EMIL CARLSEN ARCHIVES

Emil Carlsen Archives is a Non-profit organization running the world's largest visual archive of the work of painter Emil Carlsen [1848-1932]

Bowdoin College Museum of Art [1811- ]

January 1, 1811

ECA Control Number: 16786

Record Level: Listing

Record Type: Art Museum/Institution

Museum/Institution Name: Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Aka: 

Location(s): Walker Art Building, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME 04011

Founded: 1811
Closed/Acquired: n/a

About:

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the cornerstone of the arts and culture at Bowdoin, was recently renovated and expanded to better house and display its renowned collection. One of the earliest collegiate art collections in the nation, it came into being through the 1811 bequest of James Bowdoin III of seventy European paintings and a portfolio of 140 master drawings. Over the years, the collection has been expanded through the generosity of the Bowdoin family, alumni, and friends, and now numbers more than 20,000 objects, including paintings, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts, and artifacts from prehistory to the present from civilizations around the world.

The Museum’s landmark Walker Art Building was commissioned for the College by Harriet and Sophia Walker in honor of their uncle, a Boston businessman who had supported the creation of the first small art gallery at Bowdoin in the mid-nineteenth century. The Walker sisters, encyclopedic collectors and supporters of art education, stipulated that the building be used exclusively for art purposes. Designed by Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead, and White, the building was completed in 1894 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its brick, limestone, and granite façade is based on Renaissance prototypes, with a dramatically shadowed loggia flanked by large lion sculptures upon which generations of Brunswick children have been photographed.

The antiquities collections contain over 1,800 Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine objects and constitute one of the most comprehensive compilations of ancient art in any small college museum. European art includes paintings, illustrated manuscripts, sculptures, and decorative arts. Among twelve European Renaissance and Baroque paintings given in 1961 by the Kress Foundation is a panel depicting nymphs pursued by a youth that recently has been attributed to the young Fra Angelico. The works on paper collections of prints, drawings, and photographs is large and varied, numbering more than 8,000 works and representing artists from Rembrandt and Rubens through Callot, Goya, and Manet to Picasso and Warhol.

The Museum’s American collection includes an important grouping of colonial and Federal portraits, with, for example, seven major paintings by Gilbert Stuart, including the famous presidential portraits of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, together with other works by Robert Feke, John Copley, Thomas Sully, and Joseph Blackburn. Among other notable works are the murals commissioned by McKim to decorate the Museum’s rotunda by the four leading painters of the American Renaissance: Elihu Vedder, Kenyon Cox, Abbott Thayer, and John LaFarge. The collection also includes works by significant nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists such as Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, John Sloan, Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, and Andrew Wyeth, and an archive of memorabilia from Winslow Homer’s Maine studio.

Non-western materials range from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian prints, ink paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts to modest but distinguished holdings of African, Pacific, Pre-Columbian, and Native American artifacts.

The recent renovation expanded galleries and a seminar room, and improved art storage facilities. The restored Museum retains the building’s iconic architectural features and provides state-of-the-art climate control and mechanical systems. A new, dramatic glass and bronze entry pavilion houses a glass elevator and “floating” steel staircase, while a rear addition to the building features an expansive glass curtain wall behind which the Museum has installed its five celebrated ancient Assyrian relief sculptures.

The Museum, open to the public at no charge, is a teaching facility, with the core of its mission to keep its rich collections within immediate reach of Bowdoin students, faculty, scholars, and art lovers. Its active emphasis on the study of original objects as an integral part of the Bowdoin curriculum makes the Museum the ultimate cross-disciplinary and multicultural enterprise. Although online resources are no substitute for an actual visit, the collections can be searched and information on Museum programs and publications found on this website.

2014 Strategic Plan for the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Citation: “About.”  Bowdoin College Museum of Art website.  Updated ca.1914.  Accessed December 20, 2016.  http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/about/index.shtml

WORKS BY EMIL CARLSEN

LIST OF EXHIBITIONS (0)

AFTER CARLSEN’S DEATH (0)

DURING CARLSEN’S LIFETIME (0)

 

Document Information

Digital-born Document Number:
ECA.2016.16786

Digital Document Provenance:
Original compiled and researched document by the Emil Carlsen Archives, 266 West 21st Street, Suite 4E, New York, NY 10011.

Document License:
Creative Commons Corporation  shareAlike (sa) license.  Some of the information contained within this document may hold further publication restrictions depending on final use.  It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine.

Image License:
The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to U.S. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death. In other countries, legislation may differ.

Record Birth Date:
December 20, 2016

Last Update:
December 20, 2016

©2013-2017 Emil Carlsen Archives

Digital-born Publication Title: Emil Carlsen Archives
Publication Subtitle: World's Largest Visual Reference Dedicated to the Preservation of the Work of Danish-American Impressionist/Realist Painter, Emil Carlsen [1848-1932]
Library of Congress Subject Authority Heading: Carlsen, Emil, 1853-1932
Emil Carlsen LC control no.: n 85141186
Publication Type: Online Integrating Resource
Language: English
Creator/Author: Emil Carlsen Archives
Published by: Emil Carlsen Archives, 266 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011
Edition: First
Frequency of Updates: Daily
Publish Date: 2013 –
End Date: none, continuing
Hosting: Single server (no mirrors)

MARC Organization Code: 41959
MARC Org Code: NyNyECA
MARC Org Code: normalized: nynyeca
MARC Org Code: ISIL: US-NyNyECA
Publisher ISSN : forthcoming