The Joan Whitney Payson Collection will return to the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, beginning Sunday, February 15. The collection of 21 works, which will be on view through June 6, contains paintings by world-famous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists.

Among the French artists whose works are represented in the Payson Collection are Marc Chagall, Gustave Courbet, Honor&#00e9; Daumier, J.A.D. Ingres, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley. Paintings, watercolors and drawings by Maurice Prendergast, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and Andrew Wyeth reflect American artists’ interest in the French Impressionist style. Two portraits by the 18th-century English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds add to the range of the collection. John Whitney Payson and his family moved the collection to the Portland Museum of Art in 1991. It is on loan to Colby for one semester every two years.

Several events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition of the Payson Collection. Thursday, March 4, at 7 p.m. Michael Marlais, Colby’s James M. Gillespie Professor of Art and an expert on French landscape, will present “Thoughts on French Landscape” in the Davis Gallery of the museum. Tuesday, April 20, at 7 p.m. Sylvia Yount, the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art at the High Museum of Art, will present the lecture “American Impressionism: The Regional Context” in Given Auditorium. Thursday, May 13, at 12:15 p.m. Daniel Rosenfeld, the Carolyn Muzzy Director of the museum, will give a guided tour of the exhibition.

A Payson Collection Web site ( contains background information on the artists and the paintings represented in the collection as well as group tour information for teachers who wish to take their classes to see the exhibit. The site also includes activities by grade level that teachers can undertake with their students before or after visiting the museum.

Colby museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information call 207-872-3228 or visit