Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
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Egyptian, early Second Century. Mummy Portrait of a Lady, (detail) ca. 100–150, stucco, glass, painted and gilded jewelry with polychrome. Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund and Helen Johnson Chase Fund. 2011.29.


detail of "St. Jerome in his Study," 1514, by Albrecht Durer, German, 1471-1528. Engraving. Bequest of David P. Becker, Class of 1970.


March 19, 2015 - June 07, 2015
Becker Gallery

Star photographs from the National Geographic Society-Palomar Sky Survey (1958) are shown alongside a series of recent drawings by Dorothea Rockburne inspired by her study of astronomy.
March 14, 2015 - April 26, 2015
Shaw Ruddock Gallery

This selection of works since the 1970s includes one of Rockburne’s most recent drawings, "The Mathematical Edges of Maine," a response to her travel to the state this past summer.
March 05, 2015 - June 07, 2015
Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery

The first exhibition to feature arts related to space travel, futurism, and science fiction from across the American hemisphere.

Museum News

Announcements
  • The Museum of Art will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015.
Mathematics and Art Merge in New BCMA Exhibit

The deeply saturated and highly energetic colors of Dorothea Rockburne’s paintings and drawings seem to send vibrations through the gallery. At the end of a long grey winter, The Gift of Knowing: The Art of Dorothea Rockburne is a great place to recharge.

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Upcoming Events

Film Screening and Q&A: 'Nostalgia for the Light'

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March 31, 2015 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

In this enthralling and award-winning documentary, Chilean master director Patricio Guzman travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.

But the Atacama is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: Pre-Columbian mummies; nineteenth-century explorers and miners; and political prisoners, disappeared by the Chilean army after the military coup of September 1973. While astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, women at the foot of the mountains search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, whose bodies were dumped here, to reclaim their families' histories.

Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the women, Nostalgia for the Light is a moving and deeply personal odyssey.

Followed by a Q&A with Allen Wells, Roger Howell, Jr. professor of history; Sarah Childress, visiting assistant professor of cinema studies; and Sarah Montross, Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral curatorial fellow.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas.

RSVPs are requested but not required. You may RSVP at: https://nostalgiaforthelight.eventbrite.com or contact artmuseumevents@bowdoin.edu.

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Members' Event: "Curators' Perspectives: Bowdoin's Historic Collection in New Installations"

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April 2, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:00 PM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Museum members are invited to join Laura Sprague, consulting curator, decorative arts; Andrea Rosen, curatorial assistant; and Joachim Homann, curator, for a discussion and tour of the new installations of art from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Find out how James Bowdoin's legacy continues to shape the Museum.

RSVPs are requested but not required. You may RSVP here: https://curatorsperspectives.eventbrite.com or email artmuseumevents@bowdoin.edu.

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Gallery Conversation: "Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas"

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April 8, 2015 4:30 PM  – 5:30 PM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Arielle Saiber, associate professor of romance languages and Sarah Montross, Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral curatorial fellow discuss various aspects of the exhibition, Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas.

Free and open to the public.

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American Alliance of Museums President Ford W. Bell: "The Twenty-First Century Museum: Challenges and Opportunities"

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April 9, 2015 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 18,000 individual, 3,000 institutional and 300 corporate members, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience--past, present and future. 

Ford W. Bell, current president of the AAM, will speak on the state and role of museums in contemporary American society. He will also reflect upon his experiences and observations as the leader of AAM, including a re-branding and comprehensive overhaul of its programs and membership structure; a complete organizational re-structuring; and a new, intense focus on advocacy. 

Bell became AAM president in June 2007, following a career as a veterinarian and non-profit executive. Bell had also served as chair of the board of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and was a longtime board member of the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota. He will retire as AAM's president on May 31, 2015

RSVPs are requested but not required. You may RSVP here: https://21centurymuseum.eventbrite.com or email artmuseumevents@bowdoin.edu.

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Elise Weaver, Thursday Night Salon: "Snapshots of Dust and Time: Astronomy and Visual Art"

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April 16, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:00 PM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Elise Weaver of the Bowdoin Department of Physics and Astronomy leads an interdisciplinary discussion about representations of the cosmos in astrophotography and other visual media.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibitions Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas and Star Charts and Celestial Scenes from Bowdoin Collections.

Free and open to the public.

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Family Saturday at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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April 18, 2015 10:00 AM  – 11:00 AM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Bowdoin College students organize and present Family Saturday, with activities related to the exhibitions on view. Enjoy interactive learning and fun at the Museum!

Free and open to the public.

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Debra Diamond: "The Visual Culture of Yoga"

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April 19, 2015 2:00 PM  – 4:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

The visual culture of yoga, an emerging field of academic inquiry, offers new insights into yoga histories that are popularly considered to be monolithic and timeless.  

Debra Diamond, curator of the 2013-4 exhibition "Yoga: The Art of Transformation," discusses one aspect of yoga, asana (posture), as it moves across time, across visual media from sculpture to film, and across Hindu, Sufi and early modern arenas of practice.

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Dorothea Rockburne, Santagata Lecture: "Materializing Mathematical Concepts into Visual Art"

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April 20, 2015 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

When Dorothea Rockburne first began making her paintings and works on paper in the 1950s, she never thought that her pieces would be viewed in an exhibition context, both because she was a woman, and because her mathematics-inspired paintings didn't fit neatly into Abstract Expressionism or subsequently Minimalism. Consequently, she believed she would never be able to show her work. Her assumptions, of course, proved to be false. 


Rockburne not only exhibited, but she did so widely. When the big museums and galleries first started showing female artists in the late 1960s, they were looking for formed work; she was there right at the beginning of the feminist art movement. Since then and throughout her artistic career, Rockburne has created shapes that reflect her profound understanding of mathematical theory. Learning from the legendary mathematician Max Dehn as a student at Black Mountain College, and nurtured by friendships with experimental artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage, she found compelling ways to apply the creativity of mathematics to painting. 

Rockburne was born in Canada and received her initial training in Montreal. She holds a doctorate of fine arts and is a long-time member of the New York art scene. A traveling retrospective, Dorothea Rockburne: In My Mind's Eye, was organized by the Parrish Museum, Southampton, New York in 2011. According to Frieze magazine, it "reaffirmed Rockburne's claim to a central position in the American avant-garde." When the Museum of Modern Art in New York dedicated an exhibition to her work in the winter of 2013-2014, a New York Times reviewer commented, "Ms. Rockburne's work can be as physical as it is heady, turning math into a kind of dance or a form of Process Art." 

Sponsored by the Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Fund

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Dorothea Rockburne and Dave Peifer, Gallery Conversation: "Art, Mathematics, and the Legacy of Black Mountain College"

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April 21, 2015 4:30 PM  – 5:30 PM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Dorothea Rockburne, artist, and Dave Peifer, chair and professor, University of North Carolina-Asheville, discuss the mathematical theories behind Rockburne's artistic work. They further explain how her art reflects the interdisciplinary education provided by the legendary Black Mountain College, where Rockburne studied with the theoretical mathematician Max Dehn (1878-1952). Peifer is a member of the Board of Directors of the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, A Gift of Knowing: The Art of Dorothea Rockburne.

Free and open to the public.

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Artist's Lecture by Saya Woolfalk

April 30, 2015 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

New York-based artist Saya Woolfalk will deliver an artist's talk in connection with the exhibition Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas.

Free and open to the public.

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