Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum concerns itself almost exclusively with celebrating and highlighting Maine’s role in American art history. Established through a gift made by heiress Lucy Copeland Farnsworth in the early years of the 20th century, the Farnsworth opened its doors in 1948 and has since built itself into a compact, strong regional art museum. Highlights of the permanent collection include works by Hassan, Eakins, and Eastman Johnson, as well as a large collection of sculptures by abstract expressionist Louise Berliawsky Nevelson. The Farnsworth is also one of only two museums in the country to have a collection of the three generations of Wyeths (the other is the Brandywine River Museum, in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania).
The Farnsworth is part of a small complex that also contains a pair of historic buildings – the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House. Admission to the homestead is included in the museum’s admission fee, while the Olson House is a bit more; visitors should also bear in mind that Olson House is roughly ten miles away. Notwithstanding this, most Andrew Wyeth fans will likely feel the need for a visit; the Olson House is featured in perhaps his most famous painting, Christina’s World.
Farnsworth Art Museum Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (a 5-minute walk from the Concord Coach Lines Maine State Ferry Terminal)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Winter–Spring (January 1–May 13): Wednesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Summer (May 14–October 31): Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; open Wednesdays until 8 p.m. First Fridays (June–October) 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Free admission from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. on Wednesdays and First Fridays. Fall–Winter (November 1–December 30): Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., closed Mondays
- Admission: Rockland Campus and Olson House – Adults $17; Seniors and Students (17 and older) $15. Rockland Campus only – Adults $12; Seniors and Students (17 and older) $10. Olson House only – Adults $10; Seniors and Students (17 and older) $8. Free for Children (16 and under), Rockland Residents, and Members. Free admission on Wednesdays (May 14–October 31) and the First Friday of the month (June–October) from 5 p.m.–8 p.m.
- Tour: Tours are free with the price of admission. Tour options include the Maine in America Tour, Louise Nevelson Tour, Three Generations of Wyeths Tour, Farnsworth Homestead Tour, and the Olson House Tour
- Membership: Student ($30); Individual ($60; Senior $50); Dual ($85; Senior $75); Family ($95); Partner ($150); Steward ($250); Sustainer ($500); Circle ($1,000); Benefactor ($2,500); Fellow ($5,000). Member benefits are tiered with every member receiving unlimited free admission to all Farnsworth Art Museum properties, including the main museum and Library, Wyeth Center, Julia’s Gallery, Homestead and the Olson House; invitations to member-only exhibition previews featuring curatorial tours, parties, lectures, films and other special events; reduced fees on most classes, camps, workshops and other educational programming; subscriptions to the museum Farnsworth magazine and the monthly E-newsletter; a 20% discount on publications, posters and cards created by the Farnsworth Art Museum; a 10% discount in the Museum Store and E-store with double discount days periodically being offered; reciprocal free admission to 10 New England regional museums; and an invitation to the Maine Member Day where you will see great works of art, learn about Maine’s Native American heritage, get hands-on with science for kids of all ages, and more
- Other Benefits: National reciprocal membership to over 500 other museums is available at the Partner Level ($150).