It almost goes without saying that the University of Maine Museum
of Art has work by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer and John Marin. It is
Maine, after all.
But the permanent collection of nearly 7,000 pieces
also boasts a Warhol and a Picasso, a seminal print by critically
acclaimed artist Kara Walker and a gilt-framed oil by Hudson River
School painter George Inness.
The name-dropping goes on.
"I don't think people know the richness of the
collection," says Laurie Hicks, a UMaine art professor who served as the
museum's interim director. "It isn't just the richness of our
photography collection, it's also the many fine 19th- and 20th-century
prints and paintings. We have diverse artists bringing different
perspectives to their work and to the museum collection."
It is, in many ways, a who's who of American — and,
more recently, international — art. Established in 1946 by founding
director Vincent Hartgen, the collection reflects the passion of its
stewards. Hartgen loved works on paper because he could get top-tier art
on a land-grant university budget, a tradition Diana Hulick and Charles
Shepard followed. Wally Mason brought a keen eye and a yen for
photography into the mix. And George Kinghorn, who became the museum's
director in June, will undoubtedly leave a footprint as he further grows
the collection. But one thing — the museum's mission — remains constant.
"This is the only publicly owned museum fine art
collection in the state of Maine," Hicks says. "It acts as a public
trust. A role and responsibility that includes preserving, maintaining,
supporting and making accessible the University of Maine Museum of Art's
by Kristen Andresen
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