The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland celebrates “Maine’s Role in American Art.” Its main focus is to exhibit the work of nationally prominent artists whose careers have been associated closely with Maine.
The Farnsworth Art Museum is a beautiful 20-minute drive from The Hartstone Inn down Maine’s coast. The museum complex spans 20,000 square feet of gallery space and includes more than 15,000 works of art. It includes a library, two historic buildings (one is off-site) and a gallery for young artists.
The Farnsworth Art Museum features critically acclaimed exhibitions year-round. It has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. It also features the works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth.
The Farnsworth Art Museum’s main building contains six galleries with a combined exhibition space of 5,291 square feet. The Jamien Morehouse Wing, the most recent addition to the main building, houses four additional galleries with an additional total exhibition space of 6,000 square feet.
The Wyeth Center, on the block behind the Museum, contains two galleries with a total exhibition space of 3,546 square feet.
Please visit the website for information on collections, hours and admission fees, as well as for information regarding upcoming events.
Historic Homes – The Farnsworth Homestead
The Farnsworth Homestead is located directly behind the Art Museum. It was built in 1849 by William Farnsworth, who owned a general store in Rockland, held interest in limestone quarries and founded the Rockland Water Co. This Greek revival home consists of two stories, 12 rooms, a spacious attic and a large carriage house.
The home and surrounding real estate was left by William Farnsworth to his daughter Lucy, who left instructions that her estate should be used to establish a library and museum as a memorial to her father. She also wanted the family home to be open to the public. It offers an authentic example of an upper-class family home from the mid-19th century in Rockland.
The parlor is the best preserved room in the house because it was reserved for special occasions. The wallpaper, carpet, drapes and upholstery are all original. The Farnsworth Homestead is open seasonally. It reopens for tours May 23, 2015.
Historic Homes – The Olson House
The Olson House (pictured) is also part of the art museum and was the inspiration for American painter Andrew Wyeth’s famous 1948 painting Christina’s World, which featured the 14-room Colonial farmhouse in the background.
The Olson House is open for tours beginning in late May. It’s located in Cushing, an easy 30 minute drive from the Museum.
The William Hathorn family built the original house on this site in 1743. The home remained in the Hathorn family for generations and was expanded in the 1871 to its current size. The family established a successful farm on the property, as well.
By the 1890s, the only surviving members of the Hathorn family were Tryphene Hathorn and her daughter Katie. Katie married a young sailor named John Olson. They married and had a family and their descendants lived in the house until the late 1960s.
Wyeth was friends with Katie and John’s children and often featured them in paintings, including featuring their daughter Christina in the previously mentioned painting Christina’s World.
The Olson House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and became a National Historic Landmark in 2011.
First Fridays at the Farnsworth
Enjoy the Farnsworth after-hours the First Friday of each month June through October. During First Fridays events, the Farnsworth will be open from 5-8 p.m. Admission is free.
In addition, the museum is open free of charge Wednesday evenings from 5-8 p.m. from June through October.
The Hartstone Inn
The Hartstone Inn is an enchanting bed and breakfast hideaway in the heart of downtown Camden, Maine. Choose from 21 elegant guest rooms and suites, appointed with luxurious amenities, including soft robes, fine linens and down quilts and pillows. Enjoy gourmet cuisine morning, afternoon and evening, and maybe even try your hand at preparing a gourmet meal or two yourself with our Foodie Adventure Packages. Our Camden bed and breakfast is the perfect place to get away from it all.
Photo Credit: lcm1863 / Olson House, Maine / Flickr