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Directors’ Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail presents highlights of Maine’s art history from the state’s most-renowned museums—under one roof at the PMA.
Art and culture has defined the identity of Maine since artists began visiting Monhegan Island and trekking up Mount Katahdin before Maine even became a state. This magnificent environment and the art it’s inspired has captured the public imagination for centuries, and to this day a growing number of visitors from around the world continue to affirm that Maine’s galleries, studios, and art museums are unlike any in the world. The goals of the Trail are to promote public access to the arts, to educate the public about the state’s cultural heritage, to enable the museums to become strong visible partners in the state’s efforts to promote cultural tourism, and to forge new partnerships among businesses, the arts, and education.
The artists and artworks presented in this exhibition embody quintessentially Maine ideals of fierce independence, innovation, and self-sufficiency, as well as a strength of character that is built from admiration and respect for the rugged and unspoiled qualities of this land.
This is the Maine that inspired Berenice Abbott, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, John Marin, Louise Nevelson, N.C. Wyeth, and Marguerite Zorach. This is the Maine that continues to inspire contemporary artists Ahmed Alsoudani, Lois Dodd, David Driskell, Lauren Fensterstock, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Richard Tuttle, and Jamie Wyeth.
Directors’ Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail shares the rich cultural legacy of our state while providing a platform to highlight the visionary artists of our future. The world holds an enduring fascination with Maine, and this exhibition helps demonstrate why.
Directors’ Cut breaks the mold by offering artwork from seemingly disparate viewpoints, entirely different eras, and contrasting styles, in the same room—side by side. No doubt you’ve spent time admiring a Homer painting at the PMA, but never before has that experience been feet away from a sculpture by John Bisbee. Perhaps you’re familiar with the works of George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, and Andrew Wyeth—but have you ever seen them together and juxtaposed with works by Lois Dodd, Marguerite Thompson Zorach, or Robert Indiana? The experience alone of being in one room with so many renowned artists, essential to Maine’s art history narrative, is what makes this exhibition so special.
Directors’ Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail contains the following: Marsden Hartley’s artistic circle from the Bates College Museum of Art; Winslow Homer’s art and artifacts from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art; modern and contemporary Maine landscapes from the Colby College Museum of Art; highlights from the collection from the Farnsworth Art Museum; masterpieces from Monhegan Island from the Monhegan Museum of Art and History; founders of the Ogunquit art colony from the Ogunquit Museum of American Art; contemporary Maine artists from previous PMA Biennials from the Portland Museum of Art; and Berenice Abbott photographs from the University of Maine Museum of Art.
1. Andrew Wyeth (United States, 1917–2009), Turkey Pond, 1944, tempera on panel, 32 1/4 x 40 1/4 inches. Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Wyeth in memory of Walter Anderson, 1995.2
2. Siri Sahaj Kaur (United States, born 1976), Kristie, 2007, inkjet print, 39 7/8 x 30 7/8 inches. Portland Museum of Art, Maine, 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial purchase prize with support from the Contemporary Art Fund, in memory of Berenice McIlhenny Wintersteen, 2011.15. ©Siri Kaur