The Farnsworth Art Museum has recently acquired two early twentieth-century folding screens: an eight-panel oil on board painting, Manship Toasting the Angels done in 1923; and a three-panel oil on canvas painting by Carrol Thayer Berry with a fanciful view of Camden harbor done in 1930. Folding screens were especially popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, serving typically as room dividers and often used by their owners to dress or undress behind. Prominent artists, architects, and designers in both Europe and America experimented with the format, including James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Dewing, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Thomas Hart Benton, Donald Deskey, Ansel Adams, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Hockney, among many.

The museum’s two screens will serve as a departure point for a 2019 exhibition, The Screen Show, which will be held in the Rothschild Gallery from February 9 through September 22, 2019.

Who Can Apply
Artists and artisans working in Maine are invited to submit proposals for folding screens which will be reviewed by a jury including chief curator Michael K. Komanecky, who prepared the 1984 exhibition, The Folding Image: Western Screens of the 19th and 20th Centuries for the National Gallery of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery.
One submission per artist or artist team, please.

Proposals should include a one-page written description of the concept for the work, including dimensions and materials; and one to three sketches of the proposed work (e.g. front view, rear view, detail). The description, including the sketches, must be submitted as a PDF document. Sketches must accurately represent the work proposed; works not accurately represented may be disqualified. Existing works created in the past three years (2016, 2017, 2018) may be considered. While there are no specific limitations on the size of the finished work, entrants should take into consideration the size of the Rothschild Gallery, with finished height being no more than eight feet.

The Space
Rothschild Gallery
The gallery adjacent to the museum’s main entrance measures approximately 1170 square feet, roughly 65 x 18, with entrances on all four sides. Each entry will be accompanied by mounted text indicating the maker, materials, and concept for the finished work. These texts will be prepared by the curatorial staff with materials provided by the artist during the course of the project.
Entries should be submitted by July 30, 2018. Finalists will be informed in September, 2018.

Proposals will be reviewed by a jury consisting of Susan Danly, former curator of prints, photographs, and contemporary art at the Portland Art Museum; Susan Groce, professor of art at the University of Maine, Orono; Peter Korn, founder and executive director of the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine; Warren Seelig, distinguished visiting professor in the Fibers/Mixed Media program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia; Michael K. Komanecky, Farnsworth chief curator; and Jane Bianco, Farnsworth associate curator. Finalists will be selected after review by the jurors. Finalists will then be informed by the Farnsworth of the acceptance of their proposals.
Each finalist will be granted a stipend of $2,500 to be awarded upon successful completion of their submission and its delivery to the Farnsworth.
If there are any substantial changes to the work during fabrication, including those that do not conform to the accepted proposal or space limitations, finalists must consult with the Farnsworth curatorial staff. Works that differ markedly from the proposal submitted may be disqualified from the exhibition.

Works must be delivered to the museum by January 28, 2019 by arrangement with curatorial staff. Finalists are responsible for delivering their works to the museum and for removing them following the exhibition. Gallery installation will be carried out by the curatorial staff.
If you have any questions about program participation, please contact . No phone calls, please.

Image:  Barry Faulkner, Manship Toasting the Angels (detail), 1923, oil on board, mounted and hinged as a screen, museum purchase with support from the Friends of the Farnsworth Collection, 2008; 2009.1