Historic Properties

The Farnsworth Homestead

The Family Home of Farnsworth Art Museum Founder Lucy Farnsworth, Photo by Brian Vanden Brink

The Farnsworth Homestead. Photo by
Brian Vanden Brink

Two historic houses are part of the Farnsworth Art Museum. The 1850 Farnsworth Homestead was the home of Lucy Farnsworth, the museum's original benefactor, and is part of the main museum campus. The architectural style of the house and outbuildings is Greek Revival but the interior is decorated in high Victorian style. The elegant structure has survived intact, with virtually no adaptation. Minimal electrical systems were added for safety purposes, but all the original heating and plumbing is still in place, including what was probably the first indoor bathroom with a flush toilet in the city. Thanks to a generous inheritance from her father and brother James, and to her own business acumen, Lucy Farnsworth left a sizable estate. She directed that the bulk of it be used to establish the William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum as a memorial to her father. She recognized the historical importance and the potential educational value of the family's house and left instructions that it be maintained with the original furnishings and be kept open to the public. The Homestead was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Read More...
The Olson House in Cushing, ME
The Olson House was the subject of numerous works of art by Andrew Wyeth, including his well-known 1948 painting Christina's World, owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In the summer of 1939, seventeen-year-old Betsy James, who would later marry Andrew Wyeth, introduced him to her neighbors Christina and Alvaro Olson. Over the next three decades a friendship developed between the artist and the Olsons. Wyeth was allowed to wander through the house as he pleased and used an upstairs room as a studio. Wyeth's series of drawings, watercolors and tempera paintings featuring Christina Olson, her brother Alvaro and the house itself, occupied Wyeth from 1939 through 1968. The land on which the house, a classic "saltwater" two-story Maine farm house, was built was part of a 300-acre parcel granted in 1743 to William Hathorn IV, Samuel Hathorn I and Alexander Hathorn. The house was constructed in the late 1700s and underwent enlargements and additions up until around 1871. It has remained essentially unchanged since that time. The Olson House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011. Read More...




Farnsworth Homestead
21 Elm Street,
Rockland, ME 04841
207-596-6457 x 126

The Homestead is closed for the season. It will reopen on Saturday, May 23, 2015

Three tours daily, Thursdays through Sundays. Tour start times are 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; limited to 10 persons per tour. 

Cost per tour is $5 for all nonmmembers.
Same day reservations must be made in person at the Museum Street lobby desk.

All visitors to the Homestead will be provided a pair of booties (shoe covers). No high heels or bare feet are permitted on the tours. Please wear comfortable shoes.

Please note that the Homestead is not wheelchair accessible.




Olson House
384 Hathorne Point Road,
Cushing, ME 04563

Thanks to the New Markets Tax Credit program, the museum has secured the necessary funding to begin major capital improvements to their Rockland and Cushing properties. This will unfortunately necessitate us to close the Olson House for the 2015 season as it undergoes vital infrastructure upgrades which will preserve it for decades to come. The Olson House will reopen to the public Memorial Day weekend of 2016.