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UMaine Today Magazine

Talk about the University of Maine Museum of Art's collection, its importance, and the direction in which you see taking it.
Back to The Big Picture-]

George Kinghorn
George Kinghorn

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Video Text: George Kinghorn, Director of University of Maine Museum of Art: "The strengths of the UMMA collection are largely rooted in works on paper. Over the years of collecting, original prints comprise a large portion of the collection as well as photography, which has always been emphasized here in both the exhibition program and the collection. The prints range from more traditional Maine artists, such as John Marin and Winslow Homer--artists associated with Maine--up to more contemporary masters, such as Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Chuck Close. So, certainly strengths in original works on paper. The UMMA's collection is important for the state of Maine in that it not only focuses on artists that are significant to Maine but it serves as a place that is keeping these works of art alive for generations to come so that people can come and learn for educational purposes, their own personal enrichment.

"Museums are defined by the quality of their collections, and I think while our collection here certainly has some quality pieces, there is definitely room to enhance that, to grow that collection, that is a priority of mine. I think a well-rounded collection consists of quite a lot of different types of media. I feel strongly that my time here will be developing relationships with individuals that will potentially donate works. Certainly the museum has had a history of doing that, receiving the significant gift of the Robert Venn Carr collection. That was an extraordinary gift to the university and to the museum because it really brought in a great number of modern and contemporary artists that kind of filled that hole.

"Of course, the museum has a long tradition of acquiring and presenting the works of Maine artists. That certainly will continue here and to be a major focus. I'm hoping that our exhibition programming is well-rounded and [offers a] diverse schedule of exhibitions that give the community--both the citizens of Bangor, the University community and the surrounding areas--the opportunity to see different media and different approaches to subject matter in the works from photography to painting.

"One of the reasons why I thought it was particularly rewarding to take this position is the opportunity to further bridge the relationship between the museum downtown and the university community. This can be done in a number of ways in which we will be implementing and that is through a lecture series, demonstrations where the featured artist would go out to campus, have an interaction with the students and the faculty. This, I think, kind of both enhances the understanding of the exhibitions that we do, because the artist will be providing insights on their creative processes. With the art department's role in educating new artists, you are going to go out and be a part of this very vital art market to bring in shows that will supplement the educational work at the university is something of particular importance to me."


UMaine Today Magazine
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