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The Maine Art Museum Trail

Nine museums, 80,000 pieces of artwork, and a scenic drive through Maine: The Maine Art Museum Trail brings visitors on a guided journey to many of the state’s best collections of art. Artists have endeavored to capture Maine’s ethereal light and the beauty of the rocky shoreline for centuries and the trail guides you to artist colonies like Monhegan Island and Ogunquit as well as esteemed colleges and beloved cities to experience these nine leading art museums, many open year round:

  • Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor: the museum showcases the art, history and culture of the Wabanaki and is the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine. (Seasonal)
  • Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston: a teaching museum with a collection that showcases Maine as well as art from around the world, with a focus on modern and contemporary work; among them is the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection.
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick: The Bowdoin College Museum of Art is one of the finest college art museums in the nation, with over 25,000 objects created over 5,000 years by artists from around the world.
  • Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville: Founded in 1959 and now comprising five wings, nearly 10,000 works, and more than 38,000 square feet of exhibition space, the museum has built an important collection that specializes in American and contemporary art.
  • Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland; a nationally recognized collection of many of America’s greatest artists. With more than 20,000 square feet of gallery space and more than 15,000 works, the museum also has an extensive collection of Maine works by three generations of Wyeths—N.C., Andrew and Jaime.
  • Monhegan Museum of Art & History, Monhegan Island: The museum focuses on art works of Monhegan Island, with a collection of over 1300 works done by artists who have been coming to the island for over 150 years. (Seasonal)
  • Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit: the museum holds an extensive collection of works by artists associated with Ogunquit’s noted early 20th-century art colony and is surrounded by several expansive, landscaped sculpture gardens. (Seasonal)
  • Portland Museum of Art, Portland: With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the museum boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine.
  • Zillman Museum of Art, Bangor: The museum focuses on exhibiting and collecting modern and contemporary art and has an impressive permanent collection.

You can easily visit a couple of these impressive museums in a day or make a whole road trip out of the trail and visit all of them over several days! The nine museum communities offer comfortable inns and hotels, inviting restaurants, and vibrant cultural attractions ranging from dance festivals and film festivals to historic neighborhoods and lively shops and galleries. And all are within close range of Maine’s pine-covered mountains and bustling coastal villages—the same sights that have inspired generations of Maine artists.

Maine’s rich art scene expands well beyond the Maine Art Museum Trail, from the impressive collection in Rockland’s Center for Maine Contemporary Art to a plethora of artist studios dotting the state.

Whether it’s a road trip or a landscape painting, there’s an art to everything in Maine.

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