A Legacy of Collecting: 1983-Present

A Legacy of Collecting 1983

Present, December 7, 2007 – April 5, 2008

A Legacy of Collecting celebrates the University of Maine Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection. The first exhibit featured works accepted into the collection during the tenure of founding director Vincent A. Hartgen’s incredible 37 year career. This second half of the exhibition series focuses on additions to the collection by the four directors that followed Hartgen.

Two major gifts helped shape the collection after 1983, the gift of 43 objects by American artist William Gropper and 305 works from the collection of 1938 alumnus Robert Venn Carr, Jr. Each of these gifts concentrated primarily on what had by this time become the principal focus of the museum’s collection – works on paper. Sophie Gropper’s gift of her husband’s works includes a number of important drawings made for reproduction in magazines such as Harpers and Vanity Fair.

As a collector, Robert Venn Carr, Jr. amassed a robust collection of American, German and English prints. His vision encompassed benchmark examples of printmaking in all forms. These include important works such as German painter Georg Baselitz’s large portrait of his wife Elke titled Akt im Lehnstuhl (Nude in Arm Chair) which the artist carved into floor vinyl, inked by hand, and then printed. Other examples from the Carr Collection include museum favorites Mick Jagger by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein’s nod to German Expressionism Reclining Nude.

The Museum of Art moved to Bangor in December 2002 and embarked on an active exhibition program that focused on photography. Included in the exhibition are works by Manuel Alvarez Bravo and George Tice which were acquired after their solo exhibitions. Since its relocation, the museum has programmed exhibitions that highlight artists who work in Maine.

Included in A Legacy of Collecting are works by Maine artists Paul Caponigro, Jonathan Bailey, Sam Cady, Jessica Gandolf, Bernard Langlais, Jocelyn Lee, Melville McLean, Alex Katz, Melonie Bennett and Barbara Sullivan.

The exhibition includes works by celebrated artists Berenice Abbott, Eugene Atget, John Marin, Neil Welliver, Max Beckmann, Richard Diebenkorn, Pablo Picasso, and Yvonne Jacquette, as well as a multi-panel work by Los Angeles artist Charles Garabedian, and an unusual installation in the museum’s stairwell of work by John Baldessari.

Edward Burtynsky
Oil Fields #27, Texas City, Texas, 2004
Color photograph

Alex Katz
Swimmer, 1974
Aquatint and drypoint on paper

William Gropper
Plate from Heaven, 1963
Oil on canvas