Archive for Portland Museum of Art

PMA Announces New Peggy L. Osher Director of Learning and Interpretation

Christian Adame

The Portland Museum of Art is happy to announce it has hired Christian Adame as Peggy L. Osher Director of Learning and Interpretation. Adame joins the PMA from the Phoenix Art Museum, where he served as Assistant Education Director, overseeing in-gallery interpretation, strategic partnerships, and public programming, launching initiatives such as Open Voice, Slow Art & Mindfulness, and expanding creative aging work throughout the Phoenix area. Adame begins his new role at the PMA on November 19.

“I am thrilled to be joining the PMA team, and especially the communities of Portland,” Adame said. “I believe that arts and cultural spaces now, more than ever, play a vital role in helping all of us find commonality, connection, and meaning. As someone new to Maine, I have a lot to learn about this place, its people, and its histories. I am excited to listen, and, with the support of the very talented PMA staff, to expand the reach and relevance of the museum.”

Under the leadership of the PMA’s Deputy Director and Robert and Elizabeth Nanovic Chief Curator Jessica May, Adame will oversee all aspects of the PMA’s Learning and Interpretation program, refining interpretive plans for the PMA collection and aligning educational programming with the PMA’s mission. Working with colleagues in the External Affairs division, he will develop creative ways to reach non-traditional audiences and new approaches for them to engage with the collection. One of his primary responsibilities in the coming years will be to reimagine the Winslow Homer Studio Tour experience in advance of American Titans: The Art of Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington, opening July 2020.

“From my earliest conversations with Christian, it was clear that he shares our passion and commitment to welcoming new audiences to this museum, as well as for connecting with our community at every possible level,” said May. “Under his leadership, I’m confident that our exceptional education team will thrive.”

The PMA Presents Major Exhibition of Work by Modernist Sculptor Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi working on model for Riverside Park Playground, 1963. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS. Photo by Michio Noguchi

 

The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is honored to announce it will open Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi and the Borders of Sculptureon October 5, 2018. This exhibition of approximately 40 sculptures and 10 works on paper is a rare Maine retrospective of Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), the Japanese-American artist who became a central figure in the development of 20th-century American modernism. The exhibition runs through January 6, 2019.

Beyond the Pedestal examines the ways Noguchi reimagined the possibilities of sculpture over the course of his 60-year career. The show brings together varied aspects of Noguchi’s expansive production—which included traditional sculpture, landscape architecture, memorials, stage sets, interior designs, furniture, and more—highlighting the artist’s belief that the sculptor’s role was “to order and animate space.” Noguchi was as comfortable creating monuments and gardens as he was collaborating to produce industrial design and stage sets. Juxtaposed across the exhibition, his works complicate notions of form and function and use the mix of materials, shapes, and techniques to encourage audiences to reimagine their sense of what sculpture can be.

Beyond the Pedestal also reveals Noguchi as a man engaged with the cultural instabilities of the world around him. In addition to showing how spaces such as playgrounds could transform social interactions, the exhibition investigates Noguchi’s direct treatment of fundamental social justice questions. His art addresses racial injustice, the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War, and nuclear proliferation—among other themes—forming a thorough examination not only of the renowned artist’s perspective on sculpture, but on the world itself.

In 1986, just two years before he died, Noguchi served as the American representative at the Venice Biennale—the most-prestigious international contemporary art exhibition of the time. The show, which the artist titled Isamu Noguchi: What is Sculpture?, confounded many critics in its diversity of styles and materials. Nevertheless, it got to the heart of Noguchi’s ambition to investigate sculpture’s potential to inform social spaces and spur physical, intellectual, and even spiritual engagement between audiences and artworks.

This question—“what is sculpture?”—is the starting point for Beyond the Pedestal, an exhibition that allows PMA audiences to examine the artist’s driving interest in the relationships between people, objects, and spaces.

 

Isamu Noguchi (United States, 1904–1988), Slide Mantra Maquette, circa 1985, botticino marble, 27 3/4 x 29 1/2 x 27 inches. The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, CR#605 m3. © The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS.

PLAY AND MOVEMENT

Isamu Noguchi believed that the interaction between people, his artworks and their environments was crucial for the perception of space and that movement—like volume, line, and proportion—was central to the process for engaging sculpture.

The bronze cast of Play Mountain, for example, reveals Noguchi’s first foray in landscape design. The table-top sculpture is a plan for an environment that Noguchi envisioned would fill an entire city block. Believing that play could offer the potential for children to experience sculpture and the city through physical interaction, Noguchi broke from the standards of New York City playgrounds as fenced-in, asphalt-covered lots, and instead imagined sculpting the earth itself to create slides, steps, and curves. Although his vision was never made into reality, the model served as a touchstone for him throughout his life.

 

 

Isamu Noguchi (United States, 1904–1988), Play Sculpture, c.1975 – 76 ( fabricated in 2017) Steel 44 x 103 x 103 in. (111.8 x 261.6 x 261.6 cm) Courtesy of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

 

 

Noguchi’s interest in movement surfaced in his art in various forms. With works such as Play Sculpture, individuals can understand their own space and relation to art by moving around the undulating, serpentine forms. In considering additional relationships of sculpture and movement, Noguchi collaborated with architects, inventors, and performers. He frequently partnered with choreographers such as Martha Graham and Erick Hawkins to develop stage sets that fostered the performative movement of dance. By creating the sculptural structure for these environments, as he did with Jungle Gym, Noguchi offered audiences new ways to see the world of dance.

MEMORIALS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Isamu Noguchi was committed to examining all facets of the relationship between human experience and sculpture, leading him to engage crucial causes of social justice through his art. In the 1930s through the 1950s, he designed sculptures that considered issues that shook both American culture and global society.

In the 1940s, Noguchi voluntarily entered the Poston War Relocation Center—a federal detention center for Japanese-American citizens during the Second World War—where he stayed for seven months. Though he had hoped to humanize the environment through art, his sculptures from this time reveal his pain and disillusionment as he confronted his isolation and American xenophobia. Some of these powerful works, including Yellow Landscape and My Arizona, will be on view in Beyond the Pedestal. Other works in this section of the exhibition, including Monument to Ben Franklin, suggest the artist’s negotiation of his own American identity, while sculptures such as Monument to Heroes serve as a painful meditation on the human costs of war.

 

DOMESTIC LANDSCAPES

Beyond the Pedestal also explores how Isamu Noguchi’s expansive understanding of his medium led him to sculpt numerous objects that could traditionally be classified as interior decor. Rather than simply create lights, chairs, and tables that conformed to modernist furniture conventions, however, he crafted furniture that recalled other examples of his sculpture as well as sculpture that evoked his design concepts. His free-form sofa and ottoman, for example, more closely suggest the river stones he used in his gardens than the stark lines of contemporary modernist couches. On the other hand, the composition of the layered metal planes in Lingaconjures the idea of a recognizable folded table.

Noguchi collaborated extensively when developing his sculpted interior pieces. For his Akari lamps, for instance, he worked with a manufacturer in Gifu, Japan, and he partnered with the American industrial manufacturer Knoll on his rocking stools. He took pleasure in the way these works could be produced industrially, making his sculpture available to a broader audience, and felt no concern that a commercial practice would devalue his aesthetic. While many of these forms appear iconic to our 21st-century eyes, when Noguchi created them in the middle of the last century they fundamentally altered the perception of the link between furniture and sculpture.

 

CREDITS

Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi and the Borders of Sculpture has been co-organized by the Portland Museum of Art, Maine and The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum.

Generously supported in part by:
Eileen T. Gillespie and Timothy Fahey
Karen L. McDonald
Christina F. Petra
David E. Shaw

Foundation Support: The Japan Foundation, New York

Corporate Sponsor: KeyBank sponsorship is made in honor of Sterling Kozlowski.

Media Sponsors:
Artscope
Maine Public

 

PMA BACKGROUND

With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is the cultural heart of Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming. From special events, family activities, and community conversations to PMA Films, curator talks, and tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

The museum is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland.

Summer Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Winter Hours: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for students. Everyone age 21 and under is free thanks to the generosity of Susie Konkel. Admission is free every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. No admission is required to visit the PMA Café and PMA Store.

Winslow Homer Studio tours are available by reservation. For more information, call (207) 775-6148 or visit portlandmuseum.org.

Portland Museum of Art Announces Free Admission for Everyone 21 Years Old and Under

The Portland Museum of Art is proud to announce that it is changing its admission policy to offer free, unlimited admission to everyone age 21 and under beginning on April 11, 2018, opening the museum’s doors in perpetuity to teens and youth everywhere. The program is made possible through the vision and generosity of Susie Konkel, a leading philanthropist and advocate for youth in Maine and the region, and will include other benefits, all named in her honor as the Susie Konkel Pass.

All visitors age 21 and under will receive free admission automatically when they visit the PMA, but young people or their guardians can also increase their level of engagement by signing up for the Susie Konkel Pass, which will provide the holder opportunities to attend special events including select free screenings of PMA Films, ways to stay up to date on museum happenings, and more.

“I’m honored to work with the staff at the PMA to ensure that every child in the Maine community and throughout the world can feel the joy and wonder that comes from experiencing magnificent works of art,” shares Konkel. “It’s my hope that children, teens, and young adults alike will discover the many ways that art appreciation can enrich their lives, and also feel inspired and empowered to share their voices with the world. I’m incredibly gratified to help the PMA share its wonderful collection with children far and wide.”

The Susie Konkel Pass reflects the collective passion and dedication of the museum and Konkel to widely share the power of art to transform lives and offer all youth access to lasting arts experiences. Additionally, Konkel and the museum envision that removing admission costs will result in freedom at the PMA for young people and their families as a whole, including:

1. Freedom for teens and young adults to use the museum as a safe and inspirational hang-out spot, where they are always welcome, can enjoy arts experiences, and be themselves at any time.

2. Freedom for low-income families to explore the arts and culture in new and different ways, regardless of who they are, how they live, or the economic hurdles they face.

3. Freedom for college and university students to use the PMA as a place to study, relax, and engage with the community as young adults.

4. Freedom for new Mainers to immediately feel a part of their community, to feel represented and respected, and to express themselves in an inclusive environment.

5. Freedom for parents to have more opportunities to enrich their children’s lives, supplement their growth and education, and set them on the path for a lifetime of arts appreciation.

Each year, 11,000 visitors under the age of 21 visit the museum, either through existing relationships with the museum or by being charged admission. Buoyed by a nearly 20% increase in website traffic for visitors ages 18-24 over the past two years, an redesigned Winslow Homer High School Fellow program, Teen Nights at the museum, and collaborations with MECA and USM, the PMA began thinking about a new way to deepen the engagement of young adults.

Susie Konkel had long seen the PMA as a place to reset and recharge, and with the successful completion of Your Museum, Reimagined over this same time period, she was encouraged by the increasingly diverse base of visitors looking to the PMA as a cultural center that reflects their values and lifestyles, and serves their communities.

The PMA’s commitment to broadening its audiences and the people it serves has been a top priority in recent years, and the Susie Konkel Pass is a natural step in that progression. The museum has been looking to build upon a growing Family-level membership base, new family programs, and special events for children, and by offering free admission to all visitors 21 and under, the Susie Konkel Pass becomes the most recent of other transformative moments, programs, and events at the museum including Art for All, Free Fridays, 2017’s Your Museum, Reimagined and Lights Across Congress, and 2018’s Art in Bloom. Together, the PMA and Konkel hope to establish the PMA as an indispensable resource for future generations.

PMA BACKGROUND
With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is the cultural heart of Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming. From special events, Free School Tours, and a commitment to family activities, to PMA Films, curator talks, and exclusive tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

The museum is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland.
Summer Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Winter Hours: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for students with I.D.

There is always free admission for everyone age 21 and under, provided by the generosity of Susie Konkel.

Admission is free for all, every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

No admission is required to visit the PMA Café and PMA Store.

Winslow Homer Studio tours are available by reservation. For more information, call (207) 775-6148 or visit portlandmuseum.org.

Portland Museum of Art announces significant gift of works by Winslow Homer donated by the Berger Collection Educational Trust

Winslow Homer (United States, 1836–1910), Young Farmers (Study for Weaning the Calf), 1873–74, oil on canvas, 13 5/8 x 11 1/2 inches. Winslow Homer (United States, 1836 - 1910), Returning from the Spring, 1874, oil on panel, 7 7 /8 x 5 3/4 inches

Winslow Homer (United States, 1836–1910), Young Farmers (Study for Weaning the Calf), 1873–74, oil on canvas, 13 5/8 x 11 1/2 inches.
Winslow Homer (United States, 1836 – 1910), Returning from the Spring, 1874, oil on panel, 7 7 /8 x 5 3/4 inches

The PMA is thrilled to announce a major gift of works by American icon Winslow Homer through the incredible generosity of the Berger Collection Education Trust. This gift strengthens our position as one of the leading institutions in the world to experience the art and legacy of Winslow Homer.

“We are excited to welcome these works of art back to Maine. There is no better home for the works of Winslow Homer than in the region that meant so much to him.” – Mark Bessire, the Judy and Leonard Lauder Director

Click here to read more.

SEE THEM IN PERSON

You’re invited to a private viewing of this special acquisition
Saturday, February 17, at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.

Reservations are required.
To R.S.V.P. contact Ashleigh Hill at (207) 494-5346 or ahill@portlandmuseum.org

Portland Museum of Art Opens “The Robbers: German Art In a Time of Crisis”

The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) opens The Robbers: German Art in a Time of Crisis today, February 23. The exhibition of 21 German prints executed between the World Wars highlights George Grosz’s 1922 lithographic suite The Robbers: Nine Lithographs on Maxims from Schiller’s “The Robbers” as well as artworks by other printmakers of the era, including Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, and Käthe Kollvitz. The works on display powerfully blend issues of history, politics, art, and national identity, provoking questions about who we are and what we value in ways that are as pertinent today as they were a century ago.

With the lithographic suite The Robbers: Nine Lithographs on Maxims from Schiller’s “The Robbers,” Grosz updated Friedrich Schiller’s iconic 1781 play of the same name, depicting the canonical story in the tumultuous climate of early 1920s Berlin in which he lived. With figures culled from the modern era, Grosz’s imagery suggests the vast social discord where the traumatic effects of the mechanized war, greed, industry, and poverty intersected to undermine national stability in the young Weimar Republic.

Grosz’s prints were part of a broader artistic culture in which other printmakers and theater directors produced modern interpretations of canonical of German literature, overtly politicizing the hallmarks of the nation’s cultural heritage. Their work, available to broad audiences through widely disseminated prints or stage performances, was a type of social intervention at a moment when conceptions of German identity vacillated wildly. The interplay between contemporaneous politics and historic literature highlighted the tensions between tradition and modernity, which strained German society and which remain continually resonant today across the world.

Many of the prints in this exhibition, including the Grosz series, represent a post-World War I aesthetic known as “New Objectivity.” Whereas German Expressionists of an earlier generation often depicted emotional responses to the modern condition, highlighting themes of angst, inner turmoil, and social alienation, the leaders of New Objectivity rooted their prints in a type of biting, provocative realism, often relying on satire and caricature. Because of their goals to be socially engaged artists shaping the national discourse, many of the artists working in these styles found the print medium to be especially efficient as prints could be disseminated more broadly than painting or sculpture.

The Robbers: German Art in a Time of Crisis, which opens in the centenary year of the end of World War I, turns our attention away from the conflict itself and towards the aftermath that defined the next two decades. These works, many of which are gifts to the PMA from David and Eva Bradford, add context to the social and artistic expression of the era and are equally probing in their evaluation of German society and national identity.

PMA to highlight intersectionality and inclusivity throughout 2018

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The PMA is committed to being an open, accessible, inclusive, and welcoming museum for all, and the exhibitions in 2018 reflect the full range of voices in our community and create experiences with art that strengthen our bonds and bring us together. In this spirit, 2018 exhibitions at the PMA highlight intersectionality and inclusivity in Maine.

Ann Buckwalter (United States, born 1987), The Republic of Hysteria (detail), 2017, Oil and gouache on paper, 91 x 92 inches. EX1.2018.21

Ann Buckwalter (United States, born 1987), The Republic of Hysteria (detail), 2017, Oil and gouache on paper, 91 x 92 inches. EX1.2018.21

The 2018 PMA Biennial
January 26 – June 3
Featuring more than 60 works by 25 participating artists, the Biennial highlights the diverse perspectives and interests of artists connected to Maine, and makes a powerful statement about art’s impact in this historical moment.

George Grosz (Germany, 1839–1959), "Lions and tigers nourish their young, ravens feast their brood on carrion... Series: The Robbers" (detail), 1922, Photolithograph on paper, 27 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches. Gift of David and Eva Bradford, 2002.53.6.5, Art © Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

George Grosz (Germany, 1839–1959), “Lions and tigers nourish their young, ravens feast their brood on carrion… Series: The Robbers” (detail), 1922, Photolithograph on paper, 27 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches. Gift of David and Eva Bradford, 2002.53.6.5, Art © Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The Robbers:
German Art in a Time of Crisis
February 23 – July 15
Highlighting the complete portfolio of George Grosz’s 1922 The Robbers, this exhibition also includes provocative artworks by printmakers such as Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, and Käthe Kollwitz.

Image: Eliot Porter (United States, 1901-1990), "Apples, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, 1942", dye transfer print, 15 15/16 x 12 1/8 inches. Gift of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 2017.4.2

Image: Eliot Porter (United States, 1901-1990), “Apples, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, 1942”, dye transfer print, 15 15/16 x 12 1/8 inches. Gift of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 2017.4.2

Eliot Porter’s Nature
On view now through March 18
“Almost every photograph is about the external world, yet the work of few photographers has helped change that world. Eliot Porter helped alter both the medium and society. The extent of those changes now obscures the extent of his influence. “Eliot Porter’s Nature”…is a welcome reminder of just how exacting an artist he was.” – Boston Globe

Andy Warhol, Moonwalk, 1987

Andy Warhol, Moonwalk, 1987

Under Pressure:
Art from the 1980s
March 30 – August 10
A cross-section of diverse 1980’s aesthetics, revealing varied visual ways that the artists of this decade shaped and reflected the rapidly changing artistic and social realities of the time.

Ashley Bryan (United States, born 1923), "The birds' colors were mirrored in the waters," circa 2002, from "Beautiful Blackbird," collage of cut colored paper on paper, 11 5/16 x 20 inches. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Ashley Bryan (United States, born 1923), “The birds’ colors were mirrored in the waters,” circa 2002, from “Beautiful Blackbird,” collage of cut colored paper on paper, 11 5/16 x 20 inches. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Painter and Poet: The Art of Ashley Bryan

August 3 – November 25
Bryan has committed himself to filling the void of black representation in children’s literature by creating books about African and African American experiences. This exhibition highlights the breadth of the Maine-based artist and author’s creative output.

Winslow Homer - Looking out to Sea, Cullercoats (1882)

Winslow Homer – Looking out to Sea, Cullercoats (1882)

Americans Abroad
August 17 – TBD
Composed of magnificent works by artists such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and others, Americans Abroad will examine watercolors, prints, and paintings by American artists who traveled to Europe for training and inspiration in the late 19th century.

Clarence H. White (United States, 1871–1925), Drops of Rain [Dew Drops] (detail), 1902, platinum print, 20.2 x 14.9 cm. Library of Congress

Clarence H. White (United States, 1871–1925), Drops of Rain [Dew Drops] (detail), 1902, platinum print, 20.2 x 14.9 cm. Library of Congress

Clarence White and His World: The Art and Craft of Photography, 1895–1925

June 22 – September 16
This exhibition is the first in over 40 years to survey the work of Clarence White (United States, 1871–1925), a founding member of the Photo-Secession, a gifted photographer known for his beautiful scenes of quiet domesticity and outdoor idylls, and a major teacher and mentor. It will survey White’s career from its beginnings in 1895 in Newark, Ohio, to his death in Mexico in 1925.

Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)

Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)

Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi and the Borders of Sculpture
October 5 – January 6, 2019
Japanese-American modernist Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) reimagined the possibilities of sculpture as he experimented endlessly with the intersection of objects, people, and space over the course of his 60-year career. Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi and the Borders of Sculpture examines Noguchi’s expansive artistic practice, and through approximately 40 sculptures and 10 works on paper, encourages visitors to to ask fundamental questions about what defines our understanding of sculpture. In addition to reflecting the myriad ways in which Noguchi self-consciously crossed modes of production, brought together artistic and philosophical ideas from across the globe, and played with form and function, Beyond the Pedestal also focuses on the ways in which he engaged with causes of social justice, forming a thorough examination not only of the renowned artist’s perspective on sculpture, but on the world itself.

For more information please visit www.portlandmuseum.org

Nan Goldin’s Seminal Artwork Returns to New England

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The Portland Museum of Art is proud to host the first New England installation of Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency in more than 30 years. This seminal slideshow installation, considered one of the great works of art of the late 20th century, last exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2016. The Portland Museum of Art exhibition marks the first time the Massachusetts-born artist has shown the work in New England since 1985, when it exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency—named for a song in Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s 1928 The Threepenny Opera—comprises nearly 700 photographs taken by Goldin of herself and her friends throughout Provincetown, Boston, New York, Berlin, and Mexico. In creating this diaristic account of her life throughout the 1970s and ’80s, a kaleidoscopic narrative of romantic longing, loss, intimacy, and breakups emerges, featuring both heterosexual and same-sex couples in raw, vivid honesty. In her own words, the work is about “creating a history by recording a history.”

The photography of Nan Goldin offers audiences a kaleidoscopic narrative of the breadth of the human experience. Beginning in the 1970s and continuing to the present, Goldin captures her world as it unfolds before her, resulting in a diaristic account of her life and the people and places that define it. Treating her camera as an extension of her own body, “creating a history by recording a history,” Goldin shields her memories from revision or erasure by preserving them permanently in photographic form. The result is an unvarnished, intimate, and honest glimpse into a full and nuanced life that has played out in New York City, Boston, Provincetown, and abroad, against the backdrops of nightclubs and drag bars, hotel rooms and hospitals, and more.

Organized by the Portland Museum of Art, Nan Goldin explores American artist Nan Goldin’s (b. 1953) use of photography as a means of communication, self-reflection, and poetic expression. For more information, call (207) 775-6148 or visit portlandmuseum.org.

2017 Bernard Osher Lecture “Keeping Tradition Alive” at the PMA

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The Portland Museum of Art is excited to announce Theresa Secord as the 2017 Bernard Osher Lecture speaker. The event, titled Keeping Tradition Alive: Native American Art Ecology in Maine and the Nation, will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 12, at USM’s Hannaford Hall. Tickets are $15, $10 for PMA members, and $5 for students. They are available here and through portlandmuseum.org.

Named a 2016 National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts, Theresa Secord is an activist, arts preservationist, and renowned artist with work in the PMA collection. She has led creative change throughout Native American communities since 1988.

It wasn’t long ago that one of Maine’s oldest art forms—ash and sweet grass basketry—was in danger of disappearing entirely. Activists and advocates from the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac tribes, led in part by Secord, saved the tradition through a long, hard-fought struggle, preserving a crucial piece of the region’s cultural heritage.

For more information, visit portlandmuseum.org.

2018 PMA Biennial Curator Shares Exhibition Strategy

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Nat May, the independent curator of the 2018 PMA Biennial, has assembled a team of arts professionals to co-curate the exhibition, which opens at the Portland Museum of Art on January 26, 2018. Together with May, this team will share knowledge, discuss themes, and ultimately select the artists that will appear in the PMA’s hallmark exhibition of contemporary art related to Maine.

The team members are:
· Theresa Secord, renowned artist, educator, and founder of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
· Sarah Workneh, Co-Director of Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture
· Mark Bessire, the Judy and Leonard Lauder Director of the Portland Museum of Art

The idea of bringing people together to share ideas about the Biennial appealed to May immediately upon agreeing to curate the exhibition. “What makes Maine so unique is the interconnected relationships between individual artists, communities, and organizations in the arts,” says May. “Working with Sarah, Theresa, and Mark leverages those relationships, and their varying insights and approaches to contemporary art creates a really exciting list of artists to consider.”

In addition to May and Bessire, Secord and Workneh also have connections to the PMA beyond the 2018 Biennial. At the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Workneh worked closely with the PMA for the 2016 exhibition Skowhegan at Seventy, which commemorated the 70th anniversary of the school’s founding and showcased work produced at the school or in its honor. Secord participated as an artist in the museum’s previous Biennial and has work in the PMA collection. She is also the 2017 speaker at the museum’s annual Bernard Osher Lecture Series; her lecture, “Keeping Tradition Alive: Native American Art Ecology in Maine and the Nation,” takes place on September 12 at USM’s Hannaford Hall.

Working as a team benefits the exhibition, as May and his colleagues make studio visits across the state and beyond, talking with artists who have meaningful relationships with the state. “We’re taking the idea of connection seriously—the definition of ‘meaningful’ should pass the straight-face test,” adds May. “But it’s also important to understand that this exhibition, though regional by nature, should not be defined by regionalism. Our border is permeable, and our world in Maine intricately connected to the world beyond our state lines.”
One focus for the group is artists who have never been represented at the PMA before, including past Biennials, exhibitions, or the museum’s collection. These may be artists who have shown extensively elsewhere or are relatively unknown, but it is important to May to use the Biennial to bring artists and artworks to the PMA for the first time.

This is the 10th Biennial exhibition at the PMA and the second Biennial that will be organized by an independent curator who will spend nearly a year visiting artist studios. Funded through the generous bequest of William E. Thon, the PMA Biennial is intended to highlight artists with meaningful connections to Maine and enrich the cultural lives of the people of the state. Inspired by his own experience and love of biennials, Thon entrusted the PMA with the means to offer rich contemporary art experiences to its audiences. You Can’t Get There From Here: The 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial was curated by Alison Ferris of Edgecomb, Maine.
The 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial is made possible by the William E. and Helen E. Thon Endowment Fund.

The PMA is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland.
For more information, visit portlandmuseum.org.

Portland Museum of Art presents Winslow Homer Studio Tours

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The Maine that you know and love started with Winslow.

Before Winslow Homer arrived at Prouts Neck, no artist had connected Maine to the world’s popular imagination to the extent that he would soon after. His imagery depicted the region with uncommon passion, and drew artists and curiosity seekers to the state in a pilgrimage that continues today.

Discover the place where it all began: the Winslow Homer Studio—restored and preserved exactly as it was when he lived in it. Explore the creaky floorboards, craggy shores, and unparalleled beauty of one of most important locations in American art history, and connect with the Maine all over again. For more information visit www.portlandmuseum.org/homer