Adult Program

Reclusive janitor by day, visionary artist by night, outsider artist Henry Darger moved through life virtually unnoticed. But after his death, a treasure trove was discovered in his one-room Chicago apartment: a staggering 15,000-page novel and hundreds of illustrations that continue to inspire artists around the world. With dreamlike animation, poignant narration by Dakota Fanning and a haunting musical score, Academy Award winner Jessica Yu fashions a bold and beautiful film. In the Realms of the Unreal immerses us in Darger's startling universe of innocence and pain, showing how he forged magic out of the bleakest of lives.
Location: The Strand Theatre, Rockland
Seating: limited to 350 people
The Farnsworth Art Museum’s annual series, The Farnsworth Forum, invites America’s leading intellectuals to give their views on the state of the art world. The Forum brings several speakers a year to the midcoast to discuss the issues surrounding the visual arts, the performing arts, literature and other aspects of culture during lively interviews.
Angela Miller is professor of art at Washington University, St. Louis and an expert in the cultural history of nineteenth and twentieth-century American art. Professor Miller’s specialized interests include visual constructions of nationhood, American modernism and the cultural history of the arts between the two world wars.
Painter Charles Hawthorne wrote, "It is beautifully simple, painting – all we have to do is to get the color notes in their proper relation." Oh my gouache, Mr. Hawthorne, really? In this 5-week class instructor Jessica Stammen and her students will endeavor to see the truth contained in this statement. Working with gouache – a water-based medium heavier and more opaque than watercolor, with great color saturation, suitable for quick ideation or finished worksthe class will observe and record color phenomenon to create a series of engaging postcard-size compositions.  Each class will begin with a sequencing warm-up. Some color theory and general painting technique will be covered.
In this 8-week course, students will focus on drawing the human form from direct observation of a live model. Working from the model and using a variety of exercises, students will develop new ways of seeing. They will experiment with various media including ink, charcoal, pastels, collage and oil wash. Intense periods of drawing will be followed by lively class critiques. This class is appropriate for students with some drawing experience who are interested in developing their understanding of the figure and drawing materials.

During the “culture wars” in America of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the very words “beauty” and “the beautiful” were banned in certain academic and cultural circles. To some, those words were no longer relevant to the highly politicized period the country was experiencing, and they did not in any way describe the art that was being produced. This lecture will examine the work of artists Kiki Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano and others who were at the center of controversies about the anti-aesthetic in art. Finally, the current state of affairs regarding the arts and the beautiful will be discussed with an eye toward the future of beauty in America.

Western theories of beauty are not universal; over time, other cultures and civilizations independently developed their own unique ideas about beauty. This lecture will survey theories of beauty from select countries as diverse as India, China, Japan and Africa. The bronze gods and goddesses of Gupta India, towering landscape paintings of Sung China, lopsided tea cups demonstrating wabi sabi from Muromachi, Japan, and seventy-five- pound wooden masks from West Africa will be discussed from the point of view of indigenous ideas about beauty. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Western artists discovered the art from these faraway places and began to reconsider their own ideas of beauty.