“To Count Art an Intimate Friend” opens at BCMA on November 5

"Captain's Pier," 1912-1914, by William J. Glackens. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

“Captain’s Pier,” 1912-1914, by William J. Glackens. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

The diverse collections of the Museum offer myriad opportunities for research, learning, and teaching from a multitude of academic perspectives. A new installation in the entry level galleries further demonstrates the centrality of the collection for the academic life of the College. The show takes its cue from William DeWitt Hyde, President of the College 1885–1917, whose 1906 Offer of the College enumerates the values of a liberal arts education: “To be at home in all lands and all ages; to count Nature a familiar acquaintance, and Art an intimate friend…” Installed in four galleries on the Museum’s entrance level, the exhibition is dedicated to notions of place, the exploration and interpretation of nature, the value of critical thinking, as well as the exhilarating experience of sharing insights and serving the common good. These themes are illustrated with highlights from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s distinguished collection of paintings, photographs, and prints, and span the period from the College’s founding in 1794 to the present day. Artists represented include Martin Johnson Heade, William Glackens, Rockwell Kent, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, and Alec Soth, among others. The unconventional hanging of some of the best known works of the collection with new acquisitions and lesser-known works in thought-provoking juxtapositions invites you to “lose yourself in generous enthusiasms,” ask new questions, and develop fresh perspectives.

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