Artworks Hit the Road, But Museum Stays Open Through Spring

Story posted December 15, 2004

While the renovation of the Walker Art Building is looming, several parts of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art will remain open throughout the spring of 2005.


  • The Rotunda, where the American Murals and Assyrian Reliefs are installed.
  • The exhibition "Art and Life in the Ancient Mediterranean," housed in the Walker Gallery off the Rotunda.
  • The Becker and Halford galleries downstairs, which will feature works on paper from the Museum's permanent collection.
  • The exhibition "Asian Art" in the Halford Gallery.
  • The Museum Shop, located in the Rotunda.


The Boyd and Bowdoin galleries off the Rotunda are now closed. These galleries, which have housed "European Art" and "Eminent Americans," will serve as staging areas for staff to pack up works that will be loaned to other museums or sent to storage. These galleries will then be used for short-term events throughout the spring, including a mural painting by Mark Wethli, A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art, and his students.

Many of the Museum's most important works will be "on the road" during the renovation. Art lovers across the country will have the opportunity to see the following while the works are on loan to other museums:

Portrait of James Madison, Gilbert Stuart
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson, Gilbert Stuart
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (through 1/16/05)
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. (3/27/05-7/31/05)
Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass. (8/05-8/06)

Portrait of a Man, Joshua Johnson
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass. (1/06-1/07)

Long-term loan to Colby College, for the length of the renovation:
St. Peter Delivered from Prison by an Angel, Antonio Balestra
St. Jerome in the Wilderness, Biagio d'Antonio da Firenze
St. Mary Magdalen between St. Peter Martyr and St. Catharine of Siena, Gherardo del Fora

The Meeting of Jacob and Joseph in Egypt, Nicolaes Claes Cornelisz Moeyaert
Vassar College (4/8/05-6/19/05)
Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Fla. (8/20/05-10/30/05)
J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Ky. (1/15/06-3/15/06)

Night Hauling, Andrew Newell Wyeth
High Museum of Art, Atlanta (11/12/05-2/26/06)
Philadelphia Museum of Art (3/25/06-7/16/06)

Scenes from Boccaccio's "Il ninfale fiesolano," Fra Angelico
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (10/24/05-1/30/06)

Long-term loan to Middlebury College, for the length of the renovation:
Leatherstocking's Rescue II, John Quidor
Head of a King, unknown artist

Long-term loan to North Carolina Museum of Art, for the length of the renovation:
Portrait of Mrs. James Bowdoin II (Elizabeth) , Robert Feke
Portrait of James Bowdoin II, Robert Feke
The Tomb of Admiral Jacob Van Wassenaer in the Choir of the Jacobskerk, Hendrik Cornelisz van Vliet

Long-term loan to Portland Museum of Art, for the length of the renovation:
After the Storm, Vinalhaven, Marsden Hartley
Newburyport Marshes: Passing Storm, Martin Johnson Heade
The Fountains of Night, Winslow Homer
A Window on the Street, John Sloan

Exhibit at Portland Museum of Art "Rockwell Kent: The Mythic and The Modern" (Summer 2005)
Into the Sun
Conception Bay, Newfoundland
Resurrection Bay, Alaska (Blue and Gold)
Greenland Meadow and Mountain

Long-term loan to Smith College, for the length of the renovation:
Portrait of James Bowdoin III and His Sister Elizabeth, Joseph Blackburn
In the Woods, William Trost Richards
Portrait of Sarah Bowdoin, Louis-Leopold Boilly (for the exhibition "The French Portrait" 9/30/05-12/11/05)

Exhibit at Williams College "Moving Pictures: The Un-Easy Relationship Between American Art and Early Film, 1890-1910" (7/16/05-3/3/06)
Sunday Afternoon in Union Square, John Sloan

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art is scheduled to remain open in some capacity through Reunion weekend (June 2-5, 2005). Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in July 2005.

For more information and updates on the Museum's offerings call (207) 725-3275.

Exhibitions remaining open during the spring:
"Art and Life in the Ancient Mediterranean." Walker Gallery.
This exhibition reveals one of the Museum collection's greatest strengths - art from the ancient Mediterranean. Terracottas, bronzes, coins and marble sculptures are just some of the objects on view. Spanning the 4th millenium B.C. to the 4th century A.D., the Assyrian, Egyptian, Cypriot, Greek, and Roman objects in marble, terra cotta, bronze, stone, ivory, and glass illustrate the cultural interconnectedness of the region and how developing cultures borrowed from and built upon earlier ones.

"Works on Paper." Becker and Halford galleries.
Works on paper from the Museum's permanent collection.

"Asian Art." Halford Gallery.
This exhibition includes a selection of decorative arts spanning many centuries and cultures. Traditional objects such as Japanese netsuke and swords are displayed as well as examples of Chinese and Korean objects, such as vases and bowls. Also featured are a number of 19th century Japanese woodblock prints.

"American Murals." Rotunda.
Charles McKim, the architect who designed the Walker Art Building, commissioned four leading American painters to create murals to be placed in the rotunda. The artists, Kenyon Cox, John La Farge, Abbott Thayer, and Elihu Vedder were each assigned one of four cities that were considered (at the time) to have most profoundly influenced the development of Western Art- Athens, Florence, Rome, and Venice.

"Assyrian Reliefs." Rotunda.
The great stone panels that today line the rotunda of the Museum were carved more than 2,500 years ago for the palaces and temples of Assurnasirpal II (833-858 B.C.), ruler of the empire of Assyria, centered in what is now northern Iraq. Each Assyrian relief displays figures - some are images of winged protectors and some of the king himself, as well as general inscriptions that describe the king's qualities and achievements.

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