Location:Center Gallery, Media Gallery, Becker Gallery, Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery, Halford Gallery, Focus Gallery
At First Light presents artworks created in Maine over the last two centuries and argues for the important place that the visual arts have played in the state’s history. Artists help us to better understand ourselves. In this exhibition, they make visible and share insights into the diverse lands and peoples that constitute this place and the events and developments that have unfolded over the past two centuries.
On March 15, 1820, Maine became the twenty-third state admitted into the Union. Territorial expansion and the institution of slavery dominated national debates during this period, and Maine’s admittance as a free state was contingent on Missouri’s entry as a state that permitted enslaved labor. Political differences existed in Maine as well, as almost an equal number of Maine citizens voted against as for separation from Massachusetts. Representation was also not equal, as Maine’s state constitution denied voting rights to women and the state’s indigenous peoples. In marking Maine’s bicentennial, the exhibition’s curators are cognizant of these historic divisions and their legacy. We recognize as well that these past two centuries represent only a small moment in this region’s history, for ancestors of the tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy have lived on these lands for more than 12,000 years.
Read the exhibition object labels here.
This exhibition is sponsored by The Roux Institute at Northeastern University, supporting innovation, creativity, and economic growth in the State of Maine.
At First Light is organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Major support for the exhibition and catalogue is provided by the Elizabeth B. G Hamlin Fund, Peter J. Grua ’76 and Mary G. O’Connell ’76, Robert Freson, the Devonwood Foundation, halley k harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld, John and Paula Hornbostel P’25, Selina F. Little, the Libra Foundation, the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Steven P. Marrow ’83 and Dianne A. Pappas P’21, Eric S. ’85 and Svetlana G. Silverman P’19, Lindsay R. ’95 and Peter Stavros, Patricia Brown, and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation. Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Bicentennial Commission. Media partner: Down East magazine.