Starting in 1955 with the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection -- which includes more than 100 Hartley drawings and sketches, several small paintings, art-making equipment, letters, photographs and other ephemera -- the permanent collection now holds over 5,000 works of art.
A primary focus of the permanent collection is works on paper, including modern and contemporary art including drawings, prints and photographs. Early on, the collection focused on acquiring works by Maine artists and artists of national and international significance working in Maine. The collection has grown and evolved to collect more expansively and in ways that support curriculum across disciplines, and it now includes select and growing holdings of contemporary Chinese art, pre-Columbian art, Japanese woodblock prints, and African art.
The museum is on the Maine Art Museum Trail.
Highlights work selected from the thesis projects of graduating seniors majoring in Studio Art
Works spanning the artist's entire career
Exploring drawing without predetermined themes, one hour a day for 378 days
Posters and related materials highlight key ideas, projects, and more to inspire action and preserve history
Art about nature, the natural world, and humanity's effect on and interrelation with it