Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
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Exhibitions
"Temple of Aphaea, Aegina," oil on canvas, by John Rollin Tilton
To Count Art an Intimate Friend: Highlights from Bowdoin Collections, 1794 to the Present
November 5, 2015 - June 5, 2016
Focus Gallery
Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery
Halford Gallery
Center Gallery

To Count Art an Intimate Friend invites engagement with the world through the numerous perspectives encompassed in the collections at the Museum, and demonstrates how works of art contribute to the intellectual and personal growth intrinsic to great centers of learning and innovation. The show takes its cue from William DeWitt Hyde, President of the College 1885-1917, whose1906 Offer of the College enumerates the values of a liberal arts education: “To be at home in all lands and all ages; to count Nature a familiar acquaintance, and Art an intimate friend…” Installed in four galleries on the Museum’s entrance level, the exhibition is dedicated to notions of place, the exploration and interpretation of nature, the value of critical thinking, as well as the exhilarating experience of sharing insights and serving the common good. These themes are illustrated with highlights from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s distinguished collection of paintings, photographs, and prints, and spans the period from the College’s founding in 1794 to the present day. Artists represented include Martin Johnson Heade, William Glackens, Rockwell Kent, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, and Alec Soth, among others.

The Offer of the College

TO BE AT HOME in all lands and all ages;
To count Nature a familiar acquaintance,
And Art an intimate friend;
To gain a standard for the appreciation of others' work
And the criticism of your own;
To carry the keys of the world's library in your pocket,
And feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake;
To make hosts of friends...
Who are to be leaders in all walks of life;
To lose yourself in generous enthusiasms
And cooperate with others for common ends –
This is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.


Adapted from the original "Offer of the College" by William DeWitt Hyde, President of Bowdoin College, 1885-1917

Programming Winter/Spring 2016

Gallery Conversation - Frank Goodyear: To Count Art an Intimate Friend: Highlights from Bowdoin Collections, 1794 to the Present'

February 9, 2016 | 12:00 noon | Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Frank H. Goodyear, co-director, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, leads a tour of photographic highlights on view in the exhibition To Count Art an Intimate Friend: Highlights from Bowdoin Collections, 1794 to the Present.

Gallery Conversation with scholar Lindsay Ceballos and curator Ellen Tani

March 1, 2016 | 12:00 noon | Bowdoin College Museum of Art

How do artists both honor and critique national histories? Professor Lindsay Ceballos, a scholar of early Russian Modernism with an emphasis on literature, and Ellen Tani, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, discuss two works of art now on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art that reflect evolving approaches to modernism in visual art: Komar & Melamid's Peace I: Life of Tolstoy (1986) and Alexej Charlamoff's Young Woman and Child (1894).

Gallery Conversation with photographer Mike Kolster and curator Honor Wilkinson

March 8, 2016 | 12 noon | Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Michael Kolster, associate professor of art, and Honor Wilkinson, curatorial assistant, BCMA, discuss how nature and the environment influence Kolster's photographic work. Presented in conjunction with To Count Art an Intimate Friend: Highlights from Bowdoin Collections, 1794 to the Present.

An Evening with arist Titus Kaphar

April 14, 2016 | 4:30 p.m. | Beam Classroom, Visual Arts Center

Titus Kaphar discusses his work in drawing, painting, and installations. Kaphar places the contemporary and its issues of social justice and inequality in dialogue with history and particularly how history is written, distorted, and re-imagined.

Walking Tour: Mapping DeWitt Hyde's Offer of the College

May 3, 2016 | 12:00 noon | Starting at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

William DeWitt Hyde wrote The Offer of the College in 1906. During a walking tour, discussing buildings constructed during Hyde's tenure, John Cross, Secretary of the College, demonstrates how Hyde's vision of higher education still shapes the Bowdoin campus.

"Temple of Aphaea, Aegina," oil on canvas, by John Rollin Tilton.
"Portrait of a Man (Abner Coker)," ca. 1805-1810, oil on canvas by Joshua Johnson. Museum Purchase, George Otis Hamlin Fund.

"Young Woman and Child," 1894, oil on canvas, by  Alexej Alexejewitsch Charlamoff. Gift of James A. Roberts, Esq., Class of 1870
"Port of Le Havre," 1887, by Eugène Louis Boudin. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Bequest of Mildred Curtis Hughson, in memory of her father, William John Curtis, Class of 1875.

"Signals," by John Sloan. Bequest of George Otis Hamlin. Bequest of Miss Mary Sophia Walker.
"Skowhegan V, 1991," oil on canvas by Per Kirkeby.  Jane H. and Charles E. Parker, Jr. Art Acquisition Fund.

"Captain's Pier," 1912-1914 by William Glackens. Gift of Stephen M. Etnier, Honorary Degree, 1969.