On Saturday, May 27, the Farnsworth Art Museum unveils a rare pairing of work from two of America’s best-known artists. Featuring watercolors produced decades apart in Rockland, Maine, Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth: Rockland, Maine, marks the first time in 20 years that these two seminal American artists have been exhibited together. The exhibition is drawn from the significant holdings of the Farnsworth and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art as well as major loans from Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.
“As part of our 75th anniversary celebration, we present the works of two hugely important American artists and celebrated painters,” said Farnsworth Director Christopher J. Brownawell. “Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth were both captivated by Rockland’s working waterfront and coastal character. Each turned to the medium of watercolor to convey their impressions. While they worked decades apart, their work is remarkably similar and also different.
“This unique pairing of work by master artists, allows the viewer to witness a unique chapter in Maine’s artistic history and the greater cannon of American art,” continues Brownawell.
Both Hopper and Wyeth were drawn to the historic industries of the hard-working city—limestone quarrying and fishing—and found distinct ways of depicting Rockland. Hopper found a surge in inspiration and productivity from his single summer in 1926,
while Wyeth’s repeated visits over many years allowed him to witness Rockland’s twentieth-century evolution firsthand. The artist’s works are paired with archival photographs to invite new analyses, underscoring the city’s modernization, as well as the lasting impression it made on each painter. These historic encounters invite reflection on the continuing story of the city and the inspiration it holds for artists still to discover it.
Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth: Rockland, Maine is presented by the Farnsworth Art Museum in collaboration with the Brandywine Museum of Art and organized by Brandywine’s Collection Manager Leith MacDonald. The exhibition is supplemented by a fully illustrated catalogue.
The exhibition highlights a year of special programs and events that celebrate Maine’s important contributions to American art and the Museum’s role as stewards of this ongoing narrative. Founded as a bequest of Lucy Copeland Farnsworth in honor of her father, the Farnsworth collection includes more than 15,000 works by approximately 1,300 artists, as well as two historic sites—the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House. The Farnsworth’s collection is nationally recognized as one of the finest repositories of American paintings. For calendar information or to learn more about upcoming programs, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.