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


January 26, 2016 - April 03, 2016
Becker Gallery

A politically-engaged photographer, Ken Thompson's photographs provide an eyewitness account of the leading social and political issues of his day.
January 14, 2016 - April 17, 2016
Markell Gallery

Recent paintings by Portland-based artist Elise Ansel illustrate the “epistemological tension between aesthetics and ethics.”
November 05, 2015 - June 05, 2016
Focus Gallery

The Offer of the College serves as an inspiration for this selection of works from the collection that span the entire history of Bowdoin College.

Museum News

"Elise Ansel: Distant Mirrors" Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

"Elise Ansel: Distant Mirrors" features a group of nine paintings and seven drawings by Portland-based artist Elise Ansel that she newly created for this exhibition. Ansel drew inspiration for the works from a late Renaissance devotional painting, Denys Calvaert’s Annunciation, ca. 1597, part of the Museum’s permanent collection.

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Upcoming Events

Artist Elise Ansel: Drawing Workshop at the Museum

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February 11, 20167:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Artist Elise Ansel's paintings are currently showcased in the Museum exhibition, Elise Ansel: Distant Mirrors. Through her contemporary interpretations of iconic works of Western art, her paintings ignite questions about beauty and aesthetics, steeped in sensitivity to the politics of gender. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, Ansel will lead a drawing workshop at the Museum in which participants sketch historic works of art, learning how to analyze and interpret artistic compositions in their own visual responses. No prior experience required. Materials will be provided. 

Elise Ansel was born in New York City. She received a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University in 1984. While at Brown, she studied art at both Brown and RISD. She earned an MFA in Visual Art from Southern Methodist University in 1993. Elise has exhibited her work all over the United States and in Europe. 

Participation is free, but limited to 25. Contact 207-725-3276 for reservations.

ALL TICKETS HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED AND THIS EVENT IS NOW AT CAPACITY. 

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We Love our Members Sale

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February 13, 201610:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Museum of Art, Miscellaneous 2

Museum members are invited to visit the exhibitions at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and enjoy a double membership discount on all purchases at the Museum shop. Happy Valentine's Day.




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Family Saturday at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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February 13, 201610:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Bowdoin College students present "Family Saturday" with activities related to the exhibitions on view. Enjoy interactive learning and fun.

Free and open to the public.

Photo: Families enjoying a visit to the Museum.



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We Love Our Members Sale

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February 14, 20161:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Museum members are invited to visit the exhibitions at the Museum, and enjoy a double membership discount on all purchases at the Museum shop. Happy Valentine's Day.


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Gallery Conversation - Historian David Gordon

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February 16, 201612:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

David Gordon, Bowdoin College professor of history, discusses the significance of selected objects from central Africa within their original cultural and religious contexts. Gordon is the author of Invisible Agents: Spirits in a Central African History (2012).

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa.

Free and open to the public.

Photo: Installation view of Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa

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David Driskell, Johnetta Cole, and Karen Milbourne Discussion: African Art and the Exhibition 'Earth Matters'

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February 17, 20164:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Johnnetta Cole, director, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, artist and educator David Driskell H'89, and curator Karen Milbourne, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, discuss the exhibition Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa and the impact of African art in the United States. Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.  Free and open to the public. Installation view: Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts in Africa

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Aimee and Mark Bessire: "Africa Schoolhouse: Shaping Education Literally and Metaphorically in Tanzania"

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February 24, 20164:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Aimee Bessire, visiting associate professor, art and visual culture, Bates College, and Mark Bessire, Director, Portland Museum of Art, discuss the founding of Africa Schoolhouse, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing quality education to rural villages in Northern Tanzania, and the impact of African art in the United States. 


They will be joined by architects Pamela W. Hawkes and T. Scott Teas, of Scattergood Design, who have worked with the Bessires on the construction of the first girls' boarding school in rural Misungwi District, providing a safe educational environment through sustainable architecture.

Presented in conjunction the exhibition Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Free and open to the public.

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Gallery Conversation - Historian Jen Scanlon: ''Dissent in 1960s America: The Photography of Ken Thompson"

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February 25, 20164:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Jennifer Scanlon, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of the humanities in gender and women's studies and interim dean for academic affairs, leads a discussion in the exhibition Dissent in 1960s America: The Photography of Ken Thompson. The discussion focuses on civil rights leader Anna Arnold Hedgeman, who is included in Thompson's work and is the subject of Scanlon's new book,Until There is Justice: The Life of Anna Arnold Hedgeman.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Dissent in 1960s America: The Photography of Ken Thompson.


Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

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Gallery Conversation with scholar Lindsay Ceballos and curator Ellen Tani

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March 1, 201612:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

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).

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition To Count Art an Intimate Friend: Highlights from Bowdoin Collections, 1794 to the Present

Photo:  Installation view: To Count Art an Intimate Friend: Highlights from Bowdoin Collections, 1794 to the Present.







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"Manet Slash Degas: Friendship, Rivalry, and Marriage in 19th-century Paris"

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March 4, 20164:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Sebastian Smee, art critic for the Boston Globe, speaks about friendships between artists, the theme of a book in preparation.
Smee was born and raised in Australia and wrote publications in Sydney and London before coming to Boston. In 2011 Smee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. His previous books include writings on Lucian Freud and on Matisse and Picasso.

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Free and open to the public.

Photo: Sebastian Smee

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Family Saturday at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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March 5, 201610:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Bowdoin College students present "Family Saturday" with activities related to the exhibitions on view. Enjoy interactive learning and fun.

Free and open to the public.

Photo:  Families enjoying a visit to the Museum.





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Gallery Conversation with photographer Mike Kolster and curator Honor Wilkinson

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March 8, 201612:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

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.

Free and Open to the Public

Photo:  Installation view of the exhibition To Count Art an Intimate Friend: Highlights from Bowdoin Collections, 1794 to the Present.

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Music in the Museum with George Lopez

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March 10, 20166:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Museum of Art, Pavilion

George Lopez, Beckwith Artist-in-Residence, Bowdoin College, performs an evening of music associated with exhibitions on view.

The event is free, but tickets are required as seating is limited.  Call 207-725-3276.


Photo: George Lopez performing in the Rotunda of the Museum.





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