This exhibition explores the question of Homer’s relationship with the medium of photography and its impact on his artistic practice.
This exhibition features a selection of art works created in Maine during the first half of the twentieth century. Winslow Homer was an important influence for many artists who worked in Maine at this time, including George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent, Andrew Wyeth, and Marguerite Zorach, all of whom are represented in this presentation.
By 1960, Richard Pousette-Dart was widely recognized for his contributions to Abstract Expressionism. Between 1960 and the mid-1970s, however, the painter explored new artistic strategies and techniques. The resulting works, replete with sparkling colors and brilliant whites, reflect the energy that the artist experienced in his environment. Stressing the immaterial and performative qualities of art and the importance of the creative process itself, Pousette-Dart created a legacy of enduring significance for contemporary artists and viewers.
Reading Room is a material and immaterial archive of texts, books, and writings in response to the question: “How can art act as a mechanism for social action?”
This exhibition explores the experiential, psychological, and metaphorical implications of the nonvisual in American art from the 1960s to today.
Artine Artinian, Bowdoin Class of 1931, a renowned scholar of nineteenth-century French literature, donated to Bowdoin College a vast collection of drawings, including portraits, caricatures, and original designs for book illustrations. Highlights of these gifts provide an introduction to the visual culture of France during the Belle Époque.
Many artists of the twentieth century purposefully made the familiar look strange, in order to challenge conventions. This exhibition of highlights from the permanent collection of paintings and sculpture offers viewers the opportunity to trace twentieth-century artistic innovations and challenges them to look anew.
"Art from the Northern Plains" celebrates the Museum’s recent acquisition of a late nineteenth- century Lakota painting of a Sun Dance ceremony. To understand and appreciate its significance, this exhibition brings together a selection of historic and contemporary artworks by Native and non-Native artists who have worked in this region.
The exhibition explores the remarkably wide-ranging body of propaganda posters created as an artistic consequence of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Marking its centennial, this exhibition delves into a relatively short-lived era of unprecedented experimentation and utopian idealism that produced some of the most iconic images in the history of graphic design.
Dmitri Baltermants (1912–1990) was one of the most important Soviet photojournalists at mid-century. His humanizing, often dramatic compositions of World War II and its aftermath affected viewers in the USSR and around the world. This exhibition includes more than thirty of Baltermants’s most famous photographs and complements the concurrent exhibition, "Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from between the World Wars."
Barkley Hendricks is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential American painters of his generation for his superlative talent, his evocative reinterpretation of portraiture, and his reckoning with contemporary life—whether he assumes a critical or celebratory perspective.
This exhibition constitutes a significant contribution to our understanding of a critical facet of late medieval and early modern culture: the centrality of the macabre.
The focus of this exhibition is a series of six large works on paper created during a visit to Sydney, Australia, in 2012. Titled “Sydney Botanical Garden” they respond to a bamboo plant that the artist encountered. Exhibited here for the first time, these stunning works surround viewers with a luscious, richly textured and colored, immersive environment.
Presenting historic and contemporary selections from one of the nation’s oldest collections of drawings, at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, this highly engaging exhibition explores the significance and pleasures found in tracing movements of the hand on paper by asking the question “Why Draw?”
For many American artists, New York City in the early twentieth century epitomized modern life. Through a variety of media, they captured an increasingly diverse populace, expanding skyline, and changed public mores.
This exhibition explores the influence of western medieval forms, practices, and themes on German Expressionists and their opposition to the tradition of naturalism.
"AEGYPTUS Egypt in the Greco-Roman World" explores Egypt in the time of the Greeks and Romans. It examines the special place Egypt occupied in the history of the ancient world and its long-lasting hold on the culture and imagination of its conquerors.
Sosaku-hanga—creative prints (創作版画)—emerged as an artistic form of expression in twentieth-century Japan. This installation was co-curated for "Art & Resolution, 1900 to Today" by students from Art History 3180: "Japanese Print Culture," Fall 2016.
This exhibition showcases drawings created in the mid-1950s by Japanese school children from Hiroshima.
Saint Anthony (ca. 251–356), often regarded as the founder of Christian monasticism, was a hermit in the Egyptian desert who, according to his biographer Athanasius of Alexandria, was tormented by supernatural appearances. This exhibition presents renderings of Saint Anthony’s visions since the late medieval period.
The dual meaning of “resolution,” as both coming-into-view and as a means of overcoming conflict defines artistic responses to the historic transformations of the global twentieth century. Works selected for the exhibition visualize resolution and its conceptual underpinnings, and seek to act as agents of resolution through visual culture. Included is a section of Sosaku-hanga—creative prints, co-curated for "Art & Resolution, 1900 to Today" by students from Art History 3180: "Japanese Print Culture," Fall 2016.
Featuring a selection of American vernacular photographs recently donated to the Museum, this exhibition explores how amateur photographers circumvented and at times unsettled assumptions about what a portrait might be.
This installation showcases a selection of American and European paintings with decorative arts from around the world to illustrate the century’s expanding reach and interests. They include Native American pottery, Malagan masks, Japanese metalwork and lacquer, carved Chinese jade, and fine European jewelry.
Robert Frank played a leading role in re-writing contemporary standards for photography. This exhibition brings together a selection of rarely seen photographs from 1947, the year the artist first moved to the United States, to 1961, when he presented his first major museum exhibition.
Featuring iconic American Artists such as Marsden Hartley, Alfred Stieglitz, Robert Rauschenberg, Yoko Ono, Roni Horn, Glenn Ligon, and others, this timely and groundbreaking exhibition includes more than 60 abstract, symbolic, and conceptual portraits across a wide range of media - reexamining over a century of portraiture and inspiring new ways to see ourselves and others.
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.
This installation brings together paintings dating to the period 1350–1500 and prior influences, including ancient and medieval sculpture.
This exhibition examines the works of artists employed by European courts in the 16th century, such as the Medici in Florence, French royalty at Fontainebleau, and the Holy Roman Imperial courts in Vienna and Prague
The exhibition presents a survey of the work of Luke DuBois, a New York based composer, computer programmer, filmmaker, and installation artist
A politically-engaged photographer, Ken Thompson's photographs provide an eyewitness account of the leading social and political issues of his day.
Recent paintings by Portland-based artist Elise Ansel illustrate the “epistemological tension between aesthetics and ethics.”
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.
Olive Pierce spent ten years photographing several families in Waldoboro, Maine who have long been associated with the fishing industry.
Looking through the lens of Africa, "Earth Matters: focuses on the ways in which individuals and communities negotiate relationships with the land.
This exhibition brings together a selection of oil paintings by Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828) from the Museum’s collection.
"Night Vision" examines the allure of the night for American artists who explored its visual effects, mystery, menace, and promise.
Michel Auder: Untitled (I Was Looking Back To See If You Were Looking Back At Me To See Me Looking Back At You), Media Gallery
Michel Auder dedicated himself to capturing the views from his apartment over the course of a year. This three-channel video installation from 2014 is based on that footage.
This exhibition illuminates the experience of the Atlantic world in the eighteenth century.
"A Mind of Winter" includes photographs created at various sites in Maine during the winter of 2015.
This exhibition considers the representation of contests in ancient art.
European and American art in the nineteenth century was full of startling contrasts: grand vistas of ancient ruins versus small landscapes celebrating the specificity of local haunts; portraits of noblemen and women alongside depictions of peasants, farmers, and rogues.
Star photographs from the National Geographic Society-Palomar Sky Survey (1958) are shown alongside a series of recent drawings by Dorothea Rockburne inspired by her study of astronomy.
This selection of works since the 1970s includes one of Rockburne’s most recent drawings, "The Mathematical Edges of Maine," a response to her travel to the state this past summer.
The first exhibition to feature arts related to space travel, futurism, and science fiction from across the American hemisphere.
This exhibition features dialogues and collaborations among seminal African-American artists and writers of the twentieth century
At the turn of the twentieth century, artists from urban centers such as Boston and New York City made Maine one of their favorite summer destinations.
This innovative website revisits the seminal exhibition, "The Portrayal of the Negro in American Painting," organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in 1964.
Featuring loaned works reflecting the importance of Marcel Duchamp’s relationship to his family, this installation, drawn largely from the permanent collection of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, challenges the myth of artistic isolation.
This exhibition explores and critiques European visions of Mediterranean women as powerful, monstrous, seductive, or exotic in art from Ancient Greece through Picasso.
This animated film, closely based on Apeleius' moving story, provides a fascinating dialogue with the Baroque tapestries on view.
A cycle of five Baroque tapestries illustrates the story of the Princess Psyche who was taken as a bride by the god Cupid.
The prints by the Dutch engraver, draftsman, and painter Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617) are dazzling for their technical refinement and provocative sensuality.
Featuring forty vintage photographs of jazz musicians in performance from the collection of the photographer’s family.
"It’s What You Do With What You View”: Selections from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Zuckert Seminar Room
A selection from the recent gift of 320 works of art from the celebrated collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel.
Offering new insight into his artistic practice, and organized in close collaboration with the artist, "Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective" is the first-ever comprehensive examination of the prints of Richard Tuttle.
This exhibition explores representations of the frontier in American culture from the nineteenth century to the present day.
The primary goal of the surrealist movement was to liberate the modern mind by demonstrating how deep psychological impulses could be explored, depicted, and fused with everyday reality.
A selection of short films by Surrealist filmmakers in conjunction with the exhibition "Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography."
Deconstructing pictorial conventions of the past, artists of the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first century reinvented the picture plane.
This introduction to art of the modern period includes masterpieces by Thomas Cole, William Merritt Chase, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, and others.
Focusing on the artistic innovations of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, this exhibition makes apparent why contemporaries could celebrate a rebirth or Renaissance of the art of classical antiquity
This exhibition features the commercial and personal photography of the forgotten artist, Alfred Cheney Johnston (1885–1971).
In this exhibition, significant things from Bowdoin’s diverse collections take center stage.
Two short films by contemporary artists present things that seem to have minds of their own.
Featuring works by contemporary women artists who conduct basic research of natural phenomena, often focusing on the material qualities of their medium and on the conditions of human perception.
Features representations of women from early modern Europe, who are shown as modeling or resisting the prevalent codes of behavior regarding sex, pregnancy, marriage, and piety.
Breakthrough presents work by eight exemplary contemporary Chinese women artists: Cai Jin, Cao Fei, Chen Qiulin, Hung Liu, Lin Tianmiao, Peng Wei, Xing Danwen, and Yin Xiuzhen.
Thierry De Mey interprets the Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, a musical composition by Claude Debussy based on Stéphane Mallarme’s poem of the same title.
This exhibition explores the traditions, styles, and techniques that inform the portrayals of individuals in the ancient world.
The Civil War tore the nation apart and in the process reshaped the contours of American life. Artists reacted to the war in myriad ways.
This exhibition celebrates the bicentennial of the arrival of James Bowdoin III’s bequest.
This installation brings together prominent loans from private lenders, such as paintings by Rackstraw Downes, Louis Eilshemius, and Yayoi Kusama, with works from Bowdoin’s permanent collection.
This is the first exhibition to present the seaside work of the Post-Impressionist painter Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924), whose sophisticated and sensitive renderings of beaches, coves, and bathers were often inspired by his visits to Maine. The exhibition brings together works with identifiable locations in Maine and elsewhere, with paintings whose "place" is not defined by geography but by their context in the grand traditions of western art.
Katherine Bradford's recent paintings can be read as hilarious and catastrophic, decorative and sublime. They are concerned with the ocean, populated by boats and bathers, as a metaphor for the vagaries of modern life.
This exhibition celebrates visual splendors of the natural world, focusing on how earth scientists and mathematicians use color and scale to measure and interpret geological and oceanographic processes. As a pendant exhibition to Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture, this show generates compelling synergies between the perspectives of arts and sciences.
This installation spans many eras and diverse media as it invites visitors to contemplate the dialectic of the whole and its parts
The exhibition introduces to American audiences Danish artist Per Kirkeby (born 1938), one of Europe's most celebrated contemporary artists. The artist's roles as geologist, filmmaker, architect, writer, and poet are reflected in this survey of approximately 45 works. Kirkeby's paintings and sculptures are constantly in flux, maintaining a dialogue between art and science. Organized by the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., this is Per Kirkeby's first American retrospective. After the Phillips Collection, Bowdoin is the only other venue hosting this important show.
European paintings of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries tell stories of love, transgression, sacrifice, and redemption that are often based on biblical or mythological narratives, and on the legends of the Christian saints. While the paintings are silent, they speak to the viewer through their figures' expressive hand movements. It is within the power of those gestures to transform a man into a god, a sinner into a believer, a nymph into a bay laurel tree.
The exhibition explores the nature of divinity in the Ancient Mediterranean, the relationships between gods and the realms they control. The installation organizes around select realms (Eros and Love, Fertility and Nature) and explores the myths and iconography that connect these spheres of divinity.
This exhibition highlights technical developments of photographic processes and their intersections with cultural and historical moments in the United States
This installation explores how nineteenth-century artists recorded the visible world and transformed it into visions of the idyllic and ideal.
This student-organized exhibition highlights the influence of Michelangelo's art and the legend of his character in the years after his death. Reproductive prints by Renaissance artists, images of Michelangelo, and drawings that emulate his style comprise the show. Viewers are offered a pithy example of how Michelangelo made his mark on more than the Sistine Chapel. Organized by students in Associate Professor of Art History Susan Wegner's seminar, AH 324: "Art and Life of Michelangelo."
This selection of masterly prints from Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt to David Hockney and Sol LeWitt is drawn from the collection of 1,500 prints given and bequeathed by Bowdoin alumnus David Becker. Becker, a former trustee of the College, was an internationally recognized print scholar whose expertise encompassed drawings, illustrated books, and writing manuals. Throughout his life, he collected with the intent to build a comprehensive teaching resource for his alma mater. This exhibition will introduce visitors to the techniques, themes, and stylistic developments of western printmaking since the Renaissance.
Organized on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Asian Studies at Bowdoin College, this exhibition explores themes of the supernatural and otherworldly encounters in Japanese woodblock prints of the nineteenth-century. The show includes forty prints and books, all drawn from the private collection of Cornell University faculty member Dan McKee.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), a prominent English art critic of the Victorian era, discussed in his writings possibilities for the reconciliation of two adverse trends in British art of his time: the atmospheric effects that characterize art by J.M.W. Turner and his circle and the heightened detail cherished by the Pre-Raphaelites and their emulators. The exhibition, drawn from the permanent collection, features several of Ruskin's own drawings and those of English and American artists whose struggles with pictorial detail and effect echoed his own.
The works in this exhibition collectively suggest Day's evolution as a social and artistic persona at the core of the fin-de-siecle culture in Boston. Fred Holland Day (1864-1933) was born, raised, and died in Norwood, Massachusetts. He attended the esteemed Boston school Chauncy Hall and maintained an apartment and workspace in that city during his years as a publisher of finely crafted books and as an artistic photographer.
This reinstallation of collection highlights spanned the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, and brought together Bowdoin's famous colonial and federal portraits with the European masters that American patricians cherished. Late Renaissance and Baroque works illustrated biblical, mythical and historical narratives, exemplifying the civic and moral virtues that great leaders of the Enlightenment age were expected to possess.
This installation combined loans from the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University with key modern artworks from Bowdoin, giving new insight to the permanent collection. Seen together with Bowdoin masterpieces by Winslow Homer, John Sloan, Marsden Hartley and René Magritte, the Colgate loans provided the opportunity to make meaningful connections between two significant college collections.
The installation in the Markell Gallery explored the Renaissance and its relationship to ancient Greek and Roman culture. Artists and craftsmen of the Renaissance drew inspiration directly from works of antiquity, often working alongside these objects in their studios. The Renaissance & the Revival of Classical Antiquity recreated a period in artistic history, pairing the finest examples of Bowdoin's Renaissance holdings alongside classical artifacts.
This exhibition explores the nature of divinity in the Ancient Mediterranean, the relationships between gods and the realms they control. The installation organizes around select realms (Eros and Love, Fertility and Nature) and explores the myths and iconography that connect these spheres of divinity. On view are some of Bowdoin's finest examples of Ancient sculpture and pottery, not often seen.
This exhibition of 28 watercolors delighted with lighthearted interpretations of the natural world through the immediacy of water-based paintings on paper.
This comprehensive exhibition showcasing over thirty years of work by artist William Wegman was on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in the summer of 2012. William Wegman: Hello Nature, on view from July 13 through October 21, 2012, featured over 100 works in a variety of media including photography, video, painting, and drawing—all of which were produced in or inspired by the state of Maine. Taken together, this body of work attested to Wegman's rigorous and sustained engagement with the natural world and placed the artist squarely within the American landscape tradition.
This interactive installation will highlight the cross-disciplinary research of two faculty members at the College, one an environmental historian and the other a photographer. Until recently, the Androscoggin River was labeled as one of the ten most polluted rivers in the country. By constellating texts, photographs, and oral histories, Professors Matthew Klingle and Michael Kolster pose important questions about the shifting cultural and economic status of waterways such as this one.
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art congratulates Carrie Mae Weems to the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts and is proud to present her video The Maddening Crowd (2011). Carrie Mae Weems is an internationally known photographer and visual artist based in Syracuse, New York. A native of Portland, Oregon, she studied photography and design at San Francisco City College. She earned a B.F.A. at the California Institute of the Arts in 1981 and an M.F.A. at the University of California, San Diego in 1984. She attended the Folklore Graduate Program at the University of California, Berkeley from 1984 to 1987.
This exhibition marks the first solo museum show of work by Los Angeles-based artist Lesley Vance (b. 1977). Known for pushing the limits of representation in her paintings and watercolors, Vance has enjoyed mounting success since her inclusion in the 2010 Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial. Deemed "as demanding as they are satisfying" by one prominent critic, Vance's recent oils on linen demonstrate her rigorous engagement with the history of still-life painting.
The exhibition introduces to American audiences Danish artist Per Kirkeby (b. 1938), one of Europe's most celebrated contemporary artists. The artist's roles as geologist, filmmaker, architect, writer, and poet are reflected in this survey of approximately 45 works. Kirkeby's paintings and sculptures are constantly in flux, maintaining a dialogue between art and science. Organized by the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., this is Per Kirkeby's first American retrospective. After the Phillips Collection, Bowdoin is the only other venue hosting this important show.
This stellar selection of works by ten of the most discussed contemporary artists explores the subtle relations between the suggestion of physical movement in a work of art and the experience of the viewer of being moved by it. Artists include Chakaia Booker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Chuck Close, Mitch Epstein, Christine Hiebert, Rob Pruitt, Gerhard Richter, Alyson Shotz, and Leo Villareal.
Building on the foundational gifts of the Bowdoin family and other generous donors, the Museum collection has grown to encompass over 20,000 objects. This exhibition highlights some of the recent gifts and purchases expanding the Museum's encyclopedic holdings. This installation will feature select sculpture, paintings, photographs, works on paper, and decorative arts.Among those artists represented are Ansel Adams, Eva Hesse, Ando Hiroshige, Henry Moore, Louise Bourgeois, Martin Puryear and Man Ray.
This installation focuses on some of the most outstanding paintings from Bowdoin College's collection of colonial and federal portraits, ranked by scholars among the finest in the United States. In 1805-1807, Gilbert Stuart painted president Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, then secretary of State, for James Bowdoin III. In 1813, the likenesses came as bequest to the College that Bowdoin had endowed in his father's name. As much as they are indebted to the European tradition, the portraits stand at the beginning of an American art that searched for cultural expressions fitting for an independent and democratic nation.
This exhibition celebrates the contributions of private art collectors to Bowdoin since the bequest of James Bowdoin III in 1811. Their many gifts — a few of which have been selected — extend the legacy of James Bowdoin III, expand visual and cultural horizons, and enrich the liberal arts curriculum. Artists featured include James McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Henri Matisse, and Kathe Kollwitz. The show is curated by students in Art History 261: Private Treasures; Public Gifts.
The exhibition of charcoal drawings by Emily Nelligan and etchings by her late husband Marvin Bileck celebrated the natural beauty of Great Cranberry Island, where the couple summered for more than 50 years.
Staged in two intimate galleries on the lower level of the Museum, the exhibition pairs three paintings from private collections with highlights of the Museum’s holdings.
This focused exhibition is devoted to the early street photography of American Todd Webb (1905-2000).
Bowdoin College Museum of Art offers visitors a rare glimpse into the artistry, rituals, and beliefs of Bronze Age China. The exhibition features approximately sixty magnificent bronze vessels and monumental bells that were cast in southern China in the period between 1300 B.C.E. and 221 B.C.E.
This is the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to Edward Hopper's artistic production in Maine between 1914 and 1929. While there has been no shortage of exhibitions devoted to Hopper, very little attention has been paid to the fruitful summers he spent here.
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This exhibition brings together a small selection of works recently acquired by the Museum.
This selection of Joyce-related films is organized in conjunction with the campus-wide “Ulysses Project.”
Alabaster production during the Middle Ages centered on the making and selling of finely decorated, gilded and colored sculpture to churches, nobles, and owners of private chapels. More common examples, however, were intended to brighten the homes and spiritual lives of people of modest means and are now treasured as the folk art of the ordinary medieval English man and woman.
This past semester, the students in Art History seminar “Displaying Devotion” considered issues raised by the medieval alabasters in Object of Devotion.The objects chosen reveal that devotion is a fluid concept that can encompass a variety of human experiences.
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art presents seminal comic artist R. Crumb’s adaptation of the first book of the Old Testament, the Book of Genesis. The exhibition features 207 individual, black and white drawings incorporating every word from all fifty chapters.
In the first four decades of the twentieth century, the quest for modern art inspired innovative artistic work, stirred up critical debates, and mobilized audiences previously indifferent to art. The paintings selected for this exhibition convey a sense of the quickly changing aspirations of American artists—and some of their European counterparts— as they engaged with and were polarized by the advent of Modernity.
Beholding and Being Awake to Mindfulness is the outcome of a semester-long study and practice of mindfulness by students in “Mindful Learning,” a senior-level education course.
This installation is organized to accompany Comediennes, Historians, Storytellers, a first-year seminar on women filmmakers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. As directors experiment with a variety of film genres they create images of women that work in dialogue with “the ideal woman” propagated in popular culture.
Sit Down! will celebrate the Museum's distinguished collection of American and European furniture, focusing on chairs dating from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries.
Drawings and collages, often executed in brush and ink or watercolor, constitute Los Angeles-based artist Raymond Pettibon’s (b. 1957) primary medium, but he has also produced videos intermittently since the 1980s. This animated video combines Pettibon’s drawings with a chorus of voices delivering audio narration, often to jarring and dissonant effect.
Organized in conjunction with an economics seminar, this installation considers historical issues in the commercial art market ranging from the privileging of certain media and techniques to questions of authentication and intellectual property.
A painter, photographer, and video artist, William Wegman is not afraid to be funny; he does not see humor as undermining his arch conceptualism.
This installation features work from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, including pieces by Marsden Hartley, Wassily Kandinsky, Joseph Stella, and Alexander Calder. Among those objects displayed are modern masterworks on long-term loan from the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.
For British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) drawing was both ancillary to his three-dimensional body of work and autonomous from it. This significant exhibition, organized by Hauser & Wirth in collaboration with the Moore family, highlights Moore's prodigious talent as a draftsman, featuring work produced over six decades.
A selection of works by some of the many artists for whom the state of Maine has been a wellspring of inspiration.
This exhibition features highlights of an incredible gift of prints, recently given to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art from long-time friend and generous donor Charles Pendexter, current resident of Brunswick, Maine.
This installation features post-war works by such internationally renowned artists as Gerhard Richter, Michael Mazur, and Alex Katz.
A selection of colonial and federal paintings from the Museum's rich American collection is on view in the Zuckert Summer Gallery.
This exhibition, curated by students in conjunction with the community-based course, French 310: Censorship and Enlightenment, tells the stories behind the controversial French Enlightenment books in James Bowdoin III's collection. Bequeathed to Bowdoin in 1802, these books reflected a commitment to propagating the principles of French Enlightenment thought in a small college in New England.
Also see the interactive website Methods for Modernism: Rediscover Past Exhibitions. Extending the lines of inquiry opened in Learning to Paint, this exhibition looks at American encounters with and participation within European modernism by way of alternative spaces of instruction and exhibition. Focusing on Americans’ relationships to indigenous traditions and criticism, Methods for Modernism explores the new technical and methodological stakes faced by these artists. This exhibition is made possible through the Yale University Art Gallery’s Collection-Sharing Initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
A 2006 documentary film about Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, Manufactured Landscapes draws its name from his series of images of quarries, mines, dams, and recycling wastelands.
In his artwork, Los Angeles-based artist and Skowhegan alumnus Danny Jauregui examines sites of monumentality, rupture, and obsolescence. He merges geometric structures with gestural marks in explorations of the historical residues of architectural spaces.
The recently reinstalled Northend gallery explores the Renaissance and its relationship to ancient Greek and Roman culture. Artists and craftsmen of the Renaissance drew inspiration directly from works of antiquity, often working alongside these objects in their studios.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Europe became a training ground for American art students. Goaded by criticism of native art as technically inferior to foreign work, aspiring young men and women crossed the Atlantic to learn the "language" of painting.
This installation showcases twentieth-century photography from the permanent collection, including an array of recent acquisitions.
Working in New York City during the late 1970s and early 80s, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol were friends, collaborators, and rivals. This dramatic installation highlights a series of Polaroids by Warhol recently given to the museum, and a single monumental canvas by Basquiat.
Surveying affinities in European and American art through the 1970s, this exhibition features paintings, drawings, and sculpture from the museum's collection.
The reinstalled Bowdoin Gallery integrates paintings and decorative arts from the Baroque era through the 19th century. This exhibition examines the scope of artistic influences in an age of intercontinental exploration and trade. Included in the exhibition are 18th-century American portraits which conform to the "Grand Manner" of European painting, and some which reflect the fledgling democracy's transition to an indigenous style.
Since winning the MacArthur Foundation's "genius" fellowship in 1997, Kara Walker (b.1969) has garnered acclaim for her signature work with black cut-paper silhouettes. Subverting the twinning associations of shadows and silhouettes, Walker creates tableaus that stage alternative episodes from the African-American experience.
Curated by Susan E. Wegner, Associate Professor of Art History at Bowdoin College, in conjunction with her Renaissance art history course, the exhibition focuses on varying representations of saints.
Organized by Thomas D. Conlan, Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, this exhibition explores some of the ways that Japan has imported and transformed motifs and objects from abroad.
This intimate show of original collages by Romare Bearden will complement the sweeping exhibition From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden also on view.
Focusing on the later period of his career, From Process to Print explores Romare Bearden’s graphic oeuvre from the 1960s though the early 1980s. This nationally traveling exhibition focuses on the artist’s innovative printmaking techniques and sheds new light on his sources of inspiration and process
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The exhibition informs an examination of the relationship between arts movements of the interwar period in Weimar Germany and early cinema.
The American landscape genre is rich in tradition and innovation. Drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, Grounded explores facets of this practice in light of the contention that “culture is never more in evidence than when nature is at hand.”
Drawn from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art collection, and especially the foundational bequest of works from the family of James Bowdoin III, this exhibition features artists such as Domenico Beccafumi, Filippo Bellini, Giovanni Castiglione, Annibale Carracci, Hendrick Goltzius, Parmaganino, and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo.
Tsai has collaborated with composer Nathan Kolosko on water & wind, an ongoing series of videos. A selection of three of these-pebble rain, grass lake, and waterbugs–demonstrates the artist’s capacity to cultivate sensory presentness in her audience.
With her Rooftop photographs, Portland-based artist Ling-Wen Tsai delivers the most recent installment in our summer Maine landscape series.
From illuminated manuscripts to Harper’s Weekly, this exhibition explores the relationship between images and texts.
Bodies of water were a source of continuing inspiration to Winslow Homer, and this exhibition, drawn from the Museum’s extensive Homer holdings, focuses on these motifs.
The Museum holds the original paintings for the illustrations in four of Barbara Cooney's books. This exhibition includes the original paintings for the beloved Miss Rumphius, part of Barbara Cooney's "Maine Trilogy." Miss Rumphius travels the globe before settling in her home by the sea and making her local world more beautiful
This two-part exhibition celebrated the award of a Bowdoin College honorary degree to Stephen Hannock, Bowdoin College Class of 1974, and renowned neo-Luminist landscape artist.
This exhibition investigates the commingling of mathematics and art. One might argue that mathematics and art are fundamentally similar in that both are abstract systems for representing one human reality.
Surveying Lower Manhattan’s disparate art world in the 1950s and early 1960s, New York Cool features over 80 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints.
If “the image is never identity,” as one art historian has noted, then what is it? Face Forward surveys the American collection for representations of individuals both traditional and unorthodox.
This exhibition illuminates the thorny political climate of the late eighteenth century in Europe and in the nascent United States. An array of cultural materials highlights the competing rhetorical and iconographic strategies deployed by radical republicans and conservative opponents during this period of revolution.
This 1973 work by Joan Jonas exemplifies how the gesturalism of post-war art extended to the spheres of film and performance. With its hybrid aesthetic of choreographed action and chance protocol, and its setting in Lower Manhattan, the film presents a nostalgic document of a downtown artistic community.
What accounts for the persistence of the “frontier myth” in American history? The images collected in this exhibition illustrate some of the contradictory ways that Americans have fashioned meaning out of the frontier idea from the seventeenth century to the present.
Ink Tales is a collaborative, student-curated exhibition of Chinese paintings drawn from the collections of Bowdoin and Colby Colleges.
François-Auguste-René Rodin, the most famous and controversial sculptor of the nineteenth century, shared many of the aspirations that drove Michelangelo, but he also shared one of the Florentine’s failures. Just as Michelangelo never realized his most ambitious sculptural project—the huge and complex tomb of Pope Julius II—Rodin never saw the final casting of his magnum opus, The Gates of Hell.
Israeli-born artist Guy Ben-Ner compresses the action of Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby-Dick in this silent eleven-minute film. Staged in his kitchen and starring his daughter, this filmic adaptation from 2001 offers a seemingly light-hearted and improvisational take on the tale at the same time that it cleaves to the sober themes of Ahab’s allegorical quest.
The Image Wrought: Historical Photographic Approaches in the Digital Age examines the seeming paradox of contemporary photographers embracing archaic photographic practices in today's digital age.
Crowds both diminish and amplify the human experience – a visceral reminder that we are all both special and dispensable.
Drawing on the Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition examines the artistic process—through practices both institutionalized and individuated—in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Drawing on a folio edition of prints by William Hogarth, this exhibition examines the moralizing dimensions of gender roles as they play out in the pictorial and literary spaces of the eighteenth century. Organized in conjunction with English 232: “Women and the Eighteenth-Century Novel.”
In an interdisciplinary exploration of the politics, economics, and social ramifications of human intervention in the natural world supported by the College's Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, a focused exhibition of images of industrialized China by acclaimed landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky will be shown at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
Parterre is a site-specific installation by Lauren Fensterstock, a young, conceptual artist trained in metals from Portland, Maine. The work has been created in response to works in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art that have been incorporated into the piece.
Amy Cutler’s finely executed drawings and watercolors are grand in scale, imagery and potential for creative interpretation. The main characters in this New York artist’s narratives are always women, often in groups, where together they engage in specific but unusual (and sometimes, unidentifiable) tasks such as mending tigers, beating pigs out of rugs, or fastening birdhouses on each others' heads in order to go birding.
James Bowdoin III: Pursuing Style in the Age of Independence pays homage to benefactor James Bowdoin III with an installation of compelling art and objects owned (and donated) by the Bowdoin family.
This exhibition examines the question of landscape by refracting it through the holdings of the Museum.Exploring culturally diverse, pan-historical, and perhaps unorthodox representations of landscape across media, Passages endeavors to pose more questions than answers about how we come to visualize our surroundings.
Chicago-based conceptual artist Anne Wilson’s digital video Errant Behaviors of 2004 uses fragments of black lace and crocheting, bits of unraveling thread, and map pins, and choreographs them in humorous, vulnerable, pitiable, and sometimes suggestive manners to composer Shawn Decker’s soundtrack.
Lively juxtapositions abound among the many objects that have been added to the collections from the time that the Museum closed for renovation in the spring of 2005 through the reopening in October 2007. On view will be a diverse assortment of paintings, photographs, prints, and objects, ranging from a fifteenth-century Messenger Box to a twenty-first-century porcelain self-portrait sculpture of contemporary artist Kiki Smith as Alice in Wonderland.
In earlier times, drawings were created primarily as studies for finished paintings or sculptures. More recently, however, drawings have come into their own as independent and inventive statements, often appreciated for their particular spontaneity of approach and touch.
Organized in conjunction with a history course and lecture series, this exhibition poses a comparative study of artistic interpretations of the early books of the Old Testament.
Focusing on themes of temporal change and industrialization in the modern landscape, this exhibition will include photographs by Frank Gohlke, Andrea Modica, and Mark Klett, among others.
Lewis deSoto’s massive twenty-six-foot-long sculpture entitled Paranirvana/Self-Portrait provides a wry and relevant look at the meeting of technology, spirituality, and biography.
Fall Mountains for Kuo Shi, a triptych painting by Michael Mazur, is an homage to the Chinese landscape painting tradition. In his past fifty years of activity, Mazur has explored the bounds of realism, expressionism, and most recently, abstraction.
Stellar examples of Bowdoin’s renowned collection of American art, ranging from Feke’s portraits of military and political leaders of the colonial and federal period through nineteenth-century investigations of the beauty and promise of the American landscape to twentieth-century urban scenes are included in this exhibition.
A series of four silent films from the Northeast Historic Film Archive in Bucksport, Maine, will be shown over the course of the summer. Each was filmed in Maine in the early twentieth century and captures the “way Maine was” through satire and fictional biography. These films show Maine from a slightly different perspective over the course of approximately 30 years.
An exhibition curated by the students of Art History 216, “The Early Modern Printed Image.” In the period between 1400 and 1700, European artists developed and perfected a variety of printmaking techniques, ranging from woodcuts to engravings and etchings. Drawing upon the significant holdings of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, this exhibition presents an overview of themes that were crucial to the prints of that period.
The exhibition examines photography’s complex relationship to human vision. X-rays, solarizations, spirit photographs, veiled and hidden subjects...what can the camera reveal that the eye literally cannot see, and how can photographic tools be used to show us more than what might be depicted within the space of the photographic frame?
Moving Landscapes features two canonical short films: Fog Line (1970) by Larry Gottheim and Sky Blue Water Light Sign (1972) by JJ Murphy. These two works, which are firmly ensconced in the history of American independent film-making, are inspired equally by nineteenth-century American landscape painting and by early cinema. Intrinsic to these films of the 1970s is a critique of the commercialization of film itself, which is expressed principally in the formal assembly of both films. Most startlingly, both consist of a single uninterrupted shot.
The exhibition's paintings, sculptures, furniture, medals, prints, and books, from Bowdoin's collections and beyond, opened the window to the historic context of marriage in Renaissance Italy.
Glimpses into the Floating World: The History of Ukiyo-E is based on the Museum's varied holdings of Japanese works on paper and focuses on the popular woodblock prints produced between the 17th and 19th centuries in urban Japan. Included are prints by Hiroshige, from his series One Hundred Views of Edo, which are mounted on a scroll that will be periodically readjusted to reveal new images, as well as prints by artists including Moronobu, Utamaro, Kunisada, Hokkusai, and Gekko.
Following the inaugural exhibition, Great Graphics: Prints and Drawings 1470-1970, guest curator David P. Becker showcases the Museum's collection of prints since 1970. During this period, American and European artists often worked on a very large scale, producing prints that rival paintings in scale and graphic power. The same era also saw the integration of photo-imagery in printmaking, together with the recent introduction of digital technology. The exhibit will include prints by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Elizabeth Murray, Alison Saar, Georg Baselitz, Chuck Close, and Lucien Freud, among others.
In the third course-related exhibition to inaugurate the faculty-curated Becker Gallery, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies Jennifer Scanlon will incorporate modern and contemporary prints and photographs in Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl: Gender in the Suburbs to address issues of urbanization, suburbanization, and the changing gender and social roles prompted by the mass expansion and development that occurred in mid-20th-century America.
The nineteenth century witnessed a tremendous change in definitions of artistic identity and success. This exhibition investigates how women artists have adopted, challenged, and played with the conventions of artistic representation. Gallery talk November 25th ...