Award-winning author Rachel Urquhart will give a reading of her recently published novel The Visionist. The story is set in 1840s New England, in and around a fictional Shaker community that is in the throes of a religious revival. It is the "Era of Manifestations" and teenage believers up and down the East coast are falling into trance states and speaking in tongues. Considered by their fellow Shakers to be holy messengers, the girls are exalted as “Visionists,” hence the book's title. After the reading, chief curator Michael Komanecky will facilitate a question-and-answer session with the author. Urquhart will also be available after to sign books.
This illustrated lecture will cover the religious tenets behind the designs, design philosophy, joinery, impact on modern furniture, and the evolution of Shaker designs. Christian Becksvoort has over four decades of experience in forestry, wood technology, joinery and design.  He has been doing restoration work at the last Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake since 1976. His pieces are in collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.  He has been a contributing editor for Fine Woodworking magazine for over 20 years, and is the author of The Shaker Legacy (Taunton Press, 1998) and With the Grain: A Craftman’s Guide to Understanding Wood (Lost Art Press, 2013).
Cost: $12; $5 members. No advance reservations.
On Wednesday, September 10, the Farnsworth Forum will once again host one of America’s leading public intellectuals who will give his views on the state of the art world. This year, the Forum is thrilled to present intermationally renowned artist Christo, who will speak at the Strand Theatre in Rockland at 6 p.m.

For our 2014 Farnsworth Forum presentation, Christo will speak on his historic projects ranging over half a century and highlight two extraordinary works in progress: The Mastaba, a project begun in 1977, and Over the River.
Opening Lecture by Brother Arnold Hadd for the exhibition The Shakers: From Mt. Lebanon to the World
Brother Arnold Hadd has been a member of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community for 36 years and serves his community as farmer, printer, historian, elder and trustee. He is widely recognized for his comprehensive knowledge of the Shakers in Maine—and will speak about the history of the Shakers and Shakerism.
$5 members, nonmembers free with admission. (No advance reservations.) Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Tickets sold at main admissions desk starting at 10 a.m. day-of.
During the First Friday art walk, artist Barbara Sullivan will give a brief 20-minute lecture about the art of fresco painting in the Farnsworth auditorium. Illustrated with images, she’ll share the history of the medium and describe this age-old process. The lecture is free and open to the public. After the lecture for those who wish to stay, she will show an 18minute documentary by Richard Searls At the Crossroads about the South Solon Meeting House, the interior of which was beautifully decorated with frescos in the early 1950s by artists at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
This summer the Farnsworth will launch a new lecture series honoring the artist Will Barnet, whose contribution to American art and the teaching of art in America has been extraordinary.  Marilyn S. Kushner, Curator and Head, Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections, New York Historical Society (N-YHS),  will deliver an illustrated talk on the large and well-received exhibition “The Armory Show at 100: Modernism and Revolution.”  Dr. Kushner co-curated the recent exhibition (2013-14) by the same name at the N-YHS.
Starting in the mid-1840s the Shaker artist Joshua Bussell made a number of illustrated maps and landscape views picturing the Maine Shaker villages. Though he left no written record to explain his purpose in making these drawings, they appear to have served as a way for the Shakers to organize and document the built environment of Shaker life. This talk describes how the Shakers used these village views to help promote a sense of community among fellow Believers by sharing them with other Shaker societies, and to help communicate the visual culture of Maine Shaker life to the Shakers’ Central Ministry at New Lebanon, New York.
Elliot Bostwick Davis, curator of the 2014 Jamie Wyeth retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), offers a sneak preview of the exhibition, which spans six decades of Wyeth’s career. Davis examines this imaginative artist’s various modes of representational painting in the context of art past and present, including many works in the collection of the MFA, where Davis also serves as John Moors Cabot Chair, Art of the Americas.  The exhibition at the MFA will be on view July 16 to Dec. 28, 2014. Thereafter the exhibition will be travelling to three subsequent venues, including the Brandywine River Museum, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, through October 5, 2015.
Join the Farnsworth docents for a trip to the Hudson River Valley. Visit the highlights of the Hudson River School Art Trail including the Olana Historic Site, the Thomas Cole House, Mountain Top Historical Society and five trail sights of Hudson River Paintings. Enjoy a memorable dinner at the Culinary Institute of America, walk the grounds and enjoy the sculptures of the Storm King Art Center, see modern art in an industrial setting at DIA Beacon. On your final morning, depending on the weather, we will visit the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College or stroll on the walkway over the Hudson River for a final breathtaking view.