The Colby College Museum of Art, in partnership with the Kohler Foundation Inc., has gifted a trove of artworks by Bernard Langlais to more than 55 institutions in communities across the state of Maine. To map this vast distribution of Langlais art, the organizations created the Langlais Art Trail, a website that links libraries, museums, schools, town halls, and community centers from Portland to Presque Isle and from Rockland to Skowhegan where Langlais’s works can be visited and enjoyed.
Visit the Langlais Art Trail website to learn more.
In 2010 Colby College received a bequest from Bernard Langlais’s widow, Helen Friend Langlais, of more than 3,000 of her husband’s artworks and the couple’s 90-acre property in Cushing, Maine. More than 170 of these artworks now make up the Bernard Langlais Collection at the Colby College Museum of Art. To ensure that additional artworks and portions of the artist’s estate are maintained for future generations, the Museum formed a partnership with Kohler Foundation of Wisconsin and the Georges River Land Trust of Rockland, Maine. Kohler Foundation purchased the Cushing property from Colby, which in turn gifted the foundation more than 2,900 artworks by Langlais. A private foundation that funds arts, education, and preservation initiatives centered on art environments and collections by self-taught artists, Kohler undertook the monumental task of conserving small and large-scale artworks and placing them in nonprofit institutions in Maine and beyond. A highlight of the Langlais Art Trail is the Langlais Sculpture Preserve, which opened in 2015 under the ownership and management of the Georges River Land Trust.