Maine’s mountains, lakes, rocky coast, islands, wildlife and hard-working residents are wonderful subjects for artists, and some of the best examples of Maine art are in the Farnsworth Art Museum. The museum is in Rockland, a thriving fishing port about 40 minutes northeast of the Newcastle Inn on U.S. 1.
The museum has 20,000 feet of gallery space and has more than 10,000 works in its collection, which celebrates Maine’s role in American art. The museum’s Wyeth Center features the work of three generations of Wyeths, N.C., Andrew and James Wyeth.
The museum opened in 1948 with an endowment from Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, the daughter of William Farnsworth, a Rockland lime merchant who also founded the town’s water company. In addition to its large permanent collection of art, photos and sculpture, the museum always has several special exhibitions. The summer 2014 exhibitions will include Shaker furniture and tools and a closer look at the work of the Wyeths entitled “The Wyeths, Maine and the Sea.” The special Wyeth exhibit opens April 26.
The museum has one of the nation’s largest collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. The Farnsworth’s library is also housed in Rockland. Two historic buildings, the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House, and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex.
The museum’s hours vary depending on the season. In April and May, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and it is open on Memorial Day. Summer hours from June 1 through Oct. 31 are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During the summer the museum also is open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and on the first Friday of each month. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $10 for students 17 and older. Children 16 and younger get in free, as do Rockland residents and museum members.