Please enjoy these descriptions of our 2022 exhibitions

Farnsworth Forward: The Collection
through December 31, 2022

Farnsworth Forward, organized by Guest Curator Suzette McAvoy, presents new acquisitions in conversation with historical works. Organized along four themes: Origins to a New Century, Emerging Modernism, Embracing Abstraction, and Diverse Viewpoints, Farnsworth Forward highlights the growing diversity of the collection and Maine, underscoring new understandings of the relationship between cultural identity, history, and place.

Women of Vision
through May 1, 2022

In 2021, the Farnsworth Art Museum is pleased to celebrate thirteen remarkable women who have made lasting contributions to the culture of our state.  In many ways our tribute was inspired by Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, the woman who founded the museum, which, since opening in 1948, has promoted the arts in the port city of Rockland and has played a key role in shaping the arts in the State of Maine.

Transforming the Ordinary: Women in American Book Cover Design
through May 1, 2022

This show examines the heyday of book cover design from the 1890s through the 1930s, a time of great artistic experimentation influenced by the aesthetics of Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement.  During this period, women created thousands of book cover designs for the mass market, from simple one-color stamped designs to more elaborate multi-color designs, some which were stunningly beautiful works of art in and of themselves.  Organized by registrar Angela Waldron and drawn primarily from the Farnsworth Library’s collection, the decorative covers featured in the exhibition are by some of the best known and most prolific cover designers of the period, such as Margaret Armstrong, Amy Sacker, Bertha Stuart, Sarah Wyman Whitman, and a group known as The Decorative Designers.

Leonard Baskin: I Hold the Cracked Mirror Up to Man
Opening April 16, 2022

This exhibition focuses on the monumental prints made between 1954 and 1998 by writer, teacher, sculptor, printmaker, book designer, calligrapher, and illustrator Leonard Baskin. The show includes loans from his son Hosea Baskin and Baskin scholar and collector Ken Shure.

The dark side of humanity is the subject matter of Baskin’s monumental woodcuts, in which carnivorous birds and predatory humans merge into universal symbols of degradation and despair. His nearly life-size figures appear to cry out against nuclear war, lynching, and the Nazi genocide of the Jews. His Holocaust series of six monumental prints, conceived toward the end of his career, is starkly nightmarish. Hebrew inscriptions integrated into his compositions give meaning to imagery that is sometimes ambiguous and complex, often referencing classical and biblical sources rather than the vernacular of the time they were created.

Andrew Wyeth: Early Temperas
Opening April 23, 2022

The Andrew Wyeth: Early Temperas exhibition explores the creative process behind four of Wyeth’s first tempera paintings. Created between 1937 and 1939, the temperas are accompanied by a selection of Andrew’s studies in watercolor, pencil and ink, this work marks a pivotal group of years in the young artist’s life and his embrace of a new medium.

Andrew Wyeth: Islands in Maine
Opening April 23, 2022

“As early as ten I began to paint Maine. I painted around the islands and did my first pen drawings and then I went on to watercolor.” – Andrew Wyeth

The exhibition, Andrew Wyeth: Islands in Maine explores islands in Muscongus and Penobscot bay. Although Andrew began painting Maine when he and his family first spend summers in Port Clyde, the paintings in this exhibition span from 1939 through 2008, when the artist and his wife spent his final summer on Benner Island

Ashley Bryan: Beauty in Return
Opening May 28, 2022

“If you put art into the world, you will get beauty in return.” –Ashley Bryan

The exhibition, Ashley Bryan: Beauty in Return, recognizes the significant and lasting contributions to Maine and American art by distinguished artist, author, storyteller and teacher Ashley Bryan, recipient of the Farnsworth Art Museum’s 2022 Maine in America Award. Bringing together examples of the artist’s work from throughout his long career, including paintings, illustrations, puppets and stained glass, the exhibition is a joyful celebration of the enduring power of art and the human spirit over adversity. 

Betsy’s Gift: The Works of N.C., Jamie, and Andrew Wyeth
opening June 11

Betsy James Wyeth (1921-2020) devoted much of her adult life to supporting the work of the three artists in the family that she became part of: Andrew Wyeth, whom she married in 1939; his father, Newell Convers Wyeth; and James (Jamie) Browning Wyeth, one of her two sons with Andrew. Much less known is Betsy Wyeth’s passion for collecting work by each of them. Over the years she assembled a rich and varied collection of paintings, drawings, and watercolors depicting subjects from the two places that dominated their careers: the area around their homes and studios in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and in Midcoast Maine, where the extended Wyeth family has summered since the 1920s. Upon Betsy’s passing in 2020, the Farnsworth Art Museum received a bequest of twenty-seven works by this distinguished group of American artists:  six by N.C., two by Andrew, and nineteen by Jamie.