Expanded Colby College Museum of Art to Open with Seven Exhibitions

May 13, 2013

Summer Celebration of New Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion Will Honor Collection Highlights and Welcome New Masterworks to the Museum

WATERVILLE, MAINE, May 13, 2013 – The Colby College Museum of Art will celebrate its reopening and inaugurate the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion July 13, 2013. Seven exhibitions will demonstrate the strength and breadth of the museum’s collection and offer new perspectives on the renowned Lunder Collection, one of the most important private collections of American art ever assembled, which was recently gifted to the museum.

Designed by Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects, the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion is a modern glass structure that contrasts with the largely Georgian-style brick architecture of the Colby campus. The seven exhibitions will be installed throughout the museum to create a diverse experience for visitors, with the work of American Masters and modern and contemporary artists juxtaposed with exhibitions of decorative arts and Chinese artifacts.

“We are thrilled to be able to share so many new treasures and beloved highlights from our collection when we open our expanded home this summer,” said Sharon Corwin, the Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator of the Colby College Museum of Art. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Lunders and the gift of their outstanding collection, we had the rare opportunity to approach our holdings in a whole new light, enabling us to re-envision the entire museum experience.”

The Lunder Collection: A Gift of Art to Colby College, on view from July 13, 2013, through June 8, 2014, is the first exhibition dedicated entirely to the Lunder Collection. Peter Lunder ’56 and Paula Lunder, longtime benefactors of Colby College, promised their collection of more than 500 works of art to the Colby College Museum of Art in 2007, inspiring the addition of the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion. Curated by a team from the Colby College Museum of Art, the exhibition will welcome the Lunder Collection to the museum by featuring more than 260 highlights of 19th- and 20th-century American and contemporary art, including works by James McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, and many others. Organized chronologically and thematically, The Lunder Collection explores idealized depictions of American mythology, American artists’ adoption and transformation of European aesthetic ideals, American landscapes and cityscapes, and subjects such as labor, childhood, camaraderie, and travel. An accompanying audio guide will provide historical context for many of the works through readings of literature, poetry, and music from the period.

Spaces and Places: Chinese Art from the Lunder-Colville Collection and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on view from July 13 through June 8, 2014, presents an important facet of the Lunder Collection. The Lunder-Colville Collection comprises 40 exceptional works of ritual and mortuary art dating from the prehistoric period to the Jin Dynasty (1115—1234). The exhibition explores artworks that enlivened four very different realms in traditional China: the imperial court, private residences, Buddhist temples, and tombs. Paintings, ceramics, textiles, and sculptures drawn from all periods of premodern China express the power of art and its varied purposes. Curated by Colby Professor of Art Ankeney Weitz, Spaces and Places also features loaned works from the world-renowned Chinese art collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

On view from July 13 through Sept. 29, 2013, “A Thing Alive”: Modern Views from the Marin Collections features work by artist John Marin, a trained architect who expressed the cityscape and landscape through gestural, unrestrained line and color. Writing in 1913, Marin declared “A work of art is a thing alive…Thus the whole city is alive; buildings, people, are all alive; and the more they move me the more I feel them to be alive.” Marin’s work is juxtaposed with that of early 20th-century photographers Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Alfred Stieglitz, and others, who also sought distinctly modern strategies to convey the character of the world around them. Presenting exhilarating views of New York skyscrapers beside delicate renderings of coastal Maine from the museum’s John Marin Collection and Norma B. Marin Photography Collection, “A Thing Alive” reflects on the bold changes that occurred in 20th-century artistic representations of the natural and built environments.

Nowhere But Here: Art From the Alex Katz Foundation, on view from July 13 through Jan. 5, 2014, presents more than 30 modern and contemporary works given to the Colby College Museum of Art by the Alex Katz Foundation. Included in the exhibition are dynamic abstractions by Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and Elizabeth Murray, which appear in the context of contemporary portraiture by Tanyth Berkeley, Ben Pier, Chantal Joffe, and Elizabeth Peyton, as well as a video by Dara Friedman.

Alex Katz: A Matter of Light, on view from July 13 through Sept. 15, 2013, features 48 prints, drawings, and paintings from the permanent collection, demonstrating the artist’s study of light, shadow, and their relationships to flat color. Curated by Diana Tuite, the exhibition explores Katz’s endeavors to record his experience of optical sensations in any medium, rendering light with extraordinary materiality.

On view from July 13 through June 8, 2014, American Weathervanes from a Distinguished Maine Collection represents some of the finest designs and iconic forms of the late 19th century, the heyday of weathervane production in America. The exhibition features a dozen metal weathervanes introduced in the 1860s and ’70s, created to reflect the owners’ occupations and preferences—sheep vanes for textile merchants, cows for dairy farmers, and cod, whale, or ship vanes in coastal communities. Racehorses were favored not only by horse farmers and breeders, but also by the general public for their embodiment of power and speed—traits they shared with the blowing wind.

Process & Place: Exploring the Design Evolution of the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, on view from July 13 through Oct. 13, 2013, explores the contextual and collaborative design process of the Los Angeles-based firm Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects for the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion. The exhibition features source imagery dedicated to the core concepts that guided the pavilion’s development, as well as a time-lapse video documenting the construction, renderings of the museum’s master plan, and information on the pavilion’s sustainable design strategies.

Colby College Museum of Art

Founded in 1959, the Colby College Museum of Art will now comprise five wings, more than 8,000 works of art, and more than 38,000 square feet of exhibition space. Major works by American masters including John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and William Merritt Chase form the core of the historical collection, along with significant holdings of American folk art. The modern movement is represented by important works by artists including John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, George Bellows, and Rockwell Kent. The museum also maintains a significant collection of contemporary American art, including works by Chuck Close, Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin, Kara Walker, Elizabeth Murray, Alex Katz, Richard Serra, and Terry Winters. Other principal areas of the collection include Greek and Roman antiquities, European prints and drawings, and early Chinese art. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The museum is closed through July 12, 2013, in preparation for the opening of the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Dedicated social communities on Facebook and Twitter (@colbymuseum and #colbymuseum) provide additional details and insight into the life of the museum. For additional information, please visit https://museum.colby.edu.

Colby College
Founded in 1813, Colby is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. Colby provides a rigorous academic program that fosters transformational relationships between students and faculty. Graduates emerge as leaders ready to make an impact on their world. Colby is committed to making the full experience accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their ability to pay. The college enrolls 1,825 students. Additional information is available at  www.colby.edu.

Press Contacts

Ruth Jacobs
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Colby College
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Amanda Domizio
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