd, Marguerite Thompson Zorach, or Robert Indiana? The experience alone of being in one room with so many renowned artists, essential to Maine's art history narrative, is what makes this exhibition so special.
Directors' Cut contains the following: Marsden Hartley's artistic circle from the Bates College Museum of Art; Winslow Homer's art and artifacts from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art; modern and contemporary Maine landscapes from the Colby College Museum of Art; highlights from the collection from the Farnsworth Art Museum; masterpieces from Monhegan Island from the Monhegan Museum of Art and History; founders of the Ogunquit art colony from the Ogunquit Museum of American Art; contemporary Maine artists from previous PMA Biennials from the Portland Museum of Art; and Berenice Abbott photographs from the University of Maine Museum of Art.
About the Maine Art Museum Trail
From Ogunquit to Orono and Lewiston to Monhegan, the museums on the Trail track their origins to artists, educational institutions, and philanthropists. The Portland Museum of Art (1882), Ogunquit Museum of American Art (1953), and Monhegan Museum of Art and History (1968) were founded by artists, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (1894), University of Maine Museum of Art (1946), Bates College Museum of Art (1955), and Colby College Museum of Art (1959) are part of the proud tradition of American teaching museums that are integral to the liberal arts college experience, and the Farnsworth Art Museum (1948) was founded in memory of Rockland native William A. Farnsworth.
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For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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