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Farnsworth celebrates 13 Women of Vision

Apr 04, 2021
"Compost Heap, 2019" by Cig Harvey, who was born in 1973 in Devon, England.

Rockland — On Saturday, April 17, the Farnsworth Art Museum opens an exhibition celebrating 13 Women of Vision whose contributions to art and culture earned them recognition as Farnsworth Maine in America honorees. The Maine in America award is presented annually to an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to the arts and culture of Maine.

The 13 women—photographer Berenice Abbott; businesswoman Linda Bean; painter Katherine Bradford; philanthropist Edith Dixon; museum founder Lucy Farnsworth; photographer Cig Harvey; poet Edna St. Vincent Millay; sculptor Louise Nevelson; philanthropist Elizabeth Noyce; basket maker and Passamaquoddy civic leader Molly Neptune Parker; women’s advocate and philanthropist Maurine Rothschild; arts and education champion Phyllis Wyeth; and artist Marguerite Zorach—will receive the 2021 Maine in America Award at a ceremony at the museum in July. Some of the women leave lasting legacies while others continue to work, adding to the canons of art and philanthropic endeavors for our state.

The Women of Vision will be honored in a collection of celebrations at the museum, throughout the Midcoast, and online from May through October. Their stories will be told through an exhibition and a book published by the museum. The exhibition will be on display in the Farnsworth’s Rothschild Gallery through Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022.

Women will also feature prominently in the museum’s lectures and workshops this year. Speakers will highlight the work of many of the women artists, including Louise Nevelson, Berenice Abbott, and Marguerite Zorach, as well as the impact women philanthropists such as Elizabeth Noyce, Edith Dixon, Maureen Rothschild, and Betsy and Phyllis Wyeth have had on Maine. Studio tours, panel discussions, and behind-the-scenes museum tours are also planned for members and museum supporters. The complete Women of Vision programming will be available April 16 on the museum website: farnsworthmuseum.org.

The Farnsworth’s tribute was inspired by Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, the woman who founded the museum, which has promoted the arts in the port city of Rockland since its public opening in 1948, and has played a key role in shaping the arts in the State of Maine. Lucy's gift places the Farnsworth on a list of American museums (Whitney Museum of American Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, to name a few) founded by extraordinary women who believed in the power of art and its ability to transform society and the communities they serve.

Previous recipients of the Maine in America award include John Wilmerding (2006), Andrew Wyeth (2007), Will Barnet (2008), Robert Indiana (2009), Alex Katz (2010), Paul Caponigro (2011), Dahlov Ipcar (2012), Matthew Simmons (2013), The Shakers of Sabbathday Lake (2014), Lois Dodd (2015), Joyce Tenneson (2016), Betsy Wyeth (2017), Toshiko Mori (2018), and the artists of Slab City Rendezvous (2019).

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, inventive exhibitions, wide-ranging intellectual resources, and energetic educational programming, visitors from around the world gain a deep appreciation of the ongoing story of Maine’s role in American art.

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