Maine and American Art: The Farnsworth Art Museum Explores Maine’s Central Role In American Art

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The Farnsworth Art Museum is pleased to announce the publication by Rizzoli Electa of a new comprehensive book on the museum’s history and holdings. Maine and American Art: The Farnsworth Art Museum, is a 384-page volume written by Farnsworth Chief Curator Michael K. Komanecky, Curator Jane Bianco, and Registrar Angela Waldron, to be celebrated at a public release party and book signing on Tuesday, March 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway, in New York City. In this expansive book devoted to the Farnsworth collection—one of the premier art collections in the U.S.—the rich and full picture of Maine’s central role in American art is chronicled.

The Farnsworth Art Museum

Once part of Massachusetts, Maine became independent in March 1820. Published on the occasion of Maine’s bicentennial in 2020, Maine and American Art: The Farnsworth Art Museum considers more than 200 major works from the museum’s impressive holdings.          

Guided by the museum’s mission to celebrate Maine’s role in American art, the book features a diverse range of American artists from Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O’Keeffe to Francesco Clemente, Robert Rauschenberg, and Alex Katz. Through more than 200 images, the story of the Farnsworth Art Museum is told variously through monographic chapters devoted to Jonathan Fisher, the Wyeth family, Louise Nevelson, and Robert Indiana, among others; thematic chapters, including Maine’s landscape, its many industries, and important inhabitants; and includes important areas of concentration in the Farnsworth collection, such as watercolors and photography.

The volume will feature additional historic sites, including the Farnsworth Homestead (the National Register of Historic Places home of museum founder Lucy Copeland Farnsworth), the National Historic Landmark Olson House (inspiration for some 300 works by Andrew Wyeth, including Christina’s World), and the library (the only public library in Maine devoted solely to art). The most extensive chapter is devoted to Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, the museum’s founder. Through recently unearthed correspondence and extensive research of the museum’s archives, a much richer portrait of Lucy’s vision and steadfast determination is revealed, placing her among the few and still under-recognized women who created museums throughout the United States in the early twentieth century.

The book will be available for purchase beginning March 10 at the Farnsworth Museum Store as well as online at

Named by the Boston Globe as one of the finest small museums in the country, the Farnsworth Art Museum offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. It is open year-round as the only museum dedicated solely to American and Maine-inspired art. Through its remarkable collection of more than 15,000 works, innovative exhibitions, wide-ranging intellectual resources, and energetic educational programming, visitors from around the world are offered the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of the ongoing story of Maine’s role in American art.

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