Farnsworth Art Museum
On Island: A Century of Continuity and Change
The exhibition, "On Island: A Century of Continuity and Change" surveys a hundred years of painting on Maine islands, spanning the period from the beginning of the century until today. The show includes over 85 works by 49 artists, with images from fourteen islands off the coast of Maine. (right: Andrew Winter, Seguin Island Light)
"Stimulated by ever-present encounters between land and sea, man and nature, wild and tamed, generations of creative people have accomplished brilliant things on Maine islands," wrote the editors of the Island Journal in 1999. The artists included in the exhibition, "On Island," are some of these creative people who, through their art, allow us all to share the experience of being "on island."
"On Island: A Century of Continuity and Change," is the inaugural exhibition in the museum's new Jamien Morehouse Wing, named for the late wife of Philip Conkling, mother of Tim, Sam, James, and Micah Conkling, and daughter of Lee and Dick Morehouse. Mr. Conkling is the co-founder and president of the Rockland-based, not-for-profit, Island Institute. Ms. Morehouse shared with her husband a deep commitment to ensuring the preservation of Maine's island communities and the natural environment they inhabit. The exhibition, "On Island," has been conceived by the museum, in close cooperation with the Island Institute, to honor Ms. Morehouse's vision and to celebrate the important contribution Maine islands and the artwork created on them have made to American art. The museum wing renovation and the inaugural exhibition are made possible by grants from the Cawley Family Foundation. (left: Architect's rendering of main entrance to Jamien Morehouse Wing)
Among the artists represented in the show are: Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Willard Metcalf,Frank W. Benson, Robert Henri, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, Newell Convers Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth, Raphael Soyer, Fairfield Porter, William Kienbusch, Eric Hopkins and William Manning. Drawn largely from the Farnsworth's own extensive collection of island-related art, the show is augmented by several key works from public and private collections. An illustrated, 48-page catalogue with an essay by Philip Conkling, a noted author who has written perceptively about Maine islands, accompanies the exhibition, which has been selected by Suzette Lane McAvoy, curator of contemporary art at the Farnsworth Museum. (left: "Wolfgang of Monhegan" by Jamie Wyeth)
The Jamien Morehouse Wing occupies the former J.J. Newberry's site on Rockland's Main Street and completes the museum's facade on the block between Elm and Museum streets. The Newberry's building (initially donated to the museum in 1997 by longtime Maine resident and noted sculptor, Edwin E. Gamble) remained unoccupied for several years until a gift made possible its complete renovation and conversion into additional galleries. The new wing encompasses four interconnected galleries that encircle a central, skylighted rotunda and new visitor's reception area. Offering 6,000 square feet of new gallery space, which nearly doubles the museum's existing exhibition space within its main building, the wing also includes additional storage and exhibit preparation areas.
Only a few doors down from the Farnsworth, the new home of the Island Institute at 386 Main Street, will officially open at the same time as the On Island show and Morehouse Wing. The Institute's Islands of Maine Gallery will offer for sale works by numerous island artists and craftspeople. More information on the Island Institute is available at www.islandinstitute.org.
The show On Island opens to the public on Sunday, June 25, 2000, with a dedication ceremony at 11:00 a.m. There will be special activities for families and children throughout the day. The exhibition will remain on view through October 15, 2000. A number of special programs for all ages are scheduled throughout the exhibition period.
As part of the Farnsworth summer lecture series, Ed Deci will present a slide talk entitled "A Century of Art on Monhegan" at the Farnsworth Art Museum on August 9, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.. Deci's talk is in conjunction with the Farnsworth's current exhibition "On Island: A Century of Continuity and Change". (left: Eric Hudson, An Island Harbor)
Ed Deci has been president of the Monhegan Island Museum since 1983 and has written about Monhegan art in various books and catalogs. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester where he directs the human motivation program. He ha also authored or edited ten books in the field of psychology.
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For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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