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ESCAPE INTO THE 75th
A Virtual Tour of the Farnsworth Museum
and the Art of Maine
Instructor: Christopher Williamson, Carter Jones Meyer
Tuesdays • 8 classes • 3/21-5/9 • 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Class size 5-60 students
25 seats remaining
Location: Zoom only
Carter Jones Meyer and Chris Williamson will offer a fourth in their virtual tours of the Farnsworth Art Museum. This offering of eight zoom sessions, Escape into the 75th, will examine the new installation of the permanent collection (“New Visions, New Voices”) that opens in February 2023 in celebration of the Farnsworth’s 75th year, new Wyeth exhibits coming in the spring (including a focus on Alvaro and a comparison with Hopper), and the 2023 Maine in America awardee, the Alex Katz Foundation. In addition, we will consider some of these works through the lens of the theme of “escape” in relation to Maine artists and art. So many artists have sought out Maine as an escape – from the domineering art critics of New York, from urban industrialism, from tired art styles. Two sessions will be devoted specifically to this theme of escape, starting with Alvin Fisher and then touching on the Robert Henri circle, early modernists, abstract expressionists, and contemporary artists.
Participants will as always be encouraged to engage with the works and the class via a combination of “chat” and real time conversation, and follow-on materials will be available after most sessions. The continuing goal will be to expand our ability to engage with art, consider the historical context in which it is produced, develop our ability to notice, improve our visual vocabulary, and perhaps to reconnect with some favorite artists/works or to discover new ones. Joseph Cote will re-join Carter and Chris for one session.
VIRTUAL TOURS BY WEEK:
Escape to Maine, Part 1: 1820 – 1940
Our theme, “Escape to Maine,” begins with an exploration of several nineteenth and early twentieth century artists who were drawn to the pristine beauty of Maine as an escape from an increasingly urban industrial America. We will begin with nineteenth century landscape painters such as Alvin Fisher, and continue into the early twentieth century, focusing on Charles Woodbury and other artists of the Ogunquit colony as well as Robert Henri and his students, whose paintings became early expressions of modernism in Maine.
A retired educator, including 23 years as a Head of School in two independent schools, Chris Williamson has been a docent at the Farnsworth Art Museum since 2015, returning to his early interest in the arts. He graduated from Williams College with honors in history in 1970, earned a Master’s Degree in English from The University of New Hampshire in 1975, and took graduate courses at Boston University in education and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in drama. After teaching, directing plays, coaching, and serving as Arts Chair, he took on various administrative roles prior to becoming a Head of School. Chris has presented at regional and national conferences, has served on several Boards, and has had articles published in professional journals. In addition to his on-going docent volunteering and training at the Farnsworth, Chris has taken the National Gallery of Art’s Teaching Critical Thinking Through Art course.
Carter Jones Meyer
Carter Jones Meyer is Professor Emerita of History at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She received a B.A. in American Studies from Skidmore College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and earned both the M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies at Brown University. Carter specializes in and has published widely in the fields of late nineteenth and early twentieth century American cultural history, the history of the American West, and Native American history. At Ramapo, she served as chair of both the History and American Studies programs, and received awards for excellence in teaching and for significant contributions to the development of the College. In retirement she continues to pursue her interests in history, art, and culture, not only as a docent at the Farnsworth Art Museum, but also as a student and collector of Native art, including serving as a judge at Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest juried Native art show in the world. Most recently she has taught Native American history at the University of Southern Maine.