Past Exhibitions

John S. Blunt

Mrs. Miller of Newton, New Jersey, c. 1830

Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches

Gift of Helen Warren and Willard Howe Cummings

Little Elegies: The Art of Nineteenth-Century Mourning

November 18, 2010 - October 2, 2011


Drawn from the Museum's collections, this exhibition presents paintings, texts, and objects created to assuage grief, memorialize the dead, and remind viewers of religious beliefs during a period when death was an ever-present part of American life.


China, Northern Qi period

Buddhist Memorial Pillar, 6th century

Limestone, H. 33 1/4 inches

The Lunder Collection

Inspired by Buddhism: Asian Art from the Permanent Collection

November 18, 2010 - October 2, 2011


Inspired by Buddhism showcases Colby's strong holdings in Asian art, including works from the Lunder Collection, with objects from Cambodia, China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan.


Gina Siepel in collaboration with Mònika Sziládi

Portrait of the Artist as "The Trapper", 2010

From the "After Winslow Homer series." Archival inkjet print, 26 1/4 x 39 1/2 inches

Courtesy of the artist

currents6: Gina Siepel

November 4, 2010 - February 13, 2011


The currents series provides solo exhibition opportunities for emerging artists with connections to Maine. currents 6 presents process- and performance-based works by Gina Siepel, including the artist's hand-built river workboat based on the traditional bateau and video documentation of her trips along the Kennebec River with a series of "guides"—individuals invited by the artist to share their expertise and personal reflections on the river. The exhibition also features Siepel's photographic restagings of Winslow Homer's iconic images of wilderness guides and videos exploring often overlooked historic markers and their surrounding environments. Commissioned by the Colby Museum, the installation by Siepel—a graduate of the Maine College of Art and alumna of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture—reconsiders the artist's role in society and creates what she describes as "living links" to the past.

Tree House

Harriett Matthews

Tree House, 2010

Welded steel

Fall Faculty Exhibition

November 4, 2010 - January 2, 2011


The Fall Faculty Exhibition presents an opportunity to view recent work by Colby College faculty members Bevin Engman, Gary Green, Maggie Libby, Harriett Matthews, Abbott Meader, Nancy Meader, Garry Mitchell, and Scott Reed.


Sharon Lockhart

Outside AB Tool Crib: Matt, Mike, Carey, Steven, John, Mel and Karl, 2008

Chromogenic print, 49 1/16 x 62 7/8 inches

Courtesy of the artist

Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break

July 10, 2010 - October 17, 2010


In 2008, Los Angeles-based artist Sharon Lockhart spent the year in Maine visiting factories, farms, and industrial sites. One of these sites was the Bath Iron Works, where for a period of several months she observed and engaged with workers, forging collaborative relationships throughout the shipyard. The films and photographs produced from this experience focus on these workers during their midday break.

The exhibition includes the films Lunch Break and Exit, as well as three series of photographs. For the exhibition at the Colby Museum, Lockhart, in collaboration with the architects Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena, has selected a group of works by other artists and artisans that will be displayed in conjunction with works from the Lunch Break project. Additions to the exhibition are drawn from the Colby Museum's collection, other Maine museums, and private lenders. The dialogues that emerge from this evocative constellation of works offer viewers the opportunity to question conventional conceptions of art, craft, and work and their relationships to each other and everyday life.

Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break is organized by the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Presentation of the exhibition at Colby College is co-organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.


Will Barnet

Drawing for The Lovers, 1930s

Graphite on paper, 7 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches

© Will Barnet, courtesy Alexandre Gallery, New York

Will Barnet: New York Drawings & Prints, the 1930s

July 10, 2010 - October 31, 2010


In 1930, at the age of nineteen, Will Barnet moved to New York City from his native Massachusetts to study at the Art Students League. The young artist responded to the city by exploring it on foot, preferring long walks to the stuffiness and darkness of his rented rooms. New York’s Central Park became Barnet’s refuge, a place where he slept on hot summer nights and where he quickly and discreetly drew the people he encountered. This exhibition presents a group of Barnet’s Central Park drawings from the 1930s as well as a selection of related prints made from the copper plates that he carried in his pockets and etched on site. Many of these works have remained in the artist’s possession and have never been exhibited. Created during the Depression, the drawings and prints describe a world of human intimacy and affection thoroughly removed from the époque’s harsh realities. In the verdant oasis of Central Park, which Barnet remembers as the people’s “front yard,” he captured figures in repose, embracing couples, mothers and children, and everyday people so deeply absorbed in conversation that they rarely noticed the artist in their midst.


Winslow Homer

Girl in a Hammock, 1873

Oil on canvas, 13 1/4 x 19 3/4 inches

The Lunder Collection

Collecting Winslow Homer

June 26, 2010 - October 31, 2010


Winslow Homer’s The Trapper, a painting from 1870, is one of the founding artworks of the Colby Museum’s collection. Its principal subject—man in harmony with nature—satisfied the desire among American collectors of the late 19th century for paintings that offered an alternative to the urban realities of industrialism. Drawn mostly from the Colby Museum’s permanent holdings, Collecting Winslow Homer presents this and other works by the artist in acknowledgement of the centenary of his death. Including examples from the full range of media in Homer’s oeuvre, the exhibition demonstrates the remarkable achievement of a largely self-taught artist who began his career as a popular illustrator and spent his last years on Maine’s Prouts Neck peninsula, creating visionary images of the American landscape. Of the 16 works in the exhibition, 11 are drawn from the Lunder Collection, which was promised to the Colby Museum in 2007.


Louise Nevelson

Cascade VIII, 1979

Painted wood, 94 1/2 x 72 1/2 x 10 inches

The Lunder Collection

Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art

June 1, 2010 - October 7, 2011


On view this summer is a dynamic group of new acquisitions in a wide range of media, including paintings by Bob Thompson, David Salle, Helmut Federle, and Nicole Wittenberg, all gifts from the Alex Katz Foundation; print purchases by Julie Mehretu, Vija Celmins, and Lee Bontecou made possible by Lindsay Leard Coolidge ’78; sculptures by Louise Nevelson and Kiki Smith from the Lunder Collection; and a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois on loan from Barbara and Ted Alfond.


James McNeill Whistler

Study, 1878

Lithotint with crayon and scraping in dark brown ink (first state of two), 16 7/16 x 12 3/8 inches

The Lunder Collection

The Search for Beauty: Whistler and His Time

May 20, 2010 - January 28, 2011


A leading figure of the Aesthetic movement, James McNeill Whistler valued beauty and “art for art’s sake.” Primarily composed of works from the Lunder Collection, this exhibition considers Whistler in the context of other 19th-century artists who similarly embraced Aesthetic ideals.

Senior Art Exhibition

Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture

Colby Art Students, 2010

Colby College

Senior Art Exhibition

May 6, 2010 - May 23, 2010


The annual Senior Art Exhibition brings together art by Colby seniors who have completed extensive work in their media.


Losang Samten

Sand Mandala, 2005

Colored sand

Losang Samten: Sacred Sand Mandala

April 4, 2010 - April 13, 2010


This will be the third visit of the Venerable Losang Samten, renowned Tibetan scholar and sand mandala painter.  During his stay, Samten will create a sand mandala, which will be ritualistically dismantled at a closing ceremony.  Related events:

Lecture: Wednesday, April 7, 6 p.m., Given Auditorium

Meditation: Saturday, April 10, 12 p.m., Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz

Dismantling Ceremony: Tuesday, April 13, 3:30 p.m., Lower Jetté Gallery


Berenice Abbott

West St. Row: II, 1936

Gelatin silver print, 6 3/4 x 9 7/8 inches

Lent by Norma B. Marin

Photographs from the Collection of Norma B. Marin

March 25, 2010 - April 3, 2011


Organized in collaboration with Gary M. Green, Assistant Professor of Art, this exhibition will present black-and-white photographs by American modernists from the collection of Norma B. Marin. Featured artists include Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Stieglitz, and Paul Strand, among others.


Garry Mitchell

Black Barrier, 2009

Alkyd on panel, 24 x 18 inches

Courtesy of the artist

Garry Mitchell: New Work

March 25, 2010 - April 30, 2010


Colby Assistant Professor of Art Garry Mitchell presents new paintings on panel generated through an intuitive arrangement of forms, shapes, and colors. Prof. Mitchell’s paintings are composed of delicately rendered and layered abstractions that emerge through what the artist’s describes as “excavations,” when he releases “new shapes or networks from the wet surface.”


Jacob Lawrence

Builders #1, 1968

Gouache and tempera on paper, 29 x 21 1/4 inches

The Lunder Collection

Freedom of Expression: Politics and Aesthetics in African American Art

March 4, 2010 - June 13, 2010


Curated by Julie Levin Caro, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art History

This exhibition considers a range of responses by African American artists to social, political, and aesthetic concerns. The artworks address racism and the legacy of slavery, document and celebrate African American culture and experience, and explore abstract and conceptual modes of representation. The exhibition features works by Edward M. Bannister, Romare Bearden, Allan R. Crite, David Driskell, Sam Gilliam, William H. Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Glenn Ligon, Alison Saar, Henry O. Tanner, James VanDerZee, Charles White, Fred Wilson, and others.

Visit the student curated web exhibition.


Francis Alÿs

The Making of Lima, 2002

Single-channel video projection with color and sound, 15 min., 37 sec.

Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery, New York

Experimental Geography

February 21, 2010 - June 6, 2010


The manifestations of “experimental geography” (a term coined by geographer Trevor Paglen in 2002) run the gamut of contemporary art practice today: sewn cloth cities that spill out of suitcases, bus tours through water treatment centers, performers climbing up the sides of buildings, and sound works capturing the buzz of electric waves on the power grid. The exhibition presents a panoptic view of this new practice, through a wide range of mediums including sound and video installations, photography, sculpture, and experimental cartography.  

Artists in the exhibition: Francis Alÿs, AREA Chicago, The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), The Center for Urban  Pedagogy  (CUP), e-Xplo, Ilana Halperin, kanarinka (Catherine D'lgnazio), Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Lize Mogel, Multiplicity, Trevor Paglen, Raqs Media Collective, Ellen Rothenberg, Spurse, Deborah Stratman, Daniel Tucker, Alex Villar, Yin Xiuzhen.

Experimental Geography is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by iCI (Independent Curators International), New York. The guest curator for the exhibition is Nato Thompson. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the iCI Advocates, the iCI Partners, Gerrit L. and Sydie Lansing, and Barbara and John Robinson.

All Puns Intended

Anonymous, Chinese

Bowl with Deer, 16th century

Porcelain with underglaze blue decorations, 3 x 9 in.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Bernat

All Puns Intended: Wordplay and Visual Imagery in China

January 28, 2010 - March 24, 2010


Curated by Laure-Helene Caseau '10, Kai Chen '13, and Andrew Rosseau '11, with Ankeney Weitz, Associate Professor of Art and East Asian Studies

Chinese decorative art mostly consists of auspicious imagery, including many varieties of flowers—especially hibiscus, peony, and lotus—and animals like bats, dragons, cranes, and bees. By joining several images together, Chinese artists inscribed clever puns or rebuses upon the surfaces of objects and paintings. Understanding the images in this exhibition will depend on a special kind of reading in which the sound of the symbol's name rhymes with the sound of another word or phrase.

Europa and The Bull

Carl Milles, American (b. Sweden, 1875–1955)

Europa and the Bull, 1929


The Lunder Collection

Myths and Metamorphosis

November 3, 2009 - January 17, 2010


Curated by Kerill O'Neill, Julian D. Taylor Associate Professor of Classics

This exhibition is part of the Metamorphoses Project, a series of programs and courses engaging the Colby and Waterville communities around the theme of myth and its ongoing importance in contemporary life. Works in the exhibition are drawn from the museum collections of Colby and Bowdoin colleges.


Winslow Homer

The Trapper, 1870

Oil on canvas, 19 1/16 x 29 1/2 in.

Gift of Mrs. Harold T. Pulsifer

Art at Colby: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Colby College Museum of Art

July 11, 2009 - February 21, 2010


The Colby College Museum of Art celebrates its 50th anniversary with a museum-wide exhibition of its collection. Art at Colby: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Colby College Museum of Art features artworks from the museum’s collections of American, European, Asian, and contemporary art, and is accompanied by an audio tour and a richly illustrated book of collection highlights, with essays by a wide range of scholars and artists.