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Barbara Cooney: Drawing Biography

Focused on the lives of three women rendered in detailed paintings by Barbara Cooney, this exhibition explores how Cooney crafted rich biographies in text and image.

Introduction

Barbara Cooney is a beloved author and artist of more than 100 children’s books. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art holds a major collection of her paintings and drawings. This exhibition brings together works related to three of her books: Miss Rumphius, Hattie and the Wild Waves, and Eleanor. It also celebrates the recent gift of original preparatory sketches and manuscripts for Eleanor. Focused on the lives of three women rendered in detailed paintings, this exhibition explores how Cooney crafted rich biographies in text and image.

Works in the Exhibition

"Miss Rumphius and the Lupine in Maine for 'Miss Rumphius,'" 1982, acrylic on gesso-coated percale by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Miss Rumphius and the Lupine in Maine for 'Miss Rumphius,'" 1982, acrylic on gesso-coated percale by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

Island of Ambon in the Moluccas, Indonesia for for 'Miss Rumphius,'" 1982, acrylic on gesso-coated percale by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

Island of Ambon in the Moluccas, Indonesia for for 'Miss Rumphius,'" 1982, acrylic on gesso-coated percale by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Collision at Sea between the S.S. Britannic and the S.S. Celtic for 'Eleanor,'" 1996, acrylic on silk, by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Collision at Sea between the S.S. Britannic and the S.S. Celtic for 'Eleanor,'" 1996, acrylic on silk, by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Newsboys' Thanksgiving Dinner for 'Eleanor,'" 1996, acrylic on silk by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Newsboys' Thanksgiving Dinner for 'Eleanor,'" 1996, acrylic on silk by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Book Jacket for 'Hattie and the Wild Waves,'" 1990, acrylic on silk, by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Book Jacket for 'Hattie and the Wild Waves,'" 1990, acrylic on silk, by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Viewing "Cleopatra's Barge" for 'Hattie and the Wild Waves,'" 1990, acrylic on silk, by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

"Viewing "Cleopatra's Barge" for 'Hattie and the Wild Waves,'" 1990, acrylic on silk, by Barbara Cooney. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Barbara Cooney. © Barbara Cooney Porter 1982. Used with Permission of the Barbara Cooney Porter Royalty Trust.

Events

Thursday, August 4, 2016 | 4:30 p.m. | Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center


Lecture, "Travels with Hattie & Eleanor: Researching Biography with Barbara Cooney"
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorate Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, speaks about the research of Barbara Cooney, her aunt, to prepare paintings for Hattie and the Wild Waves and Eleanor.

Free and open to the public.

Saturday, August 6, 2016 | 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Family Saturday at the Museum of Art focusing on Barbara Cooney: Drawing Biography.  Bowdoin College students lead the morning's activities for families. Enjoy a tour of the exhibition, Barbara Cooney: Drawing Biography, hear readings of three Barbara Cooney books, and create an illustrated story of your own! 

Free and open to the public.

Visiting the Exhibition

May 19, 2016 - August 21, 2016

    Zuckert Seminar Room