The Museum's collection, now more than 20,000 objects, began with a bequest in 1811 of seventy European paintings and a portfolio of 140 master drawings. The holdings -- housed in a National Register building (1894) designed by Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead, and White, with a façade based on Renaissance prototypes -- include paintings, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts, and artifacts from prehistory to the present from civilizations around the world.
The Antiquities collection contains over 1,800 Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine objects.
European art includes paintings, illustrated manuscripts, sculptures, and decorative arts, including a panel that recently has been attributed to the young Fra Angelico.The works-on -paper collection of prints, drawings, and photographs numbers more than 8,000 pieces, representing artists from Rembrandt and Rubens through Callot, Goya, and Manet to Picasso and Warhol.
The American collection boasts seven major paintings by Gilbert Stuart, including the famous presidential portraits of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, together with works by John Copley, Thomas Sully, and others. Murals by the four leading painters of the American Renaissance: Elihu Vedder, Kenyon Cox, Abbott Thayer, and John LaFargeto decorate the rotunda. Also works by Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, John Sloan, Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, and Andrew Wyeth, and an archive of memorabilia from Winslow Homer’s Maine studio.
Modest holdings of African, Pacific, Pre-Columbian, and Native American artifacts, plus Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian prints, ink paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts.
The museum is on the Maine Art Museum Trail