Meet the Team: Docent Ellen Goldsmith

Farnsworth Docent Ellen Goldsmith

After many happy years in New York City, Ellen Goldsmith came to Maine for a new chapter, new views. From her home in Cushing, she looks out on the always changing Broad Cove. Becoming a docent was another change. Ellen feels the pleasure and meaning of a work of art, be it painting or sculpture, grows from shared views, conversation, social interaction. 

In her professional life, Ellen was on the faculty at two branches of the City University of New York. At New York City College of Technology, she created and directed the Center for Intergenerational Reading. Its nationally recognized programs were innovative in linking the literacy development of adults and children through the use of children’s literature. Social interaction was key to the success of the programs.

From her 13 years as a docent, she has many memories. One stands out from a 4th grade tour. In a room full of Louise Nevelson’s work, after talking about the sculpture “Reclining Form” as the group was moving on to another work, a boy walked very close to her and said, “That’s the most beautiful thing I ever saw.”

Poetry is big part of Ellen’s life – reading, writing and teaching. About her most recent book, Left Foot, Right Foot, Carl Little wrote: “Goldsmith can be fierce, funny, frayed as she deals with the unknowns of illness and seeks to recover the aroma of normal. There is an intimacy here that sways the heart.” Another of her skills is baking. She can bake a cherry pie.

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