Archive for Farnsworth

Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow Moved to Farnsworth Auditorium

On Friday, August 17, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) and the Strand Theatre will co-present a documentary film by internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei entitled Human Flow. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the screening of the film has been moved from the Strand Theatre to the Farnsworth Auditorium. The screening will still take place at 1 p.m.

The screening is in conjunction with the Farnsworth exhibition Ai Weiwei—Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold, which runs at the museum through December 30. Tickets for the screening are $12 and $10 for Farnsworth, CIFF and Strand members, and are available at

Special Gallery Tour at the Farnsworth: Maine: The Farnsworth Collection

On Wednesday, July 25, the Farnsworth Art Museum will present a special gallery tour of On a Mountain in Maine. The gallery tour, led by a member of the museum’s Curatorial team, will take place at 1:30 pm, beginning from the museum’s main lobby.

This exhibition, primarily drawn from the museum’s collection, features works by Fitz Henry Lane, John Joseph Enneking, Marsden Hartley, James Fitzgerald, Andrew Winter, and Carl Sprinchorn.  The tour will explore the physical, spiritual, and cultural landscape of Maine’s mountains as depicted in paintings, poetry, and literature through the lens of the historical record and Wabanaki myth and legend.

The tour is free with museum admission. For more information or to register please visit

Lecture at the Farnsworth Poems, Painters and Patriots: N.C. Wyeth’s Poems of American Patriotism

N.C. Wyeth, The Old Continentals, 1922, Oil on canvas, 40 x 28 1/8 inches, Collection of The Hill School, Pottstown, PA

On Wednesday, June 20, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine will present the opening lecture for the exhibition N.C. Wyeth: Poems of American Patriotism. The lecture by Farnsworth Chief Curator Michael Komanecky is the museum’s first Stephen May and Kathryn B. Wilson Lecture and will take place in the museum’s auditorium at 2 p.m.

In 1922, Columbia University professor Brander Matthews’ book Poems of American Patriotism was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons with seventeen illustrations by famed American illustrator N.C. Wyeth. This reissue of an unillustrated 1882 edition was inspired by the popularity of Scribner’s many previous books with Wyeth’s illustrations, and by the still fresh memory of America’s participation in World War I. It was also inspired by Americans’ long-standing familiarity with and appreciation for poetry, and in particular its love of works by the so-called “Schoolroom Poets” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, and John Greenleaf Whittier, among others. In the period when Poems of American Patriotism’s two editions were published, poetry was a part of everyday life, in both the private and public spheres, in a way it is no longer. This presentation will focus on the context in which the two anthologies of poems were created, including Wyeth’s role as illustrator.

The exhibition N.C. Wyeth: Poems of American Patriotism opens to the public on Saturday, June 16, with a members’ preview and reception on the evening before. Lead Sponsors of the exhibition are Sasha and Ed Bass, and Linda Bean’s Maine Wyeth Gallery. Exhibition support is provided by Anna Mae Twigg in honor of George Twigg III, and the Gilder Foundation. Midcoast Community Partners include the O’Hara Corporation. For more information or to register, please visit

Farnsworth Presents First Ai Weiwei Exhibition in Maine


Farnsworth Art Museum Presents Ai Weiwei’s

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold

Beginning on Saturday, March 24, 2018, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine will present a special exhibition of sculptural works by Chinese dissident-artist Ai Weiwei (b. 1957). Ai’s gilded bronze Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold series will be on display in the museum’s Rothschild Gallery through December 30, 2018. This will be the first presentation of the internationally-known artist’s works in Maine, and the first New England showing of his gilded Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads.

Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze series—his first work of monumental public art—drew worldwide attention in spring 2011 when the artist was detained by Chinese authorities a month before the work debuted in New York City. Held incommunicado for eighty-one days, Ai Weiwei was released after an international protest campaign was mounted by museums, artists, and concerned citizens. Upon his release he was put under house arrest and forbidden to travel outside Beijing until July 2015.


A lively re-envisioning of the twelve animals of the ancient Chinese zodiac, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads dates back to a dark episode with respect to China’s relationship with the West. During the Second Opium War in 1860, the famed Yuanming Yuan (or Garden of Perfect Brightness) was destroyed and looted by British and French troops. An imperial retreat built a century earlier during the Qing Dynasty (1636 – 1912), the Yuanming Yuan featured an ornate, European-style section with grand fountains, gardens, and palaces. At its center was a splendid zodiac water-clock fountain with spouting bronze-headed figures representing the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The 12 animals marked the hours of the day. The entire complex was ransacked long ago, but in recent years the seven bronze zodiac heads that survive have become fraught symbols of the cultural achievements of the Qing era, the nation’s period of humiliation by the West. The original zodiac heads represent a powerful topic for contemporary China’s relationship with its own history. Seizing on the rich and contradictory symbolism of the heads, Ai Weiwei’s re-interpretation of this work is a powerful statement about the “fake” in relation to the “real.”

Ai’s exquisitely designed and fabricated golden Zodiac Heads are featured in this exhibit, the first presentation of the internationally known artist’s works in Maine. The Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze and Gold series have been exhibited at over 40 international venues and counting since the official launch of this body of work in 2011. The Zodiac Heads have been seen by millions of people worldwide, making it one of the most viewed sculpture projects in the history of contemporary art.












Ai is recognized around the world as a creative force and cultural commentator, and he continues to redefine the role of both artist and activist. Ai was born in Beijing in 1957, to the renowned poet and intellectual Ai Qing. When his father was denounced in 1959 during the Anti-Rightist Movement, the family was sent to a labor camp in rural Xinjiang Province where Ai spent the next 16 years. After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the family returned to Beijing and Ai then studied at the Beijing Film Academy in 1978 before moving to the United States in 1981. After living in New York’s East Village for a decade, he returned to China in 1993 and helped establish the Beijing East Village contemporary art scene. In 2011, after a period of escalating conflict with Chinese authorities, Ai was arrested for purported tax evasion. In recent years Ai Weiwei has been living in Berlin, Germany.

Ai Weiwei’s recent major solo exhibitions include those held at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009); the Tate Modern, London (2010); the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2012); the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2015); and the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (2016). He has received numerous awards and honors, notably Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award (2015) and the Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year (2016). His recent documentary Human Flow, which calls attention to the current refugee crisis, has received worldwide attention and his current New York City exhibition of city-wide public art titled Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is currently on display through February 11, 2018.

The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s ongoing role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 15,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The National Register-listed Farnsworth Homestead; the Olson House, a National Historic Landmark; and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex.

Please visit for more information on current exhibitions, programs and events.

Farnsworth Presents Seventh Annual Fall Family Festival

Fall Fest 1

On Saturday, October 14, the Farnsworth Art Museum invites everyone to attend its seventh annual Fall Family Festival. The festival will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in the museum’s sculpture garden, and is free of charge. This year’s Fall Family Festival is part of Maine’s Pumpkin Trail, a partnership with the Farnsworth, Maine Maritime Museum, Boothbay Railway Village and Damariscotta’s Pumpkinfest & Regatta.

The Farnsworth’s seventh annual Fall Family Festival will include free-style pumpkin carving, face painting, crafts, and live music. A parade will take place on Rockland’s Main Street, departing from the sculpture garden at 5:30 p.m. Families are invited to participate in the parade by wearing costumes and masks. Some masks will be made available thanks to Shoe String Theater, whose Artistic Director Nance Parker will be teaching a week-long free workshop at the Gamble Center.

Fall fest 2

At the close of the parade, the group will return to the sculpture garden where a pumpkin lighting will take place at approximately 6 p.m. In case of rain, activities will take place in the Gamble Education Center, located at the corner of Grace and Union Streets. For more information, please visit

Drawing and Painting for Ages 6 to 86 at the Farnsworth Art Museum

sam cady

On Saturdays, beginning October 7 through December 16, the Farnsworth Art Museum will host a Drawing and Painting class taught by artist Sam Cady. Titled Drawing and Painting for Ages 6 to 86, the program will take place on consecutive Saturdays at the Gamble Education Center, at the corner of Union and Grace Streets in Rockland, from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be no class on Saturday, November 25.

This class is about appreciating the world around us, and as an ongoing workshop, each session varies according to the dynamics of the group. The focus of the work is still-life set-ups in the Gamble Education Center and land/seascapes from area excursions depending on the season and weather. In-class discussions include the historical and contemporary treatment of these various subjects. Many approaches are taught from different drawing-media to water-based painting. Working out of a personal, natural inclination is stressed more than a specific style or approach to making art. The class includes participants of all varieties and skill levels. We learn from each other.

Instructor Sam Cady has exhibited widely around the country, but especially in NYC, Boston, and Maine, and taught in the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He invites the group to his studio once a session to share his experience with the class. The fee for this class is $360 and $300 for Farnsworth members. For more information or to register, please visit

Farnsworth to Unveil Mural During September First Friday

Photo by David Troup

Photo by David Troup

On Friday, September 1, during the First Friday art walk, there will be a special mural unveiling of a new mural arts project on School Street, on the wall of the Grasshopper Shop in downtown Rockland, which is a partnership between the Farnsworth’s Education Department and mural director Alexis Iammarino. The gathering will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., on School Street, between Main and Union Streets, with a public remarks scheduled for 6 p.m. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Farnsworth has participated in First Fridays, thanks to a sponsorship from the First National Bank. During First Fridays, the museum is open free of charge to the public from 5 to 8 p.m.

Photo by David Troup

Photo by David Troup

The mural arts project has been made possible thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The purpose of this community project is to engage local youth in creating public art in downtown Rockland. The project has been guided by local community mural artist Alexis Iammarino. She was joined by Canadian-born mural artist Melissa Luk, who has created mural projects on multiple continents, most recently in the west-African nation of Gabon. The mural was also completed with help of local artists and volunteers of all ages, the youngest of which was 7 and the oldest 80 years old. The mural unveiling will celebrate the efforts of all those involved, give the public the opportunity to meet the artists, and toast this new addition to the cultural vibrancy of Rockland’s downtown. Free ice cream will be provided by the Grasshopper Shop.

For more information on this project, please visit the museum website at or call the museum’s Education Department at 207-596-0949.

Lecture at the Farnsworth: Louise Nevelson—Light and Shadow


On Wednesday, August 16, the Farnsworth Art Museum will present a lecture by Nevelson biographer Laurie Wilson entitled Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow. The program will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in the museum’s auditorium.

This lecture will provide an intimate portrait of Louise Nevelson’s remarkable life and art, drawing on hours of personal interviews with the artist at the height of her fame, as well as with her colleagues, friends and family members. Wilson tells the story of this major artist who became one of the three great American sculptors of the 20th century. Nevelson’s artistic, spiritual, even physical transformation is dramatic, complex, and inseparable from major historical and cultural shifts of this period in the art world. The post-lecture Q&A will be followed by a book signing.

Wilson’s recently published biography Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow is available for sale in the museum store and at the signing. The exhibition Black and White: Louise Nevelson/ Pedro Guerrero will open at the Farnsworth on Friday, October 6 and will be on view through April 1, 2018.

Laurie Wilson is a practicing psychoanalyst on the faculty of the Psychoanalytic Institute at NYU Medical School, and she is also the author of Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic and the Man, published by Yale University Press in 2003. Her involvement with Nevelson dates back to the 1970s when she spent time interviewing the artist for her doctoral dissertation, Louise Nevelson Iconography and Sources (1976). The fee for this lecture is $8 and $5 for Farnsworth members. For more information or to register, please visit

Farnsworth Presents Lecture and Film: Returning Nazi-Appropriated-Art to its Rightful Owner

Woman In Gold 1125x750

Woman In Gold 1125×750

On Wednesday, August 23, the Farnsworth Art Museum, in partnership with the Strand Theatre and the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue will co-present a lecture by Donald S. Burris, Esq. followed by a screening of Stealing Klimt: The Documentary. The program will take place at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, Maine from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Beginning with the initial Blitzkrieg and continuing throughout the duration of World War II, the Nazi authorities implemented a pervasive program for stealing valuable artworks as they overran and ravaged most of Western Europe. The artwork was appropriated from mostly Jewish families in the occupied countries and the amount of art plundered, as you will learn in the course of the lecture, was astronomical.

Such was the fate of Gustav Klimt’s famous painting of The Woman in Gold, officially titled “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” and commissioned by Adele’s husband Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy industrialist and supporter of the arts, who shared with his wife a special fondness for Klimt’s work. The Belvedere Palace in Vienna acquired this painting and others from their Nazi holders in 1941 and it remained in the Palace until its status was changed by the American courts in lengthy litigation begun in 1999 that our guest speaker will describe in detail, culminating with the 2004 U.S. Supreme Court ruling entitled Altmann v. Republic of Austria.

The speaker, Donald S. Burris—an international lawyer and a senior partner at Burris, Schoenberg & Walden—was not only the “other lawyer” working side-by-side with Randy Schoenberg to have Maria Altmann’s historic rights recognized in the Altmann case, but has been the senior partner in the firm working with other “looted art” cases. He will speak about the case and his other fascinating experiences in connection with his ongoing efforts to repatriate artworks, businesses and real estate stolen by the Nazis.

This brief lecture will be followed by a screening of Stealing Klimt, a documentary film about the true story of the Woman in Gold, running time 86 minutes. Burris will take questions following the film. The fee for this program is $20 and $15 for Farnsworth members, Adas Yoshuron Synagogue members, and Strand members. For more information visit

Farnsworth [Collective] Presents Bash LITE: Under the Tent

Con Brio Press Photo 2017-3

On Saturday, July 22, the Farnsworth Art Museum’s dynamic membership group the [Collective] will present a summer dance party on Rockland’s Museum Street, featuring the bay area funk band Con Brio. Bash LITE: Under the Tent will take place from 8 to 12 p.m. under a huge, 200 foot tent raised over the Farnsworth Museum Street parking lot.

Led by the magnetic Con Brio, a seven-piece Bay Area funk and psychedelic-soul band and our network of local makers, all are invited to celebrate the height of Mine’s summer by literally dancing in the street. Participants should expect backflips, prizes, silliness and the unexpected.

Con Brio has a relentless drive for experimentation, for pushing their technical ability to its limits and reaching beyond the familiar. The resulting dynamic fuses driving rhythms, blazing guitar-work, soaring horns, the growl of an analog synthesizer or Hammond organ, and shimmering, sultry vocals with seemingly limitless energy: altogether it’s one heck of a party.

This is a 21+ event. Tickets for Bash LITE are $45. For more information, or to purchase a ticket, visit