Though not a large state, Maine has its fair share of art museums. And when taking into consideration the large artistic culture found here, the extensive collection of art shouldn’t really come as a surprise. If you’re looking for places to see, enjoy, and experience Maine’s collections, check out this list. These are some of our more prominent art museums we’re proud to have here in the Pine Tree State.
1. Bates College Museum of Art
With several outstanding colleges and universities scattered throughout the state, Maine has been able to create, accept, and preserve major editions to its art collections through campus museums. Bates is no exception to the rule. While this museum has showcased major works of art from Pablo Picasso to Alison Saar, they also stress the importance of Maine-made artwork. This museum is particularly well-known for their vast collection of Lewiston’s most famous artist, Marsden Hartley.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm
Bates College Museum of Art
Olin Arts Center
75 Russell Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
2. Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin’s Museum of Art holds one of the oldest college art collections in the nation. With a wide variety of works, spanning different eras and civilizations, the newly renovated space is home to fourteen brand new galleries. This museum is a particularly fantastic spot to catch up on your art history; they offer an array of public programs, lectures, and symposia. So after you take a look-see, learn a little!
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-8:30pm; Sunday, 1pm-5pm; closed Mondays and national holidays
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Walker Art Building
9400 College Station
Brunswick, Maine 04011-8494
3. Colby College Museum of Art
Featuring American art from the early 18th century to the present, Colby holds the works of over 75 folk artists. They also boast an impressive collection of significant 20th century American artists, particularly featuring Maine-made work. A recent gift from the Alex Katz Foundation brought Colby a remarkable contemporary collection. And, thanks to The Lunder Collection, one of the most important art collections ever donated to a liberal arts college, the museum now has an extensive variety of 19th and 20th century American art.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm; Sunday, 12pm-4pm; closed major holidays
Colby College Museum of Art
5600 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901
4. Farnsworth Art Museum
As evidenced by their permanent collection Maine in America, Farnsworth is home to many works from prominent names in 18th and 19th century American art. The museum is made up of two historic buildings — the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House. Art nerds, be on the lookout: Farnsworth holds the nation’s second-largest collection of works by 20th century sculptor Louise Nevelson.
Summer Hours: Memorial Day through Columbus Day, open daily 10am-5pm; Wednesdays 10am-8pm
Winter Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm; closed Mondays; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days
Admission: Members Free; Adults $12; Seniors $10; Students age 17 and over $8; Children 16 and under and Rockland residents free; Sunday mornings 10am-1pm free to all
Farnsworth Art Museum
16 Museum Street
Rockland, ME 04841
5. Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Set on three acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this lovely little museum is the only museum in Maine dedicated solely to exhibition, preservation and interpretation of American Art. It’s home to over 1,600 works of American art and is particularly proud to showcase works from Ogunquit’s famous art colony of the early 20th century.
Hours: (July-October) Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 2pm-5pm; closed Labor Day and for special events
Admission: $7 adults; $5 seniors; $4 students; Members and children under 12 are admitted free
Ogunquit Museum of American Art
543 Shore Road
P.O. Box 815
Ogunquit, Maine 03907
6. Portland Museum of Art
Located downtown in the arts district, the Portland Museum of Art is the largest and oldest public art institution in the state. Consisting of three architecturally beautiful buildings, (Charles Shipman Payson Building, L.D.M. Sweat Memorial Galleries, and McLellan House), the museum holds the largest collection of European art north of Boston. While it’s European collection is extensive, this museum is also a huge supporter of the local arts. They feature both student and professional local artwork, as well as participate in Portland’s First Friday Art Walk (http://www.firstfridayartwalk.com), a monthly and free self-guided tour of local art galleries.
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, 10am-5pm; Friday, 10am-9pm; Memorial Day through Columbus Day, Mondays, 10am-5pm
Admission: $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and students with I.D.; $4 for youth ages 6 to 17; and children under 6 are free; free on Friday evenings from 5pm-9pm
Portland Museum of Art
Seven Congress Square
Portland, Maine 04101
7. University of Maine Museum of Art
Though their collection of over 7,000 works of original art crosses different cultures and art periods, the University of Maine’s museum, above all else, is a celebration of Maine’s art heritage. They’re also not just about seeing art, but creating it, too. UMaine’s Museum highly encourages community involvement in their children’s art camps and as well as their non-credit classes for adults. Hooray for creative stimulation!
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
University of Maine Museum of Art
40 Harlow Street Bangor, Maine 04401
For more museum events in Maine, check out our events listings!