American Collection
The Museum's American Collection began with artworks by the local artists who founded the Portland Society of Art in 1882 and by their teachers and mentors. This core collection of paintings by Harrison Bird Brown, Charles Codman, Charles Octavius Cole, John Greenleaf Cloudman, and Charles Frederick Kimball; sculpture by Benjamin Paul Akers and Franklin Simmons; and an array of decorative arts documents the remarkable artistic activity in Portland during the 19th century. Today, the collection fully reflects the incredible history of art in Maine—spanning the careers of such artists as Frederic Edwin Church, Winslow Homer, Alex Katz, Rockwell Kent, and Louise Nevelson—and also illustrates the significant connections between Maine art and national and international movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Winslow Homer Collection
Elizabeth B. Noyce Collection
Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection

Winslow Homer Collection
The Portland Museum of Art has long been a destination for scholars and admirers of Winslow Homer's work. Homer first exhibited at the Museum in 1893, showing the painting Signal of Distress. In 1976, Charles Shipman Payson, a philanthropist and summer resident of Maine, gave an outstanding collection of 17 works by Winslow Homer to the Museum, which included four oils and 13 watercolors, as well as $8 million to build an addition to house the collection. One hundred years after Homer moved to Prouts Neck in 1883, the Museum opened the new wing named after Charles Shipman Payson.

The Museum's collection also includes such notable works as Homer's first oil painting, Sharpshooter, an original watercolor paint box, and a nearly comprehensive collection of more than 450 illustrations given to the Museum by Peggy and Harold Osher in 1991. The graphics collection includes more than 90% of Homer's graphic output and chronicles the artist's early career as a commercial illustrator.

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Elizabeth B. Noyce Collection
In 1996, Elizabeth B. Noyce, art collector, Maine philanthropist, and former Museum trustee, bequeathed 66 works of American art, the most extensive and diverse gift of American art ever presented to the Museum. The gift of the Noyce Collection transformed the scope and quality of the Museum's American collection, bringing to the Museum its first paintings by George Bellows, Alfred Thompson Bricher, Abraham Walkowitz, and Jamie Wyeth, and adding masterpieces to the collection by Childe Hassam, Fitz Henry Lane, and N. C. Wyeth.

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Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection
In 1979 a gift from the Barn Gallery Associates of the Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection brought to the Museum more than 50 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper that document the rise of American modernism in the early 20th century. Hamilton Easter Field is little known today, yet in his own lifetime he was recognized as an important proponent of modern art who, in 1911, established the Summer School of Graphic Arts in Ogunquit, Maine. Highlights of the collection include works by George Ault, Peggy Bacon, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Robert Laurent.

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