On February 9, 2019, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, will open a juried exhibition of new works by Maine artists that explores the screen form. “The Screen Show” will be on display in the museum’s Rothschild Gallery from February 9 through September 22, 2019. The exhibition will include six new works selected by the jury for this show.

Barry Faulkner, “Manship Toasting the Angels,” 1923, oil on board, mounted and hinged as a screen, 6 x 10 ft. Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum, museum purchase with support from the Friends of the Farnsworth Collection, 2008; 2009.1

Two folding screens from the Farnsworth collection will also be on view. These have served as a departure point for this exhibition of contemporary interpretations of the screen form. These two early-twentieth-century folding screens include an eight-panel oil on board painting, “Manship Toasting the Angels” done in 1923, and a three-panel oil on canvas painting by Carrol Thayer Berry with a fanciful view of Camden harbor done in 1930.

Folding screens in artFolding screens were especially popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, serving typically as room dividers and often used by their owners to dress or undress behind, but they have also been a more experimental form of artistic expression. Prominent artists, architects, and designers in both Europe and America, including James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Dewing, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Thomas Hart Benton, Donald Deskey, Ansel Adams, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Hockney, are among many who have explored the screen form.

Folding screens in artArtists and artisans working in Maine submitted proposals for folding screens, which were then reviewed by a jury consisting of Susan Danly, former curator of prints, photographs, and contemporary art at the Portland Museum of Art; Susan Groce, professor of art at the University of Maine, Orono; Peter Korn, founder and executive director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine; Warren Seelig, distinguished visiting professor in the Fibers/Mixed Media program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia; Michael K. Komanecky, Farnsworth chief curator; and Jane Bianco, Farnsworth associate curator.

Folding screens in artThe jury selected works for this show from the following artists:
industrial designer Allison Davis of Rockland, Maine; textile designer Gigi Aea of Camden, Maine, in collaboration with cabinet maker Owain Harris; artist and frame maker Johanna Moore of Farmingdale, Maine; graphic designer Laurie Downey of West Baldwin, Maine, in collaboration with woodworker Ryan Rhoades; assemblage artist Susan Levett of Tenants Harbor, Maine; painter Alla Broeksmit of Brooklin, Maine.

In conjunction with this exhibition Farnsworth chief curator Michael K. Komanecky will give a talk entitled “The Screen Show: Six Folding Screens by Six Maine Artists,” on March 23. The primary media sponsor for “The Screen Show” is Maine Home + Design.

“The Screen Show” is on view at the Farnsworth Art Museum through September 22, 2019. For more information please visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org.

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