Colby Museum Winter/Spring 2011 News

Building the Museum’s Future

The Colby Museum will partially close starting Oct. 3, 2011, for construction of a new addition and renovations to existing museum spaces. Slated to open in the summer of 2013 in celebration of Colby’s bicentennial, the new wing will consist East façadeof an additional 10,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, new art studios for photography and foundations classes, additional classroom space, and an expanded lobby and sculpture terrace. Designed by Los Angeles architects Frederick Fisher and Partners, the addition will accommodate the extraordinary Lunder Collection, promised to the College by Peter H. Lunder ’56, D.F.A ’98 and Paula Crane Lunder, D.F.A ’98 in 2007. The Museum will fully reopen in 2013 with a museum-wide exhibition of the Lunder Collection. 


During construction, the Museum will continue its outreach to Colby faculty and students, making the collection available to classes across the curriculum. The Museum will also undertake programming in local schools that will sustain and strengthen connections to these communities until the reopening. The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz and part of the Lower Jetté Galleries will remain open to visitors throughout construction.



A Welcome Return

Following a two-year hiatus, the Joan Whitney Payson Collection returns to Waterville for an exhibition that will combine its strengths in Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and portraiture with selections from the Colby Museum’s permanent collection. The Payson Collection includes works by Gustave Courbet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley, which will appear with Colby paintings and watercolors by Mary Cassatt, Maurice Prendergast, and Rockwell Kent, among others. On view through June 12.







Revisiting the Documentary Photograph

The Colby Museum is the third and final stop of American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White, an exhibition that offers new insight into the flourishing genre of documentary photography in the 1930s through the work of three American photographers. Organized by the Amon Carter Museum and the Colby Museum, the exhibition comes to Waterville after a stop at the Art Institute of Chicago. On view from July 9 through Oct. 2.



Robot in the Museum 

Last spring a robot explored the Colby College Museum of Art. Developed by Colby Computer Science Professor Bruce Maxwell and Professor William Smart from Washington University in St. Louis, the robot was built and programmed by Maxwell and his students to allow people to remotely view works of art in the Museum. Maxwell’s student Bogumil Giertler ’12 received a student scholarship from Apple for his work on the robot and was invited to show off its gallery-roaming abilities at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco in June, where participants were invited to control the robot's movements and take a virtual tour of the Museum. Read more at



Image credits:

East façade, Colby College Museum of Art Expansion,  © Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects


Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Confidences, c. 1874. Oil on canvas, 32 x 23 3/4 inches. The Joan Whitney Payson Collection at the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Gift of John Whitney Payson.


Berenice Abbott, Canyon, Broadway and Exchange Place, 1936. Gelatin silver print, 9 5/6 x 7 ½ inches. National Gallery of Art, Gift of Marvin Breckinridge Patterson.




Susan Hiller: The J. Street Project

March 3–June 12, 2011


Scott Reed: Characters

Through March 20, 2011


Senior Art Exhibition

May 5–May 22, 2011


Clemens Kalischer: Displaced Persons

Through June 12, 2011


Photographs from the Collection of Norma B. Marin

Through June 12, 2011


The Joan Whitney Payson Collection with Works from the Permanent Collection

Through June 12, 2011


American Modern: Documentary Photography by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White

July 9–Oct. 2, 2011


Alex Katz: Drawings

Through Oct. 2, 2011


Inspired by Buddhism: Asian Art from the Permanent Collection

Through Oct. 2, 2011


Little Elegies: The Art of Nineteenth-Century Mourning

Through Oct. 2, 2011


Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art

Through Oct. 2, 2011


Selections from the Permanent Collection

Through Oct. 2, 2011




Upcoming Events at the Colby College Museum of Art


Noontime Art Talk: Albert Bierstadt and Chimney Rock

Thursday, February 24, 12:30 pm

Michael Marlais, James M. Gillespie Professor of Art


First Thursdays

Thursday, March 3, 4:30 pm

Opening reception for Susan Hiller: The J. Street Project

Dance performance by the Colby Collaborative Company


The Miles and Katherine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture

Monday, March 7, 7 pm, Olin 1

A conversation with Susan Hiller, Assistant Professor Sarah Keller, and Associate Professor Steve Wurtzler moderated by Mirken Curator of Education Lauren Lessing, and a screening of Hiller’s The Last Silent Movie (2007).


Gallery Talk: Inspired by Buddhism

Thursday, March 10, 12:30 pm

Ankeney Weitz, associate professor of Art and East Asian Studies, will discuss the exhibition Inspired by Buddhism: Asian Art from the Permanent Collection.


Masters of Tradition: Traditional Irish Music

Friday, March 11, 12:00 pm

Nicole Rabata, flute; David Surette, guitar; Seamus Connolly, master fiddler
A concert of traditional Irish music presented by master-fiddler Seamus Connolly, finger-style guitarist David Surette, and flautist Nicole Rabata. Endowed chair and the Sullivan Artist in Residence at Boston College, Connolly won the Irish National Fiddle Championship 10 times, was named Traditional Musician of the Year in 2002 and is widely regarded as one of the world's most respected traditional Irish musicians and teachers. The trio will perform an exciting and varied program of authentic traditional music in time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.


Noontime Art Talk: Knots In Blue

Thursday, March 17, 12:30 pm

Scott Taylor, assistant professor of mathematics, will discuss Terry Winters's In Blue (2008).


James M. Carpenter Lecture

Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 pm, Given Auditorium

“Reading and Seeing: The Beginnings of Book Illumination and the Modern Discourse on Ethnicity”

Lawrence Nees, Department of Art History, University of Delaware


Film screening: Sanctus

Thursday, March 31, 12:30 pm

Sanctus (1990, 18 min, director Barbara Hammer)


Noontime Art Talk: Buddhist Poetry

Wednesday, April 6, 12:30 pm

Peter Harris, Zacamy Professor of English


First Thursdays

Thursday, April 7, 4:30 pm

Museum Open House

Live music


Noontime Art Talk: Landscape and Memory: Susan Hiller's The J. Street Project

Wednesday, April 13, 12:30 pm

Steve Wurtzler, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies


Film screening: The Secret Story

Monday, April 18, 12:30 pm

The Secret Story (1996, 9 min, director Janie Geiser)

Artist Talk: Clemens Kalischer

Wednesday, April 20, 7 pm, Upper Jetté Galleries

In conjunction with the exhibition Clemens Kalischer: Displaced Persons, the artist will discuss his work.

Eggs-ploring Art

Saturday, April 23, 10 am

In conjunction with Freshwater Arts in Waterville and Waterville Main Street, the Museum offers Eggs-ploring Art, which begins with a scavenger hunt at the Museum followed by an egg-decorating workshop at Freshwater Arts. This event is free and open to all ages, but attendance is limited and preregistration is required. To register, please call 207.859.5613.


First Thursdays

Thursday, May 5, 4:30 pm

Opening reception for the Senior Art Exhibition

Live music

The Colby College Museum of Art is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and the museum is accessible to people with disabilities. For more information call 859-5600 or visit