Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Collections       Exhibitions       Visit       Events       About       Learn       Join and Give       Shop
detail of "St. Jerome in his Study," 1514, by Albrecht Durer, German, 1471-1528. Engraving. Bequest of David P. Becker, Class of 1970.


Opened April 02, 2015
Boyd Gallery

European and American art in the nineteenth century was full of startling contrasts: grand vistas of ancient ruins versus small landscapes celebrating the specificity of local haunts; portraits of noblemen and women alongside depictions of peasants, farmers, and rogues.
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.

Museum News

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.

Read more »


More news >>

Upcoming Events

Family Saturday at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

event image

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.

View Details

Santagata Lecturer Dorothea Rockburne: "Materializing Mathematical Concepts into Visual Art"

event image

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
Note: This talk will also be live streamed on Bowdoin's Live Webcasts page.

View Details

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

event image

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.

View Details

Saya Woolfalk: Artist's Lecture in connection with "Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas"

event image

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

Saya Woolfalk is an American artist known for her multimedia exploration of hybridity, science, race, and sex. She will deliver an artist's talk in connection with the exhibition Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas.

 Woolfalk earned her B.A. in visual art and economics at Brown University and her M.F.A. in sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. She moved to New York in 2006 to participate in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, and was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem from 2007-2008. Her work has exhibited at galleries and museums around the United States and abroad, including PS1/MoMA in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Studio Museum in Harlem, Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. 

Free and open to the public.

View Details

Photographer Abelardo Morell: on "A Mind of Winter"

event image

May 5, 2015 4:30 PM  – 5:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Abelardo Morell '71, H '97, gives lecture about his latest photographic project, completed in Maine during the winter of 2015. His exhibition of new photographs represents his first prolonged engagement in the state since his graduation from Bowdoin in 1977 and his first creative response to winter and the theme of climate change.


Morell is an internationally-known photographer whose recent retrospective toured throughout the United States. Presented in conjunction with A Mind of Winter: Photographs by Abelardo Morell.

Join us for a reception in the Museum Pavilion with Abe Morell immediately following at 5:30 p.m.

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

View Details

Open House celebrating "A Mind of Winter: Photographs by Abelardo Morell"

event image

May 5, 2015 5:30 PM  – 7:00 PM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Opening reception with Abe Morell, '71, H '97, celebrating his exhibition, A Mind of Winter: Photographs by Abelardo Morell, at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

His exhibition of new photographs represents his first prolonged engagement in the state since his graduation from Bowdoin in 1977 and his first creative response to winter and the theme of climate change. 

Free and open to the public.

View Details

Common Hour with Museum Pieces

event image

May 8, 2015 12:30 PM  – 1:30 PM
Museum of Art, Steps

Museum Pieces, a Bowdoin tradition for more than twenty years, will conclude the 2014-2015 Common Hour series. The annual event celebrates the arrival of spring through dance and music provided by the Department of Theater and Dance, class projects, and independent student work.

For more information and to view the full Spring 2015 Common Hour schedule, please visit: Events and Summer Programs: Common Hour

View Details

Music at the Museum: "Composers in the Dark Room of Creativity"

event image

May 14, 2015 6:30 PM  – 8:00 PM
Museum of Art, Rotunda

Explore the challenges of inner turmoil and its relation to creativity as George Lopez performs works from Beethoven to Rachmaninov and Schumann. Presented in conjunction with A Mind of Winter: Photographs by Abelardo Morell.

This event is free but tickets are required as seating is limited. Tickets will be available at the Museum Shop beginning on April 1, 2015. For more information please call (207) 725-3276 or email artmuseumevents@bowdoin.edu.

View Details

All Events

Featured Videos

  • Portrait in Antiquity

    Portrait in Antiquity
  • Smithsonian History of America in 101 Ob...

    Smithsonian History of America in 101 Objects
  • The Art and Life of Marcel Duchamp: A Co...

    The Art and Life of Marcel Duchamp: A Collision of the Personal and Professional
  • "A Chance to be Aware:" On Richard Tuttl...

    "A Chance to be Aware:" On Richard Tuttle's Art
  • Prints, Textiles, and the Art of Richard...

    Prints, Textiles, and the Art of Richard Tuttle, June 28, 2014
  • Interview with Richard Tuttle, April 1, ...

    Interview with Richard Tuttle, April 1, 2014
  • My Favorite Objects in ?Under the Surfac...

    My Favorite Objects in ?Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography?
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art Winter Ope...

    Bowdoin College Museum of Art Winter Open House
  • My Favorite Object - Elizabeth Humphrey...

    My Favorite Object - Elizabeth  Humphrey '14
  • My Favorite Object - Marnie Hull '15

    My Favorite Object - Marnie Hull '15
  • My Favorite Object - Cordelia Miller '15

    My Favorite Object - Cordelia Miller '15
  • My Favorite Object - Anne Collins Goodye...

    My Favorite Object - Anne Collins Goodyear

For more videos of museum programs, visit Bowdoin Talks