The Working Waterfront

Farnsworth marks 75th, announces exhibits

Hopper, Wyeth, Katz all represented

Posted 2023-03-07
Last Modified 2023-03-08

The Farnsworth Art Museum has announced its 2023 schedule of major exhibitions in celebration of the museum’s 75th anniversary.

From Feb. 11 through June 17 the museum will open a series of important shows that will transform every gallery and feature beloved favorites, as well as dozens of new acquisitions to the collection.

Exhibitions feature: an exploration of Rockland by Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, a collection of Andrew Wyeth’s watercolors traveling to Maine from Japan, and a new mural by Rachel Gloria Adams and Ryan Adams.

In preparation, the Farnsworth will close its galleries and reopen on Saturday, Feb. 11 with the first two of these exhibitions: “The Farnsworth at 75: New Voices from Maine in American Art,” and “Maine in America 2023: A Celebration of the Alex Katz Foundation.”

Drawn from the museum’s collection, Farnsworth at 75 is a two-part exhibition. The first part reexamines a selection of objects that underscore Maine’s important artistic contributions to American art during its early defining moment, and allows viewers to explore how a collection comes into being.

Founded as a bequest of Lucy Copeland Farnsworth in honor of her father, today the museum’s collection includes more than 15,000 works by approximately 1,300 artists, as well as two historic sites—the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House. The Farnsworth’s collection is nationally recognized as one of the finest repositories of American paintings.

New Voices from Maine in American Art unveils new acquisitions to the museum’s collection from the last two years and offers a window to the future of art in Maine. Organized thematically, the new acquisitions revisit histories, narratives, and myths about the sea, industry, identity, community, and both real and imagined places.

Artwork—in all media and dating from the 20th- and 21st-centuries—offers new perspectives when viewed in dialogue with beloved favorites.

“Founded as a small art museum, the Farnsworth of today serves a national audience with its outstanding collection, and plays a vital role in our community, our state, and the nation,” said Christopher J. Brownawell, the museum’s director. “We’re planning a spectacular year—one that tells our incredible story and will delight and inspire.”

The Farnsworth Art Museum will also celebrate the Alex Katz Foundation for its years of philanthropic contributions of artwork by emerging artists. “Maine in America 2023: A Celebration of the Alex Katz Foundation” showcases a selection of the more than 60 works the foundation has given to the Farnsworth.

On May 27, the museum opens “Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth: Rockland, Maine,” which runs through Aug. 27. One of Hopper’s most productive summers occurred in 1926 in Rockland; Wyeth, on the other hand, found inspiration in the town’s architecture, schooners, and environs for decades. The exhibition features the artists’ watercolors depicting places throughout Rockland, a city much loved by both of these prominent American artists.

On June 17, the Farnsworth opens “Alvaro’s World: Andrew Wyeth and the Olson House,” at the Wyeth Center, with works from the Marunuma Art Park in Asaka, Japan that are rarely seen in the U.S.

Also, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary, the museum invites Portland-based artists Rachel Gloria Adams and Ryan Adams to create a new mural on Museum Street, extending art beyond the interior galleries. The pair will combine their signature styles of vibrant colors, “gem” (or geometric) letters, and flowers to paint a tailor-made mural for Rockland.

For more information regarding Farnsworth programming, or to sign up for the museum’s newsletter, visit