Achieving American Art—American Art Between the Wars

  • George Bellows Romance of Autumn, 1916 Oil on canvas, 32 x 40 1/8”, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shipman Payson, 1964
April 11, 2009 - January 24, 2010
Rothschild and Nevelson-Berliawsky Galleries

This exhibition of approximately 75 paintings and prints from the Farnsworth collection concentrates on work done by artists working in Maine between the late 1890s and the mid-1940s. It was during this period of dramatic social, economic and political change that increasing numbers of nationally prominent artists were drawn to Maine's scenic coast and islands. Monhegan Island, with its steep cliffs and pounding seas, became a destination for artists after painter and teacher Robert Henri, who painted there around 1900, urged his students to go there, a call taken up by Rockwell Kent and George Bellows. Topics of nature, war, industrialism, folklore, and change, comprising the panorama of the “American scene,” were often seen in etchings, engravings and woodcuts by printmakers who also painted. Childe Hassam, Frank Benson, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Kerr Eby, Marsden Hartley, and Marguerite Zorach reveal how Maine's scenic land- and seascape as well as the national climate affected their work in the first half of the twentieth century. 

This exhibition is being mounted in conjunction with the Farnsworth’s Achieving American Art: From Future to Future lecture series will be offered twice, at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., every Wednesday from April 1 through June 17, at the Strand Theatre in Rockland. For more information or to purchase a ticket for the lecture series, please call the Education Department at 207-596-0949 or visit