Open Today: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Logo for: Farnsworth Art Museum

Lynne Drexler: Color Notes

Through January 12, 2025

Lynne Drexler (1928-1999), Flowered Convention, 1965, Oil on linen, 68 ½ x 88 inches, Gift from the estate of the artist, 2002.15.2 © 2024 Lynne Drexler by permission of The Lynne Drexler Archive

Exhibition Dates

Through January 12, 2025

Buy Tickets Exhibitions are free with admission.


Lynne Drexler: Color Notes

May 4, 2024 – January 12, 2025

Lynne Drexler: Color Notes celebrates the artist’s most revered period: the 1960s. For the first time, the Farnsworth will exhibit its newly conserved Drexler paintings alongside loans from other institutions and private collections. Collectively, Color Notes highlights the painter’s powerful sensibility as a colorist drawn from her deep love of the natural world, as she explored realms of abstraction.

Drexler’s artistic background, training with teachers Hans Hofmann (1880–1996) and Robert Motherwell (1915–1991), travels, passion for music, and life in New York City all played crucial roles in her significant artistic development. Her daily practice of observation, painting and drawing, her determination to make it on her own, and the inspiration she derived beginning in the 60s, from Monhegan Island in Maine are especially compelling in the life of this painter. 


Did you know that part of Lynne Drexler’s artistic practice involved drawing and painting to music? She loved music, and frequently attended the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall or tuned into live broadcasts to sketch, letting the rhythms and melodies inspire her shapes and composition.

Here you will find a playlist of historical recordings with a few of Drexler’s favorite composers. We invite you to immerse yourself in a world of sound as you wander the exhibition, taking in Drexler’s rich, colorful compositions – or enjoy from home!

Read more about each track below.


Track Details:
  1. W.A. Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro, “Dove Sono I Bei Momenti (Those Happy Moments” – an Italian aria for lyric soprano, appears in the third act of Mozart’s opera, Le Nozza di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). In the aria Countess Almaviva sings a beautiful song, remembering past happy moments spent with her husband. As the song progresses, she becomes increasingly agitated and hopes that her persistence will persuade him to love her again.
  2. Ludwig van Beethoven, Fidelio, Op. 72b, “Overture” – the only opera written by Ludwig van Beethoven. In this story, Leonore disguises herself as a prison guard named Fidelio in an attempt to rescue her husband who is under political arrest. Here is both the opera overture (opening musical number), as well as an aria, Abscheulicher! Wo heilst du hin? This aria occurs at a tense moment in the opera, when Leonore hears a plot to kill her husband and hopes to be able to rescue him.
  3. Ludwig van Beethoven, Fidelio, Op. 72b “Abscheulicher! Wo heilst du hin? (Monster! Where are you off to so fast?)” – (see above synopsis)
  4. Ludwig van Beethoven, Coriolan Overture in D Minor, Op. 62 – Beethoven composed this symphonic overture for a popular play at the time titled Coriolan, a tragedy written about a Roman general.
  5. Richard Strauss, Don Juan, Op. 20 – Strauss composed this as a tone poem, which is an orchestral piece that illustrates a story through sound. For Don Juan, Strauss referenced the play Don Juan Endes, a retelling of the famous legend in which Don Juan searches for his ideal woman. The play ends as he despairs of ever finding her and surrenders to his sadness.
  6. Richard Strauss, Also Sprach Zarathustra – Another tone poem composed by Richard Strauss, this one became famous through its use in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This work is comprised of nine sections that reference specific chapters in Friedrich Nietzsche’s novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra and chronicless Zarathustra’s philosophical journey. Strauss contrasts B Major (representing humanity) and C Major (representing the universe) to create tonally dissimilar music. The piece ends with both keys heard, representing an unresolved question.
  7. Aleksandr Porfir’evič Borodin, String Quartet No. 2 in D Major, “Allegro Moderato”, recorded in 1954
  8. Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, Boris Godunov, “ Прощай, мой сын, умираю (Farewell my son, I’m dying)”Boris Godunov is Mussorrgsky’s only finished opera, and many consider it his masterpiece. This opera is based on a work by the famed Russian poet and playwright Alexander Pushkin and chronicles the life of Tsar Boris Godunov and his rival nemesis, False Dmitriy.
  9. Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 2 in C Minor – Mahler’s second symphony, known as the “Resurrection Symphony”, was written over the span of 6 years, from 1888 to 1894. In this work, Mahler created his own world of sound and explored ideas of the afterlife. It has been voted the fifth greatest symphony of all time.

Recordings are available for use under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0