Louise Nevelson

  • Louise Nevelson, pendant, painted wood and gold metallic overlay, 2 x 8 x 5 1/4 in., gift of Louise Nevelson, 1985
January 23, 2010December 31, 2011
Morehouse Wing (James Gallery)

 Louise Nevelson is rightly recognized as one of America’s most important sculptors of the twentieth century and one of the most significant women artists the nation has produced, but few people know that she grew up in the small coastal village of Rockland, Maine. Her initial discovery of art took place at age nine in the Rockland Public Library, where she saw a plaster cast of Joan of Arc, the popular medieval French heroine of whom numerous sculptures were produced in America and Europe around the turn of the twentieth century. Her life as an artist began in earnest after she moved to New York City, and by 1962 her works were collected and shown by major museums throughout the world. Nevelson established her reputation as an innovative sculptor working in aluminum, plastic, Cor-ten steel, and wood, creating wall reliefs, free-standing sculptures, and large wall-sized boxes. The Farnsworth Art Museum mounted its early exhibitions of Nevelson in 1979 and1985. Between 1981 and 1985 Nevelson and other members of her family donated more than eighty paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and pieces of jewelry to the museum, helping to build the Farnsworth’s collection of the artist’s work into the second largest in the world.