This illustrated lecture will examine the confluence of French and American Impressionism, particularly the phenomenon of American artists studying and working abroad. The French Impressionist movement had barely established itself before a number of Americans in France were strongly influenced by its freshness, its technique, and especially its emphasis on plein-air painting and non-traditional subject matter. The lecture will consider some of the many Americans who learned from their French counterparts, discussing both the similarities with French Impressionism and the differences, asking the question: what is American about American Impressionism?
Napoleon III almost completely dismantled Paris during the middle years of the nineteenth century, only to rebuild it as the first modern metropolis. Artists such as Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Cezanne rushed to the emerging urban giant to depict the energy and confusion of the new social order. This lecture will focus on how Impressionism rose from Realism, and how artists had different—and at times contradictory—perspectives on this new way of painting. The younger artists who followed in the wake of these artistic advances, known as Post-Impressionists, will be briefly discussed: Van Gogh, Seurat, and Gaugin. 
Lecture by Director of Education Roger Dell.
In 1925, no one in New York City was more surprised than Murdock Pemberton—a newspaper reporter, Broadway publicist, playwright, and poet with no formal training in art or connoisseurship—when an upstart magazine, The New Yorker, named him its first art critic. Exposés of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, collector Andrew Mellon, and “plush-hung” commercial galleries—written for The New Yorker and other national publications—thrust Mr. Pemberton into the limelight as a David among the philistines, his favorite role.
This three-part lecture series will supply additional background information for the current exhibition Impressionist Summers: Frank W. Benson’s North Haven. The series will begin with an examination of the orgins of French Impressionism in mid-nineteenth-century Paris. The next lecture will be an overview of American Impressionism, illustrating its similarities and differences with the French. Lastly, Frank W. Benson’s entire career will be surveyed, with special attention paid to the periods when he was away from North Haven. This lecture series will take place in the Farnsworth auditorium.
As a young Union officer Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. experienced the violent conflict of the Civil War and was wounded three times. In the following decade he studied law and discussed philosophy with the formative American pragmatists William James, Charles Peirce and other members of the informal "Metaphysical Club" of Cambridge. This lecture will explore the influence of the Civil War on Holmes' philosophy of law and judicial career, and its relation to American pragmatism.
Lecturer Frederic R. Kellogg attended Harvard Law School and has a doctorate in Jurisprudence from George Washington.
The Civil War was depicted by painters, sculptors and photographers on both sides of the conflict. Northern artists, with greater access to art supplies, galleries, publications and other outlets, were more prolific and visible. Southern artists recorded battles—real or imagined—on land and sea, but had limited means to disseminate their work. The artwork conveyed the horrors of war to the home fronts on both sides. Ironically, one of the finest paintings of the war is by a French artist who never actually saw the sea battle he portrayed. In addition to wartime artwork, this lecture will examine the nation’s continuing fascination with the conflict through the work of such subsequent painters as Edward Hopper and sculptors John Rogers and Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

This three-part series will explore how the war that divided our country was depicted by painters, sculptors, photographers and authors. Each lecture will focus on a unique aspect of written and visual representations of the battlefields, camp life, and other arenas—both North and South. In this, the second year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, the Farnsworth is presenting this series for all who recognize Maine’s important role in the war, and who wish to learn more about how the nation saw  the war through the eyes of America’s artists. The lectures will be especially relevant for public and private K-12 teachers, and they will take place in the Farnsworth auditorium.

This exhibition examines Frank W. Benson's long and productive career in the context of his life and work at his summer home, Wooster Farm, on the island of North Haven, Maine, thirteen miles off the coast of Rockland. It was there that Benson (1862 - 1951) painted almost all of his brilliant, sun-drenched Impressionist paintings. The renowned artist's island home was also where he launched his prolific etching career and began making his highly successful watercolors. Through his paintings, both oil and watercolor, drypoints, etchings and lithographs, the exhibition will illustrate the important ways in which life on North Haven affected Benson's art.