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Bowdoin College Museum of Art announces public reopening on July 1

Anne Collins Goodyear and Frank Goodyear, co-directors of Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art announced that it will reopen to the public on July 1, after more than a year of pandemic-related closure, and will present four new exhibitions. 

“Re | Framing The Collection: New Considerations In European And American Art 1475–1875,” in the Museum’s Bowdoin Gallery, explores the intertwined stories of Europeans and their American descendants with Indigenous and enslaved peoples whose lives have long been erased from historical narratives.

“New Views of The Middle Ages: Highlights From The Wyvern Collection” includes over 50 works from one of the world’s premiere private collections, many of which have not been publicly presented before, covering the period from the 6th through the 16th centuries.

Finally, two student-organized exhibitions — “The Presence of The Past: Art From Central And West Africa” and “Creeping Pavement: Depictions of an Urbanizing America” — will demonstrate the strength of the museum’s role on campus and its active place in the college’s educational model. 

The museum will be open to the public beginning July 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. To ensure the continued health and safety of Bowdoin’s campus community, masks and social distancing will be required. Check for the most up-to-date information about visiting requirements.

“Our reopening exhibitions highlight the depth and breadth of our collection, as well as the value of long-term loans that support both curatorial efforts to create engaging shows and the academic study that is at the heart of our campus mission,” said Frank Goodyear, co-director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. 

Bowdoin College Museum of Art is at 245 Maine St., Brunswick. Call 207-725-3275, or go to for more information.


“Re | Framing The Collection: New Considerations In European And American Art 1475–1875”

In 1811, James Bowdoin III bequeathed his art collection to support the new college bearing his family’s name. But while his philanthropy has been recognized, his family’s enslavement of Africans in colonial Boston — and the dispossessing and displacement of the Wabanaki from their homelands along Maine’s Kennebec River — get less attention. This history is the jumping-off point for the Museum’s new exhibition, Re | Framing The Collection: New Considerations In European And American Art 1475–1875, which explores the intertwined stories of Europeans and their American descendants with the Indigenous and enslaved peoples whose lives have long been erased from historical narratives—including those of art history. The narrative begins with European exploration in the 15th century, followed by the actions of the United States government starting in 1783. Successive governments fought over and harvested this continent’s vast resources and, in the process, undermined Indigenous communities through disease and by force, and enslaved Africans and others for their own economic benefit.

Among the works included are Pieter van der Aa’s 1713 engraved map of the world, “Nova Orbis Terraquei Tabula Accuratissime Delineata / Mappe-Monde ou Description Generale du Globe Terrestre et Aquatique”; John Quidor’s 1832 painting “Leatherstocking’s Rescue II”; an 18th century Wabaki trade brooch and two mid-19th century baskets, all made by unidentified Indigenous artists; and Albert Bierstadt’s 1875 painting of California’s Tuolumne Meadows. 

“New Views Of The Middle Ages: Highlights From The Wyvern Collection”

Also on view at Bowdoin this summer will be New Views Of The Middle Ages: Highlights From The Wyvern Collection. The exhibition includes over fifty works from one of the world’s premiere private collections, many of which have not been publicly presented before, covering the period from the 6th through the 16th centuries, with works from east Africa, West Asia and Europe. These works demonstrate the enduring relevance and influence of the medieval period on contemporary societies, from establishing rules and traditions around cross-border trade, to the ways in which expertise in artistry and manufacturing may vary from place to place, to the complex ways in which we affiliate with multiple identities based on our geographic, religious, and familial histories.

The themes it addresses include an exploration of the artistic media and techniques typical of medieval Europe; the vast networks of trade across three continents that promoted a flourishing—and evolving—artistic environment; and the ways in which medieval peoples throughout these regions used the visual arts to explore and define their own identities. Among the highlight works are: “Diptych with Saint George, and the Virgin and Child” (c. 1500), two small panel paintings bound together with Saint George on the left, painted in a style consistent with that used for icons in Ethiopia, and a painting of the Virgin and Child, in a style that evokes traditional Byzantine icons, on the right side; the “Vermicular Chasse with Saints and the Lamb of God” (c. 1185, Limoges, France), an object just 5.5 inches high that includes the complex techniques of champlevé enameling, vermiculé, and appliqué; and a 6th century brooch from present day France or Germany and made from partially gilded silver and accented with garnets.

Originally scheduled to open in September 2020, the public presentation was delayed by the Museum’s closure due to the pandemic, while an online version was launched to provide another means for viewers to experience these works. The exhibition is curated by Kathryn Gerry, Bowdoin College’s Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History. The exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, which includes a selection of object entries written by Bowdoin current and former students who conducted research on these works under Gerry’s guidance.

“The Presence of The Past: Art From Central And West Africa”

The third exhibition on view will be The Presence of The Past: Art From Central And West Africa, which brings together works from the Museum’s collection as well as the objects on long-term loan from the Wyvern Collection. With support from exhibition organizers David Gordon, Professor of History at Bowdoin College, and Allison Martino, now Raymond and Laura Wielgus Curator of the Art of Africa, Oceania, and Indigenous Art of the Americas, The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, students working with Professor Gordon used the Museum’s Zuckert Seminar Room to study the objects, and drew on their research and direct observation to develop the object labels throughout the exhibition. 

Fundamentally, the exhibition looks to reconsider the contemporary understanding of African artistic representations and the place of Africa in a global cultural imagination. Canonical artworks from Central and West Africa — such as a 19th century Female Power Figure (Nkisi) from the Kongo peoples, or an early 20th century Sword Ornament from Akan peoples — are presented alongside works made in the same regions since the mid-twentieth century, including contemporary photography, textiles, and masks. These include Gabriel Boakye’s Adinkra cloth (2013-2015), which combines traditional symbols of the Akan peoples with modern screen-printing techniques, and Hervé Youmbi’s Two-Faced (Double Visage) mask, from his Faces of Mask series, which brings together many of the conventional materials and forms of a Bamiléké yégué mask with a visage inspired by modern and contemporary sources (in this case, the character “Ghostface,” from the film Scream, which was itself inspired by Edvard Munch’s classic, early modern painting The Scream). These juxtapositions of different historical moments and media invite viewers to explore connections across time and space—the presence of the past in modern and contemporary art and society—with a particular eye to the forms, figures, and functions of African art. 

This exhibition was to open to the public in spring 2020 but was moved into an online format after it became clear that an on-campus installation would be impossible; the online version, which includes images and object labels fall all works, can be seen here.

Creeping Pavement: Depictions of an Urbanizing America

The fourth of the Museum’s new exhibitions traces the evolution of the American city as it grew into its own distinct environment and explores the many ways artists reacted to the rapid urbanization of American life. From the landscapes that foreshadow the industrialization and commercialization to come, to more recent urban views, the selected works of art examine issues at the heart of cities and highlight the many different facets of a perpetually developing urban landscape, investigating the ever-changing qualities that characterize the city today. In America, cities are places of contrast and connection: They bring people together, yet often highlight the tensions that divide. Cities are home to both the wealthy and the least privileged, and inhabitants may hail from near and far, yet all see themselves as a part of a city’s identity. 

Thus, the art created when these urban centers developed offers a unique perspective on American life in the nineteenth and twentieth century. From historical works by artists such as John Marin’s etching Brooklyn Bridge and Lower New York (1913) and Lewis Hine’s photo Steel Workers on Top of the Empire State Building Mooring Mast (1930), to more modern pieces such as Yvonne Jacquette’s pastel drawing Study for World Trade Center, New York Harbor (Looking South) (1977), the featured artists encourage critical, quizzical, and ultimately lovingly looks at big cities like New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. These images inspire us to find continuity and to celebrate our shared humanity, even as we still grapple with the social, political, and environmental ramifications of urbanity. If recent events have demonstrated the vulnerability and even the fragility of cities and their inhabitants, these photographs from the past provide a powerful reminder of their resilience.

This exhibition was curated by members of the 2019–2020 Student Museum Collective — Sylvia Bosco ’21, Joseph Hilleary ’20, Cassie Jackson ’22, Sabrina Lin ’21, and Ben Wu ’18 — and is supported by the Becker Fund for the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

2021 MCA Guild Fine Craft Show season schedule

Guild Fine Craft Shows

Three MCA Guild Fine Craft Shows are planned for 2021 in Bar Harbor (MDI show), Scarborough and Brunswick.

The shows feature fine craft artists from the former Maine Crafts Guild juried membership and craft artists who have have been juried into the new Guild level of Maine Crafts Association membership. The shows will also include a selection of juried craft artists from the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.

There is free nearby parking in Bar Harbor for the MDI show and metered parking directly in front of La Rochelle, if you prefer a closer option.

See for more information or to purchase tickets.



La Rochelle Mansion + Museum, 127 West St., Bar Harbor

Preview Party — 5 to 8 p.m. July 23 (Preview Party), 

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 24 (free admission) 

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 25 (free admission)


Ketcha Outdoors, 336 Black Point Road, Scarborough

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 18

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 19

$5 entrance fee (good for both days)


Fort Andross Mill Complex, 14 Maine St., Brunswick

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 23

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 24

$5 entrance fee (good for both days)

Call for Artists

Vessel & Vine, nestled at the foot of a historic Brunswick church, has a menu heavily laden with wild-foraged ingredients. The connected spirits shop also offers vintage barware and accessories.

The Vessel & Vine interior is transforming to double as an art gallery. Currently looking for artists to exhibit for the opening salon-style show.

Curtis Memorial Library Presents ‘For the Birds’


“For the Birds” will be the art event of the month of August 2019 in the Morrell Room of the Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, Maine. Juried artists have been chosen to present their unique and creative expressions of winged friends in a variety of fine art media.  Both two and three dimensional work will be shown, most available for purchase.

The show is open during regular library hours with a reception on the evening of August 9 from 4-7:00 during the Second Friday Art Walk..

Participating artists include Sarah Brown, Fr. Paul Plante, Kat Logan,, Lee Cheever, Wayne Robbins, Barbara Sullivan, Catherine Worthington, Manon Whittlesey, Lea Peterson, Lonie Laffely Ellis and Peyton Higgison.  These artists were chosen for their expertise in their craft and will be portraying work in paint, encaustic, wood, fiber and printmaking. 

Donations will be accepted for the Avian Haven Organization, a bird rescue rehabilitation facility  in Freedom, Maine. (

For more about the artists please enjoy the Facebook Page- For the Birds.

Questions? Comments? Contact Lee Cheever- 540-454-4176

The Universal Unitarian Church Gallery Presents “Eastern Reaches”


The Universal Unitarian Church Gallery in Brunswick presents “Eastern Reaches,” Asian brush paintings by Waldoboro artist, Jean Kigel at One Middle Street, Brunswick, Maine, from May 29 to June 26.  A reception to meet the artist will be Wednesday, May 29 from 2-4 PM.  

Large and small paintings of orchids and peonies, shore birds and songbirds, and waterfalls and mountains will line the walls.  Kigel’s work exemplifies both xiexi (spontaneous) and gombi (meticulous) styles of brush painting, both in color and in sumi-e.  She paints using traditional bamboo brushes, hand-ground inks, mineral and organic pigments, and various absorbent “rice papers”.  These papers are not rice-based at all, but derived from inner barks of a variety of Asian trees. Kigel states, “Although water-based, Asian brush painting is nothing like watercolor painting.  With Asian brush, can load multiple colors of paint consecutively into one brush, and lay it down so as to blend the colors magically into paper that drinks it up. Using other techniques, a dry brush can dance and cavort over the.”

“Spontaneous, Loose, Bold” these are the words of late Portland Press Herald art critic, Phillip Isaacson, describing Kigel’s Asian brush paintings.  Also stating that, “Kigel is a master of the oriental brush. Her work with ink or ink with color strikes the viewer as spontaneous, loose, bold, and somehow inevitable…By the latter I mean the product of a difficult skill an attitude acquired through commitment and study…”

The gallery is located on the corner of Pleasant and Middle Streets across from the Curtis Memorial Public Library with hours Tuesday through Friday 10am – 4pm,  On-street parking should be available. FMI contact 207.729.8515 or

The Frank Brockman Gallery Presents “Delight in Disorder”

Anne Hebebrand, A Careless Shoestring, oil on panel, 28” x 22”, 2018


The Frank Brockman Gallery, in Brunswick presents Delight in Disorder: New Paintings by Anne Hebebrand. Opening: Saturday,  June 8-29, 5:30 – 8:30 PM.  Anne Hebebrand’s color filled paintings range from pure abstraction to more lyrical abstractions full of small passages of line and forms. “There is a wonderful choreography in all of her work, a patient geometry that is musical and balletic at the same time.” (Pat Rosoff)


This is Anne Hebebrand’s first show in Maine and at the Frank Brockman Gallery.  Having moved from Connecticut to Bath, Maine three years ago she is very excited to show her new body of work. Anne delights in the magical things that happen in the painting process creating order out of chaos. Her paintings are made up of multiple layers of blocks of color contrasted with gestural marks. The name for this show was taken from the title of a poem by the 17th century poet Robert Herrick, who expresses the beauty seen in the disorder of small things in life. The poet’s description of the unraveling of a shoelace is a playful metaphor for possibilities that can arise with the gesture of a squiggly line.  “It is the excitement in the activity of painting and the taking of chances that keep me engaged and leads to unpredictable encounters,” writes the artist. “The lyricism in Anne Hebebrand’s work can have us thinking about music with associations of color and line in the manner of Paul Klee’s paintings. Her checkerboard and striped blocks of color contrasted with her rhythmic loopy lines start you humming as the artist establishes counterpoint in each individual work.” (Pamela Ambrose)


Anne Hebebrand was born and raised in Germany and now splits her time between Bath, Maine  and Todos Santos, a small artist town in Baja California, Mexico. Before moving to Bath, Maine, Anne taught at Great Path Academy, Manchester Community College and at Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut.  She was named the Connecticut Art Education Association’s Outstanding Secondary Arts Educator in 2012. Anne’s pieces are in many private collections in the United States, Germany and Mexico.

Artist Julie Babb’s Works at the Unitarian Universalist Church Gallery in Brunswick

Artist Julie Babb will hold a solo exhibition of her paintings at the Unitarian Universalist Church Gallery in Brunswick.  The Church is located at 1 Middle Street, and the exhibit will run from Sunday, March 24th until the end of April.  The Gallery is open from 10 – 4.  Babb is well-known in the area for her detailed gouache paintings of birds and natural subjects.  Gouache is an opaque form of watercolor which lends itself to the intense detail that she gives to her paintings.  Babb has studied ornithology with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Biology course of home study, plus winning a scholarship to attend the ornithology camp at Audubon’s Hog Island.  She has exhibited in many area locations, including the Audubon Guildsland Farm, and a solo show at the Coastal Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.  She has won many awards for her work, including Best of Show for several years at the Maine Sportsmen’s Alliance Wildlife Art Show in Augusta.  Babb also teaches classes for Lincoln County Adult Education and River Arts in Damariscotta.  Julie Babb is represented by the Bayview Gallery in Brunswick, and seasonally, the Pemaquid Art Gallery at Lighthouse Park.  Her work can also be seen at

The Maine Crafts Guild: 3rd Annual Brunswick Fine Craft Show

Rondel Collection of Anita Roelz Circle Stone Designs, Sterling silver and 18K rings, Woolwich, Maine

The Maine Crafts Guild will present the 3rd Annual Brunswick Fine Craft Show on October 27 & 28, 2018 in Brunswick, Maine at the Fort Andross Mill Complex. The show will offer works of excellence in fine craft, designed and handmade by professional Maine artisans.
Over 30 artisans will travel from around the state to exhibit, with several local to the Brunswick area including; Tom Dahlke (furniture), Bonnie Bishoff and J.M. Syron, Maggie Bokor, Lisa and Scott Cylinder, and Anita Roelz (jewelry), Emi Ito and Amy Smith (woven fashion) and Catherine Worthington (textile art).

Handwoven Scarf by Emi Ito, Ysoko, Inc – Bath, Maine

The Maine Crafts Guild is a statewide organization, established in 1975. Members are selected through a jury-of-peers process and are comprised of journeymen, nationally recognized masters and founding members who dedicate themselves to excellence in fine craft.

Bonnie Bishoff and J.M. Syron, open form necklace of polymer clay millefiori marquetry covering nickel silver and sterling silver wire, Brunswick, Maine

The Brunswick Fine Craft Show will bring buyers and artists together for unique shopping experiences in wood, metal, clay, natural fibers and mixed media. Admission: $4 adults; under 18 free. October 27 & 28, 2018: Sat. 10am – 5pm & Sun. 10am – 4pm. Fort Andross Mill Complex, 14 Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine. For more information please email: or call  207-266-3741.

Bowdoin Museum Commissions Artist linn meyers

linn meyer


Bowdoin Museum Commissions Interactive Wall Drawing by Artist linn meyers Who Will be Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin in Fall 2018

meyers Collaborates with Interaction and Sound Artists Rebecca Bray, James Bigbee Garver, and Josh Knowles to Create a Site Specific, Multi-Sensory Experience

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) announced today that it has commissioned a site-specific, multi-media art installation to be unveiled this fall. Washington, D.C.-based contemporary artist linn meyers will create a large-scale wall drawing entitled Let’s Get Lost, while serving as the 2018 halley k. harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence at the College. Concurrently, interaction and sound artists Rebecca Bray, James Bigbee Garver, and Josh Knowles, along with meyers, will create an interactive sound installation, Listening Glass, that corresponds with the wall drawing and features acoustic components activated through audience participation. The works will be exhibited together as Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass at the Museum for a year from September 27, 2018 through September 29, 219.

For nearly 20 years, linn meyers has created large-scale wall drawings in both public institutions and private collections. Using paint markers favored by graffiti artists, she creates sprawling and oscillating linear patterns that activate spaces for visitors, reveal elements of a site’s architecture, and highlight the inevitable imperfections of the human gesture. For Let’s Get Lost, meyers will use the four niches in the BCMA’s Charles Follen McKim-designed Walker Gallery to drive the composition of her wall drawing. Her drawn piece will take cues from Listening Glass, using the sound project to inform the composition of the drawing, thus turning sound into drawn gesture. Listening Glass grew from meyers’s recent 2016–17 installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where she created a 400-foot long drawing entitled Our View From Here. While the work was on view at the Hirshhorn, Bray and Garver independently created an interactive sound installation as a response. The BCMA’s commission formalizes this partnership and makes it accessible for a broad public.

Using a custom iPhone app with advanced digital audio software and augmented reality technology, Listening Glass allows museum-goers to interact with Let’s Get Lost, to generate sound, creating improvised collaborative musical compositions using the drawing as a score. With the app on a handheld device, Listening Glass transforms the museum visitors’ gestures into sound, rendering the audience-performers’ motions in sonic triggers, audio distortion, reverberation, arpeggiations, and other expressive sonic events. The resulting sounds will emanate from each visitor’s iPhone, allowing sound and motion to connect audiences more fully to each other and to the drawn piece.

This project is a collaboration between the artists and the audience, pushing existing boundaries to create new compositional possibilities. In Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass, drawing is explored as a multi-sensory experience, inviting responses through sight, sound, and movement. Listening Glass heightens the audience’s interaction with Let’s Get Lost from contemplative observation to active involvement.

Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass represent an innovative and powerful collaboration, demonstrating the exceptional potential of creative exchange across artistic boundaries,” said Bowdoin Museum Co-Director Anne Collins Goodyear. “We are excited about the many ways in which the artists have already engaged the Bowdoin community, bringing together students, faculty, and staff across the visual arts, music, and computer science departments,” continued Co-Director Frank Goodyear. “We hope to continue to foster opportunities for the Bowdoin community and the public at large to engage with contemporary art.”

In conjunction with the installation of Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass, linn meyers will serve as the fourth annual halley k harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College for the Fall 2018 semester. The halley k harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence program allows Bowdoin Visual Art faculty to invite internationally renowned artists to campus to work directly with students from across campus in a range of disciplines, and the college community through critiques, discussions, workshops, lectures, and other activities.

Upon her appointment, artist linn meyers said, “I am honored to be the halley k harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College and am looking forward to exploring pressing interdisciplinary questions with faculty and students.” Explaining the project, she said, “Our team has been working to map gesture, drawing, and sound in ways that are intuitive and satisfying, encouraging surprising interactions and new kinds of spatial and sonic thinking.”

James Bigbee Garver continued, “For example, vertical movements of the handheld device can be mapped to resonance; rate of movement is mapped to loudness; color information is mapped to attack, decay, sustain, and release envelopes. When one or multiple participants are in the room, the ensemble of sounds from the handheld devices will voice the drawing’s score to varying degrees of complexity through improvisation.”

Listening Glass,” Rebecca Bray continued, “allows the audience to collaborate with us to perform an audiovisual piece, using handheld devices to interact with a wall drawing to turn gestures into music. We anticipate some audience gestures will intuitively mimic the gestures which meyers used to make the wall drawing, and some will be very different. By listening to the sound emanating from their handheld device, participants will see the drawing anew–the interaction will connect them to the particulars of line, form, and space in the drawing.”

Speaking to the goals of the project, Josh Knowles added, “Listening Glass challenges us to consider how to make technology invisible while making interactions intuitive and rich with possibility. We seek to create a piece of technology that serves as a creative conduit between a person and a piece of visual art, an architectural space, and other viewers.”

meyers concluded, “The audience member will be confronted with questions about experiencing art, interpreting art, and the private versus social nature of perceiving and relating to art.”

About the Artists

linn meyers is an internationally-recognized, award-winning visual artist with work in public and private collections around the world. Celebrated for her large-scale wall drawings, her work relies on the constantly shifting nature of experience and what she calls the “unplanned imperfect.” Meyers has exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; among others. The recipient of a Pollock Krasner Award and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, she earned her B.F.A. from The Cooper Union and her M.F.A. from The California College of the Arts.

Rebecca Bray is an artist whose artwork spans performance, installation, and game design. She creates work that is deeply responsive to, and challenging of, audiences. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Whitney Museum of Art. Bray was previously the Chief of Experience Design at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and is the Managing Director of the Center for Artistic Activism.

James Bigbee Garver is a sound designer and composer, preferring the title of Sound Writer. He creates sonic inventions, soundscapes and music for live performance, interactive media, and film, often mixing the timbres of acoustic instruments with synthetic audio to sculpt imagined textures and environments. Garver has exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.; the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; and the American Museum of Natural History, New York; among other venues.

Josh Knowles is a software developer, game designer, educator, and electronic musician. His work explores the edges of technology and seeks to create seamless and beautiful relationships between people and information. Through his company, Frescher-Southern, Ltd., he has built creative technology projects for numerous brands and technology start-ups. Josh is an adjunct professor at NYU and a former member of the board of directors of the Austin Museum of Digital Art. He has spoken at conferences around the world about game design, digital audio, and software. Josh is also an award-winning digital musician.


Bowdoin College Museum of Art presents Winslow Homer and the Camera:











First Exhibition to Examine Painter Winslow Homer’s Use of Photography
At the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Opening Summer 2018

New discoveries will be unveiled in this expansive exhibition, featuring more than 130 Homer paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and archival materials, including his camera, from the BCMA’s extensive collection of the artist’s work 

This summer the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) will present Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting, the first exhibition to look at the role of photography in Homer’s artistic practice. On view June 23 through October 28, 2018, Winslow Homer and the Camera brings together over 130 objects by the artist across all mediums, ranging from master paintings to oil studies, drawings, prints, and photographs created in the United States and during his travels to Europe and the Caribbean. This comprehensive survey was inspired by the BCMA’s 2013 acquisition of a camera once owned by Homer and presents new research drawn in part from the museum’s extensive collection of works by the artist.


Curated by co-director Frank H. Goodyear III and Bowdoin art history professor Dana E. Byrd, the exhibition will present a full picture of the artist’s working methods and will include noteworthy archival objects, such as three wooden mannequins, his palette and watercolor brushes, his walking stick and fishing net, and two of the three cameras he owned in his lifetime. Homer acquired his first cameras during a two-year sojourn abroad in England, a trip he took in his mid-forties seeking a new direction in his art. Upon his return in 1882, scholars noted a demonstrable change in his style of painting and choice of subjects. Taking this shift and the artist’s penchant for experimentation across mediums as a point of departure, Winslow Homer and the Camera questions how new visual technology impacted the artist’s production and engagement with subjects and unveils how photography became increasingly a part of Homer’s visual investigation and broader creative practice.

“We are thrilled to present Winslow Homer and the Camera this June,” said Frank Goodyear, co-director and organizer of the exhibition, “Since the generous gift of Homer’s camera, my colleague Dana Byrd and I have been engaged in understanding how Homer’s interest in photography influenced his own artistic identity. This exhibition allows us to consider how Homer’s experimentation with photography solidifies the artist as a proto-modern figure, anticipating many of the trends and concerns of American and European artists who followed.”

“The opportunity to examine Homer, a well-loved and well researched figure of American art, anew, has been so rewarding,” says Dana E. Byrd, “Utilizing the museum’s extensive collection of the artist’s work, Frank and I have uncovered a new facet of Homer, and we hope this pioneering framework will lead to continued revelations of how the iconic painter engaged with the modern world.”


While Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting draws principally from the BCMA’s Winslow Homer Collection, the exhibition will also feature works on loan from twenty-five institutions and collectors from across the United States. Following its presentation at the BCMA, the exhibition will travel to the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Museum Director Thomas Padon noted, “Homer defined the look of America in the second half of the 19th century and is central to key artists in our collection, which gives the exhibition particular resonance here at Brandywine.”


An illustrated catalogue of the same title authored by Byrd and Goodyear and published by Yale University Press will accompany the exhibition. The catalogue will serve as a significant contribution to the study of Winslow Homer and the cross-disciplinary study of painters and photography in American art.


The Museum is also pleased to announce a series of exhibition related public programs throughout the summer and fall, featuring an array of perspectives on Homer, from art historians to fly fishermen. Highlights include:


  • keynote programled by exhibition co-curators Frank H. Goodyear III and Dana E. Byrd, providing an orientation to the exhibition’s themes in conjunction with the exhibition’s opening;
  • Gallery talksby art historians Susan Danly and Linda Docherty
  • Music performances by faculty from the Bowdoin International Music Festival inspired by the exhibition


The exhibition was made possible in part by Bank of America.  This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.