The Fall Faculty Exhibition presents an opportunity to view recent work by Colby College faculty members Bonnie Bishop, Bevin Engman, Gary Green, Maggie Libby, Harriett Matthews, Abbott Meader, Nancy Meader, Garry Mitchell, Scott Reed, and Barbara Sullivan.
This exhibition presents three videos by the London-based, Japanese-born artist Hiraki Sawa. At once playful and meditative, Sawa’s works show imaginary, often miniaturized worlds animated by such seemingly incongruous elements as airplanes aloft in an otherwise mundane apartment, running and walking figures that evoke the early photographic movement studies of Eadweard Muybridge, and the shadowy silhouettes of animals placidly but persistently en route to somewhere else.
Curated by David Becker
Throughout his career, James McNeill Whistler was preoccupied with portraying the human figure. Though best known for his elegant and enigmatic oil portraits of society notables and – of course – his own mother, he also executed many smaller-scale figural works within the private space of his home and studio and the public spaces of city and countryside. This selection from the more than two hundred Whistler etchings and lithographs in the Lunder Collection focuses on the artist’s equally keen perception of the figure from near and far.
In the fifth installment of currents, an annual solo exhibition dedicated to the work of an emerging artist with connections to Maine, the Colby College Museum of Art presents Here Be Dragons (2008), a new video installation by t s Beall, an American artist living in Glasgow who attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2003. The exhibition consists of a single watchtower surmounted by a rotating platform outfitted with video projectors. From it, circular, scope-like video sequences of landscape imagery drawn from desolate outposts and contested areas are projected onto the walls of the gallery.
Curated by Catherine Besteman
The Somali Bantu are ethnic minorities forced to flee the civil war in Somalia. Some have resettled in Lewiston, Maine. Despite challenges, these refugees are finding ways to preserve their culture while adapting to life in America. Through photographs from both Somalia and Lewiston, come explore the stories of this extraordinary community.
For more information about the Somali Bantu community visit
Curated by Véronique B. Plesch, Professor of Art and David L. Simon, Ellerton and Edith Jette Professor of Art
Drawn from one of the largest and finest medieval art collections in the United States, this exhibition of rare and beautiful objects dating from the sixth to the fifteenth century focuses on Christian liturgical practices and personal devotion during one of the most fascinating periods in world history. This exhibition was organized by The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
For a downloadable pdf of programs and events, click here.
The occasion of the Maine Folk Art Trail—a statewide institutional collaboration exploring the treasure troves of traditional American folk art in Maine—provides an opportunity for the Colby College Museum of Art to present more than 50 objects from its remarkable collection of works done in the American vernacular tradition. The exhibition presents works in a variety of media that touch on the full range of folk subjects, including landscape, seascape, ship paintings and still life. An entire gallery of the exhibition will be devoted to the display of primitive portraits, many of which are drawn from the American Heritage Collection, given to Colby College by Edith and Ellerton M. Jetté.
For more information about the Maine Folk Art Trail visit
A visual artist and writer closely associated with the New York School of the 1960s and ’70s, Joe Brainard invented variations on commercial images and artifacts that have become icons of Pop art. This exhibition presents 20 mixed-media works from Brainard’s provocative If Nancy Was series, a recent gift of the Alex Katz Foundation. Taking the popular comic-book character Nancy as his muse, Brainard cast this loveable and enigmatic little girl in a variety of surprising roles, among them Nancy as a face on Mount Rushmore, as an old Kleenex, as a de Kooning “Woman” painting, and as a building in New York City.
Curated by David P. Becker
In its myriad forms, water has symbolized many things throughout history, from the endlessly flowing cycles of life to the hidden depths of the unconscious. Since ancient times, artists have been drawn to portray its atmospheric effects and elemental forces, as well as its cultural significance. This selection from the Lunder Collection of works by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) highlights a restlessly innovative artist’s response to the theme of water. The prints range across his career, from London’s Thames River and the English seacoast to the canals of Venice and Amsterdam.
Taking its title from Alex Katz’s Face of the Poet (1978), a group of aquatint portraits of fourteen poets—including Ann Lauterbach, Kenneth Koch, and Peter Schjeldahl—this exhibition is a focused look at Katz’s early poetry collaborations, an ongoing aspect of his work. In addition to the Face of the Poet group, other works presented includeFragment, a book of poems by John Ashbery illustrated by Katz, a monumental painting of Allen Ginsberg, and various other print portraits and poetry books. Displayed in the museum’s Paul J. Schupf Wing, this exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the University of Maine, Orono, host of the National Poetry Foundation conference “The Poetry of the 1970s” from June 11–15.
Together Anew presents a selection of contemporary paintings, drawings, and prints recently acquired by the Colby College Museum of Art through the generosity of donors, alongside other selections from the collection. Stylistically diverse, the works in the exhibition epitomize the plurality of recent art production while suggesting a range of art historical alliances.
Gabriella De Ferrari, a distinguished curator, art historian, and writer, served as the founding chair of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Board of Governors. She has also been instrumental in developing the museum’s contemporary collection, helping to establish a thriving program for the support and study of new art. In recognition of the honorary Doctor of Letters bestowed by Colby College upon Gabriella De Ferrari on May 25, 2008, this exhibition presents a selection of works that became part of the collection through her vision, guidance, and generosity.
Curated by Justine Ludwig ’08
The Kunstkammer (art chamber), an exhibition space popular in the 16th through 18th centuries in Europe, allowed for the juxtaposition of cultures and time periods. Rather than organizing objects according to era, the display’s goal was an aesthetic conversation meant to reveal truths about the universe. This exhibition presents a range of works drawn from the permanent holdings of the Colby College Museum of Art in a manner reminiscent of Kunstkammern, and, in so doing, it explores the eclectic nature of the collection.
Chuck Close has been making self-portraits since the late 1960s. These efforts are invariably based on photographs that he makes of himself and famously translates into paintings, drawings, prints, and other media—typically a methodical, labor-intensive process. His investment in such processes forms the subject of his Self-Portrait/Scribble/Etching Portfolio, 2000, a set of twenty-five prints that illustrates the steps required to produce a single, twelve-color etching. It is also the focus of this exhibition, which uses that portfolio as a lens through which to examine the intersections and parallels that structure Close’s artistic ideas. Accompanied by a full-color catalogue featuring a new interview with the artist. Organized in conjunction with the Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University and The Mead Art Museum, Amherst College.
During a recent one-week residency at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, Assistant Professor of Art Robin Mandel created computer-controlled kinetic mechanisms capable of producing viewer-activated thunder, lightning, wind, and rain simulations. Mandel’s Storm, installed in the museum’s Theater Gallery, brings these mechanisms together to create an electrifying thunderstorm.
The Colby College Museum of Art presents seven world-class works of art from the Joan Whitney Payson Collection, on bi-annual loan from the Portland Museum of Art. This impressive collection includes paintings by Marc Chagall, Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Alfred Sisley.
Above image courtesy of the following: Susan Mary Alsop, Robert D. Barton and Nancy Hemenway Barton, Deborah and George Brett, Mrs. Howard S. Cowan, Mr. and Mrs. Charles W.H. Dodge, Leon Gorman, Mrs. Hugh G. Hallward, Austin and Ellen Higgins, Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. McCorkle, Elizabeth B. Noyce, John G. Ordway, Parker Poe Charitable Trust, Mrs. Jefferson Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Risley, Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation, Mrs. Nicholas Strekalovsky, Mrs. Stuart Symington, UNUM Charitable Foundation, Friend of the Collection, five anonymous donors, and through funds generated by a gift from the estate of Francis and Marion Libby, 1991.61
Gary Green joins the Colby College Art Department this year as professor of photography. Green’s sensitive images of the common landscape draw connections between human nature and the natural world. His photographs of carved and weathered tree bark, like human skin, tell stories of manmade encounters and natural phenomena. Decaying houses, cleared lots, and bulldozed dirt piles reveal the forces and events that create the history of nature.
Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974) was an early member of the Abstract Expressionist movement and an intensely productive painter, printmaker, and sculptor who created an immense body of work during his 50-year career. Primarily self-taught as a painter and printmaker, Gottlieb aimed to synthesize an intellectual approach to painting with his own emotional experience. This exhibition, featuring a 1950 pictograph by the artist given to the Colby Museum by the Alex Katz Foundation, brings together 50 early prints and paintings, which demonstrate Gottlieb’s significant contribution to the changing face of American art at mid-century.
Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator
The fourth installment of the Museum’s annual emerging- artist exhibition, currents, presents work by Maine-based installation artist Amy Stacey Curtis. Curtis, who has been working in abandoned industrial sites throughout the state for the past seven years, creates interactive works that examine our interconnectedness through themes of chaos, order, and repetition. For currents4, Curtis invites viewers to perceive, manipulate, and perpetuate her exploration of light and color.
Curated by David P. Becker
Peter and Paula Lunder have assembled one of the foremost collections of prints by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), comprising more than 200 etchings and lithographs of the highest quality. The latest in a continuing series of exhibitions drawn from this collection not only serves as an overview of Whistler’s printmaking career but also highlights a number of rare examples that reveal Whistler’s working process. Important selections include examples of Whistler’s trial proofs, three pairs of prints that show how the artist developed his images through successive printings from the same plate, and a rare pastel that illuminates how Whistler treated similar subjects in different media.
The Fall Faculty Exhibition presents an opportunity to view recent work by Colby College faculty members Bonnie Bishop, Bevin Engman, Gary Green, Maggie Libby, Robin Mandel, Abbott Meader, Nancy Meader, Garry Mitchell, Scott Reed, and Barbara Sullivan.