Exploring The Maine Art Museum Trail
The state of Maine is rich with history, heritage, and home crafted items and art. Now tapping into tours of its treasures, Maine is offering everything from lighthouse tours to Wine Trail Tours, brewery tours, food festivals, Friday art walks, and the latest – The Maine Art Museum Trail which connects 8 of Maine’s best art museums spanning 3 top Maine colleges, 200 miles, even an island, featuring 73,000 works of art collectively.
Maine is famous for its artists, and the scenery that inspires so many to paint, create, sculpt and capture the inherent beauty on the coast, the mountains and the farmlands. Famous Maine artists include Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, and NC Wyeth, Georgia O’Keeffe Frederic Edwin Church, Edward Hopper, George Bellows, Fitz Hugh Lane. Today there is a talented bunch of new Maine artists on the art scene.
The Maine Art Museum Trail connects the state’s finest art museums in a scenic driving tour from Ogunquit to Bangor, 200 miles, which can be done in a weekend, a few days or a leisurely week.
Museums on the Maine Art Museum Trail
Ogunquit Museum of American Art
The Ogunquit Museum of American Art has a spectacular location, seaside in Narrow Cove just below popular Perkins Cove off Shore Road. The beautiful grounds feature a sculpture garden, while inside you will find a collection of art by Peggy Bacon, Jack Levine, Rockwell Kent, Will Barnet, Walt Kuhn, Marsden Hartley, and Charles Woodbury, and more. Located on 543 Shore Rd, Ogunquit, Maine 207.646.4909
PMA is a world-famous building, designed by IM Pei, with an impressive collection of American, European, and contemporary art in the heart of the city. Also the Winslow Homer Studio in Prouts Neck is now managed by PMO, and open for tours – information available at PMA. 7 Congress Square, Portland 207.775.6148
Bowdoin College has one of the oldest and best college art museums in the United States, started by the College founder’s bequest of 1811. Bowdoin Art Museum hosts 20,000 works of art on campus in the Walker Art Building designed by Charles F. McKim in 1894, renovated and expanded in 2007 by Machado & Silvetti. 9400 College Station, Brunswick. 207.725.3275
Monhegan Museum of Art & History
On this beautiful but remote island of Maine, you will find amazing art attributed to the island and its inhabitants, artists like George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Edward Redfield, Aaron Draper Shattuck, Lynne Drexler, Edward Hopper, Alfred Bricher, Eric Hudson, Andrew Wyeth, Andrew Winter, and Alice Stoddard. This Monhegan island museum displays 1,300 pieces spanning two centuries. 1 Lighthouse Hill, Monhegan, Maine 207.596.7003
Farnsworth Art Museum Rockland
Most famous for the Wyeth Center, the Farnsworth Art Museum in the heart of Rockland Maine is a top museum the world over. With over 15,000 artworks in a gorgeous gallery, which also features Louise Nevelson’s sculptures – this is a Maine art lovers must, with a recommended break for lunch of a lobster roll by the waterfront. Here you will see three generations of Wyeth art work, from Andrew Wyeth to N.C., and Jamie. 16 Museum St, Rockland, 207.596.6457
Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston
On campuse at beautiful Bates College is this permanent collection of 5,000 art works of regional, national, or international connection to Maine. Modern and contemporary drawings, photographs and prints, Chinese art, Columbian and African pieces too. The Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection and Archive includes 100 drawings by the native Lewiston artist. Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St, Lewiston 207.786.6158
Colby College Museum of Art houses American art from early 18th century to today including works by Mary Cassatt, Maya Lin, Richard Serra, Marsden Hartley, and James McNeill Whistler in a beautiful campus setting. In 2013, the the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion debuted with a sensational glass gallery. 5600 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, 207.859.5600
University of Maine Museum of Art
The U Maine Museum of Art in Bangor provides a home to modern and contemporary art by world famous Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Frank Stella, and Maine artists Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer, George Inness, Berenice Abbott, Richard Estes, Marsden Hartley, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz, Bernard Langlais, John Marin, Neil Wellive, plus David Hockney, Susan Rothenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miró, Jasper Johns, and Kara Walker. Norembega Hall, 40 Harlow St, Bangor, Maine. 207.561.3350
There are many other Maine museums and art galleries in small seaside towns, too many to list here. So enjoy your time visiting Maine’s art scene. You may even be inspired to buy some Maine art or to pick up a paint brush and join a Maine art class. See our list of Maine Art Walks, including Kennebunkport’s 2nd Friday Art Walk, often Friday Art Walks where galleries and museums open their doors, offer wine and snacks to art browsers, and invite the artist to meet prospects and talk about their work.