‘Decorating the Everyday’ at Farnsworth

Dec 23, 2012
Part of the “everyday art” going on view at Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum is a circa 1835-1855 Figurehead (maker unknown), wood and paint (originally polychrome), a 1964 gift to the museum by David Rubenstein.

Rockland — On Saturday, Dec. 29, the downtown Farnsworth Art Museum will open an exhibition in the museum’s Crosman gallery titled “Decorating the Everyday: Popular Art from the Farnsworth,” to run through Sept. 22. The exhibition will feature furniture, paintings and textiles reflecting mainly 19th- and early 20th-century regional life in Maine and New England.

“Decorating the Everyday” celebrates the Farnsworth’s holdings of 19th- and 20th-century American folk art. It includes paintings by the nationally renowned Grandma Moses and portraits attributed to Maine-born William Matthew Prior, whose patriotic subjects include George and Martha Washington. Also on display will be the museum’s recently acquired early 19th-century tall case clock with wooden works by Connecticut clockmaker Riley Whiting and a scrimshaw sperm whale tooth incised and inked by Seaman John G. Fish on a voyage between Boston and San Francisco in 1869.

Carvings by Laban Smith Beecher and John Haley Bellamy include American eagles and other works by master and student, the latter who established his studio in Kittery. Other works illustrative of national pride include a portrait of Abraham Lincoln framed in a wreath of seashells and a miniature replica of the United States Capitol by an unknown maker. The primary media sponsor of the exhibition is Maine Home + Design.

The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s ongoing role in American art via a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and more than 13,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. Two historic sites, the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House, and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex.

For more information on current exhibitions, programs and events, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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