Spotlight on Empire

 

This academic year, The Lantern will feature a series of articles related to the spotlight theme of “Empire.” These will accompany a slate of exhibitions and programs at the Colby Museum of Art that provide insight into the histories and present realities of imperialism and colonialism. The Lantern is seeking essays and multimedia projects that examine the ways in which art can reflect imperial values or play a crucial role in dismantling them.

To get started, visit our Guiding Questions page for a series of prompts and a selection of featured images from our collection. Lantern posts typically run between 800–1200 words, and each submission will go through an editing process that takes about two weeks. To learn more about this paid writing opportunity or pitch an article, contact Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow Siera Hyte

Check back here for the newest entries in the Spotlight on Empire: 
  • Playscape PLAYlist
    Playscape PLAYlist
    Inspired by the works in the exhibition Playscape: Contemporary Art from the Colby Museum’s Collection, Museum staff Andrew Witte brings together examples of auditory kitsch from the past 100 years. Sadie Benning, Flat Is Beautiful, 1998. Video, 48:58. Museum purchase from the Jetté Acquisitions Fund, 2007.003. Excerpted clip, 17:57–18:25. Kitsch is all ...
  • In the Galleries: Interpretations of Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Boy with Cow
    In the Galleries: Interpretations of Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s <i>Boy with Cow</i>
    In summer 2023, supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art’s Collection-in-Residence Program, Colby College Museum of Art student interns developed wall labels for Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Boy with Cow. The cohort worked with art historian ShiPu Wang and included Favour Ajibade, Emma Baker, Abhishek Bhaskar Sherigar, Lydia Burke, Sam Dev, ...
  • Open Letter to Colby
    Open Letter to Colby
    In his last article as Lantern Writer-in-Residence, Dominic Bellido ’24 writes to the larger Colby community about a collection of Indigenous artifacts found on Allen Island, Colby’s new “island campus”.                   Dear Colby, Spring has settled upon us, and its sun must now give light to a ...
  • “Visible upon the Invisible”: A Postcard and George Inness
    “Visible upon the Invisible”: A Postcard and George Inness
    “Beauty depends upon the unseen – the visible upon the invisible.” – George Inness I joined Postcrossing, a postcard exchange site that allows you to send and receive postcards from random people around the world, on November 11, 2021. Looking back at my photo album, I was reminiscing about the ...
  • Colby Museum Student Photographer Creates Photo Essay Inspired by Recent Studio Visits with LIAA Residential Fellows
    Colby Museum Student Photographer Creates Photo Essay Inspired by Recent Studio Visits with LIAA Residential Fellows
    Museum student photographer Amanda Mao ’26 reflects on her experience photographing the current cohort of Lunder Institute for American Art Residential Fellows Heather Flor Cron, Tessa Greene O’Brien, and Dylan Hausthor in their Greene Block studios.  Heather Flor Cron Heather is the first artist that I visited. From the moment I walked ...
  • Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán Inspires Colby Student’s Audiovisual Essay Exploring Non-human Intelligence
    Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán Inspires Colby Student's Audiovisual Essay Exploring Non-human Intelligence
    Colby student Hang Phan ’26 shares final project from Jan Plan course Antimundo, taught by Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán This course is about the future; the future here is understood as the potential for other configurations of the world which have been forgotten, repressed, or poorly understood, such as ...
  • Dancing in Mirrors: Alex Katz, Race, and the Guggenheim Trip
    Dancing in Mirrors: Alex Katz, Race, and the Guggenheim Trip
    After attending a symposium on Alex Katz at the Guggenheim Museum, Dominic Bellido ’24 critically reflects on how race and representation in the collections shape student engagement with the Colby Museum of Art.   Si quieres tú bailar / si quieres aprender Debes sacar las manos / y luego sacar los pies If you ...
  • How to Paint with Sound
    How to Paint with Sound
    In this article, Lantern Writer-in-Residence Dominic Bellido reviews the Painting with Sound installation that took place in All in One: Selections from the Alex Katz Foundation last December, with an introduction from Colby Professor José G. Martinez on his “Soundscape and Sonic Narratives” class. The assignment prompt was to use any of the ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with Colby Museum Curatorial Intern Mary Bevilacqua
    Questions and Answers: Interview with Colby Museum Curatorial Intern Mary Bevilacqua
    During the Fall 2022 semester while working for the Colby Museum as a Curatorial Intern, Bevilacqua was tasked with curating a small selection of works on paper for the chest of drawers that resides in the museum’s Annex Gallery. In this article, Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow Megan Adams interviews ...
  • Best of 2022: Colby Museum Staff’s Favorite Exhibitions & Art Books of the Year
    Best of 2022: Colby Museum Staff’s Favorite Exhibitions & Art Books of the Year
    At the end of 2022 the Colby Museum staff were asked to reflect on their favorite exhibitions they saw and the best art books that they read this past year.  Megan Adams, Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow The (Stillness) Collective: Unfolding Place (May 21-July 2, 2022) at Speedwell Contemporary in Portland, ME In ...
  • Flow Wide
    Flow Wide
    Inspired by portraits and a video installation in the Museum’s current exhibition, Time and Tide Flow Wide: The Collection in Context, 1959—1973, Dominic Bellido ’24 writes a series of haikus, fragmented poems, and prose in creative response to the exhibition’s questions of history, time, and the economic forces that influence ...
  • Community Voices: Original Soundscapes for “Light on Main Street”
    Community Voices: Original Soundscapes for "Light on Main Street"
    Waterville Alternative High School students created soundscapes and a playlist inspired by the videos on view in the Colby College Museum of Art’s exhibition, Light on Main Street. To listen to these audio tracks, click the media player or embedded Spotify playlist below. Light on Main Street is on view ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with José Santiago Pérez
    Questions and Answers: Interview with José Santiago Pérez
    Rebecca Sun, the Lunder Institute’s Summer 2022 Artist Programming Intern, interviews artist José Santiago Pérez, Lunder Institute for American Art Residential Fellow to learn more about his basketmaking practice and commitment to teaching in addition to his work as an artist.  1. How do you use baskets to express entangled relationships? ...
  • How to Call Your Mother
    How to Call Your Mother
    In a series of annotated photographs of his mother, Dominic Bellido ’24 reflects on his relationship to the traditions of family, science, and indigenous Peruvian culture through visual poetry. It’s difficult to talk about family. Even when I’m not writing, I struggle to align words with the murky clouds of memory ...
  • Learning to Speak to a Risograph Machine
    Learning to Speak to a Risograph Machine
    Dominic Bellido ’24, the Museum’s new Lantern Writer-in-Residence, shares his experience creating color prints with the Risograph machine at the Center for Book & Print in downtown Waterville during the Open House Event at Greene Block + Studios in September 2022. Before I begin to speak to the machine myself, I hear other ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with Bryana Bibbs
    Questions and Answers: Interview with Bryana Bibbs
    Anela Gallegos, the Colby Museum’s Howard A. and Gisele B. Miller Curatorial Intern for Summer 2022, interviews artist Bryana Bibbs, Summer 2022 Lunder Institute for American Art Residential Fellow.  1. I would love to start with hearing a little bit about your background as an artist and your current practice. I am ...
  • The Faithful Work of Looking Again: In the Gallery with Faith Ringgold’s Coming to Jones Road #4: Under a Blood-Red Sky
    The Faithful Work of Looking Again: In the Gallery with Faith Ringgold’s <em>Coming to Jones Road #4: Under a Blood-Red Sky</em>
    Dominic Bellido ’24 reflects on Faith Ringgold’s Coming to Jones Road #4: Under a Blood-Red Sky, a recent museum acquisition currently on view at the Colby College Museum of Art in the Sally and Michael Gordon Gallery. Unlike most American stories, Faith Ringgold does not begin hers in the top-left corner. ...
  • Finding Artistic Inspiration and Creative Collaboration with a Twelve-Inch Blick 906 Floor Model Etching Press
    Finding Artistic Inspiration and Creative Collaboration with a Twelve-Inch Blick 906 Floor Model Etching Press
    Christine Zheng, the Mirken Family Postbaccalaureate Fellow in Museum Practice, visits the home studios of two local artists, Lucky Platt and Jim Macdonald, to discuss their artmaking practices, community engagement, and the inspiration they draw from the Colby Museum. In what ways can an institution like the Colby College Museum of ...
  • The “Special Period”: Cuban Artists in the Tsiaras Family Photography Collection
    The "Special Period": Cuban Artists in the Tsiaras Family Photography Collection
    Alex Méndez, the Colby Museum’s Linde Family Foundation Coordinator of Academic Access, shares interpretive content that she developed for Act of Sight: The Tsiaras Family Photography Collection. Curator Beth Finch has referred to the exhibit Act of Sight: The Tsiaras Family Photography Collection as a show of photography that encompasses many ...
  • Ekphrastic Poetry: “breath left in you”
    Ekphrastic Poetry: "breath left in you"
    At the Colby Museum’s event, Art&: The Poetics of Atmosphere, Dominic Bellido ’24 read his new poem, “Thinking Of The Key.” Bellido wrote this poem in response to Lorna Simpson’s Cloudscape, a video on view in the exhibition The Poetics of Atmosphere: Lorna Simpson’s Cloudscape and Other Works from the ...
  • You’re Speaking My Language: Jacob Lawrence’s The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture
    You're Speaking My Language: Jacob Lawrence's The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture
    During the Fall 2021 semester, students in Cultural Encounters: Engaging with Literature and Media (FR128) and The Rise and Fall of Versailles (FR232), created museum labels with a focus on the historical context of Toussaint Louverture’s life. Each class went to the Colby Museum of Art to see the exhibit Jacob ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with Julia Arredondo
    Questions and Answers: Interview with Julia Arredondo
    Yan Xuan, the Colby Museum’s Curatorial Intern for the 2021–2022 academic year, interviews artist Julia Arredondo,  Lunder Institute for American Art Resident Fellow. Xuan’s questions led Arredondo to respond with two sets of answers, a choice the artist expands on in her introduction to this Q&A.  I am a Gemini and ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with E. Saffronia Downing
    Questions and Answers: Interview with E. Saffronia Downing
    Yan Xuan, the Colby Museum’s Curatorial Intern for the 2021–2022 academic year, interviews artist E. Saffronia Downing, Lunder Institute for American Art Resident Fellow.      1. Clay appears in your work both as a sole material and as a component in mixed-media installations. What is the significance of clay ...
  • Artist Statements: otherwise, or temporary moves towards utopia
    Artist Statements: otherwise, or temporary moves towards utopia
    At the conclusion of the 2021 fall semester, the students in Gwyneth Shanks’s course, Performing the Museum, staged a performance exhibition entitled otherwise, or temporary moves towards utopia at the Colby Museum of Art. For the exhibition, students Jensen Ghidella ’22, Domenica Gomez ’25, Sakina Mustafa ’22, Brian Vera ’25, and ...
  • Curatorial Statements: otherwise, or temporary moves towards utopia
    Curatorial Statements: otherwise, or temporary moves towards utopia
    At the conclusion of the 2021 fall semester, the students in Gwyneth Shanks’s course, Performing the Museum, staged a performance exhibition entitled otherwise, or temporary moves towards utopia at the Colby Museum of Art. For the exhibition, students Jensen Ghidella ’22, Domenica Gomez ’25, Sakina Mustafa ’22, Brian Vera ’25, and ...
  • Recoloring Wrong and Right
    Recoloring Wrong and Right
    Two paintings by Bob Thompson, both entitled The Struggle, are catalysts for Terri Nwanma ’22’s examination of prison abolition. Nwanma interrogates this concept through poetry and essayistic writing.  A sip from the earth refreshes my truth my friend seduces my sway as I dance along with my sin My palms, my knees, my soles are scorched ...
  • Beyond the Walls: Virtual Exhibition of “Casual” Art
    Beyond the Walls: Virtual Exhibition of "Casual" Art
    Sofia Arleo ’23 curates an online exhibition of Colby student artists who make art as a hobby. Informed by her experience as a Student Guide at the Colby Museum, Arleo’s project explores the concept of the “amateur,” or casual, artist. Arleo utilizes the availability of virtual space to question what ...
  • Julia Arredondo’s ‘QTVC Live!’
    Julia Arredondo's 'QTVC Live!'
    Julia Arredondo, Lunder Institute for American Art Resident Fellow, shares two episodes of QTVC Live!, a DIY shopping channel that showcases underrepresented makers. Frustrated with arts institutions for continuously skirting topics of career sustainability for underprivileged and marginalized creatives, QTVC Live! began as a way to openly discuss business and budding ...
  • In the Galleries: Student Research on Bob Thompson
    In the Galleries: Student Research on Bob Thompson
    During the spring 2021 semester, students in Abbe Schriber’s course, African American Art, created podcasts, zines, and a website to showcase their research into Bob Thompson’s art practice.   Prior to the opening of the exhibition, students in the spring 2021 Colby College course AR256: African American Art dove deep into Bob ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with Killer Bee
    Questions and Answers: Interview with Killer Bee
    Sophia Reyes, the Colby Museum’s Summer 2021 Howard A. and Gisele B. Miller Curatorial Intern, interviews musician Jose Barrionuevo, aka Killer Bee, Lunder Institute for American Art Summer ’21 Resident Fellow.  1. Where did the stage name Killer Bee come from? My stage name is based on one of my favorite characters ...
  • Mapping Whistler’s Shopfronts: Architecture, Infrastructure, and Urban Growth in the Victorian Era
    Mapping Whistler's Shopfronts: Architecture, Infrastructure, and Urban Growth in the Victorian Era
    Helen Bennett ’22, Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies summer 2021 intern, shares her research in support of “Some Old Curiosity Shops: Whistler, Commerce, and the Art of Urban Change,” slated to open at the Colby Museum in the summer of 2023. This summer I interned with Justin McCann in conducting research ...
  • Seeking Submissions on “Community and Abolition”
    Seeking Submissions on "Community and Abolition"
    Each academic year, The Lantern selects a spotlight topic in relation to the annual theme chosen by Colby’s Center for the Arts and Humanities. That theme is explored by the center through exhibitions, speakers, performances, and coursework. In conjunction with a Maine state-wide public humanities initiative on the same topic, ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with Adriane Herman
    Questions and Answers: Interview with Adriane Herman
    Editor’s note: Kayla Merriweather, the Colby Museum’s Summer 2021 Black Family Curatorial Intern, interviews artist Adriane Herman, Lunder Institute for American Art Resident Fellow.  I am interested in the interactive nature of your work, a few examples being your Emotional Value Auctions, temporary tattoos, and Guarded Crossings. Why does your work incorporate ...
  • Questions and Answers: Interview with Veronica Perez
    Questions and Answers: Interview with Veronica Perez
    Editor’s note: Kayla Merriweather, the Colby Museum’s Summer 2021 Black Family Curatorial Intern, interviews artist Veronica Perez, Lunder Institute for American Art Resident Fellow.  Your work often utilizes hair. When we visited your studio, you talked about hair as both beautiful and repulsive. What inspired you to incorporate hair into your work?               Hair ...
  • Notes from the Studio: Lunder Institute Fellow Shares Music Demo
    Notes from the Studio: Lunder Institute Fellow Shares Music Demo
    Editor’s Note: Jose Barrionuevo ’16 (Killer Bee) shares an excerpt from astuwiku (it comes together), a piece of music developed during his residency at the Lunder Institute for American Art. “Astuwiku,” which translates to “It comes together” and refers to a traditional meeting place for the Wabanaki tribes, reflects Barrionuevo’s research ...
  • Looking to Lighten Up?
    Looking to Lighten Up?
    As part of the Colby Museum’s Community Day on July 31st, Lunder Institute for American Art Resident Fellow and self-proclaimed “Experience Broker,” Adriane Herman is orchestrating her 4th Emotional Value Auction from 12-4 pm in the museum’s lobby. Harnessing the power of witnessing to facilitate release, this non-monetized auction is grounded ...
  • Interrogating Kara Walker’s no world
    Interrogating Kara Walker's no world
    Through a combination of poetry, prose, and critical writing, Sally Kashala ’23 narrates a viewing experience of Kara Walker’s no world. Content warning: This piece contains mentions of self-harm and slavery. Empire. Empire. State. The State. A state. Government. Self-governed. No land. No world. No place. No state. Unhoused. Unpeopled. People less. ...
  • In the Collection: Representation and Portraits of LGBTQ Subjects
    In the Collection: Representation and Portraits of LGBTQ Subjects
    Editor’s note: In this essay, Colby student Stella Gonzales ’22 explores portraits of LGBTQ subjects by photographers Andy Warhol, Diane Arbus, and Lina Pallotta. The Colby Museum of Art’s collection contains the photography of Andy Warhol and Diane Arbus, both of whom are known for utilizing the power of the medium ...
  • Museum Student Guides in a Year of Upheaval
    Museum Student Guides in a Year of Upheaval
    The first training session for the Colby Museum of Art’s Student Guide program began on February 29, 2020. Three weeks later, the Museum was closed—with staff working from home and students transitioning to all-remote classes.  It was a challenging beginning for the group of twelve students who had been hired to ...
  • In the Galleries: Iterations of Wood
    In the Galleries: Iterations of Wood
      The current installation in the lobby of the Colby Museum of Art features works by Thaddeus Mosley, Nabil Nahas, and Sherrie Levine that draw on the formal qualities of woodgrain and bark, invoking the tactility and naturally occurring surface patterns found in trees. Both Mosley’s Directional and Nahas’s Untitled are ...
  • In the Galleries: Representations of Migration
    In the Galleries: Representations of Migration
    In her book Borderlands/La Fontera: The New Mestiza (1987), Chicana theorist, scholar, and poet Gloria Anzaldúa states that “The U.S.-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds.” The U.S.-Mexico border has long been a place where life and death ...
  • Poems in Conversation with the Work of Andrew Moore
    Poems in Conversation with the Work of Andrew Moore
    For this assignment, Intro to Creative Writing students learn to make metaphors using Andrew Moore’s photograph, Courtyard, former Cass Technical High School building, as inspiration. Through a series of generative-writing questions, students consider the mood and temperature of the image and the political or social situation it feels similar to. ...
  • Selected Ekphrastic Poetry from the Colby Course “Visual Poetics”
    Selected Ekphrastic Poetry from the Colby Course "Visual Poetics"
    In my Visual Poetics course this January, the students and I explored the intersection between poetry and visual art, including a unit on ekphrasis (a verbal representation of a visual representation). Using poems by John Keats, Frank O’Hara, and Cathy Song, among others, as models, the students wrote poems based on works ...
  • Art + Conversation: Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making 1948–1960
    Art + Conversation: Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making 1948–1960
    Watch Elizabeth Finch and Marshall N. Price, co-curators of Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948-1960 discuss the little-known early career of the Pop art legend and their collaborative work on this groundbreaking exhibition, which begins its national tour at the Colby College Museum of Art. Featuring about 90 works, many ...
  • Man with a Flowered Coat: Once Nameless, Now Known
    Man with a Flowered Coat: Once Nameless, Now Known
    Editor’s note: close looking by Matthew Brown ’24 led to new, or rediscovered, associations between a portrait in the Colby Museum’s collection and several others in museums worldwide. The visual connections Brown made were confirmed by Alaleh Naderi ’21, who read the Colby work’s inscription. The painting studied by Brown was one ...
  • Art + Conversation: Another World is Possible
    Art + Conversation: Another World is Possible
    Watch Elizabeth Jabar, inaugural Director of Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships at Colby College, and co-founder of Hinge Collaborative, and Olivia Fountain, Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow at Colby College Museum of Art in a pre-recorded discussion on the centennial year of the 19th amendment and the evolution of voting ...
  • Unseen Violence in Judy Glickman Lauder’s Photography
    Unseen Violence in Judy Glickman Lauder’s Photography
    Content warning: this article is about the Holocaust and photographic documentation of the Holocaust.   Judy Glickman Lauder, whose photographic career began in the 1970s, is best known for her images examining the Holocaust. To create her “Holocaust” series, she spent decades traveling to different sites and photographing the evidence of what ...
  • The Sea in a Jug: Selected Labels from the Colby course “Reading Images”
    The Sea in a Jug: Selected Labels from the Colby course "Reading Images"
    The students in AR 101W: Reading Images have each spent the semester studying a single work of art in the Sea in a Jug exhibition. These labels are condensed versions of their visual analysis papers, in which they were tasked with developing a thesis about their artwork based solely on its visual attributes.  —Professor Marta ...
  • Spotlight on Empire: Guiding Questions
    We have selected a group of featured images and assembled a list of prompts to help spark your thinking around our theme of “Empire.” Keep in mind that none of these questions have correct or simple answers, and should be seen simply as a starting point. If you are interested in ...
  • Spotlight on Empire
    Spotlight on Empire
        This academic year, The Lantern will feature a series of articles related to the spotlight theme of “Empire.” These will accompany a slate of exhibitions and programs at the Colby Museum of Art that provide insight into the histories and present realities of imperialism and colonialism. The Lantern is seeking ...
  • Art + Conversation with Kifah Abdulla
    Art + Conversation with Kifah Abdulla
    https://youtu.be/jEMYHmPlif0 This virtual program offers a glimpse into calligraphy, one of the art forms featured in the exhibition, The Sea in a Jug: The Welch Collection of Islamic and Later Indian Art. The exhibition features secular and religious art made by both Muslims and non-Muslims living in places defined or influenced ...
  • Art of Empire
    Art of Empire
    Anti-racist protests across the globe have precipitated the long overdue removal of many public monuments in recent weeks. For over a decade, the British artist Hew Locke has interrogated Victorian statuary and its imperialistic iconography, offering counter-proposals. When protesters in Bristol, England toppled a statue of Edward Colston, a seventeenth-century ...
  • Sailors’ Souvenirs: Cultural Appropriation Across the Globe
    Sailors' Souvenirs: Cultural Appropriation Across the Globe
    Sarah Timm, Manager of Interpretation at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine, discusses objects from MMM’s collection that were collected by Maine captains and crews during their stops in ports around the world, as many objects transformed in meaning and function once they came back to America. This talk is presented ...
  • Watch: Lunder Institute Student Research Assistant Roundtable
    Watch: Lunder Institute Student Research Assistant Roundtable
    In 2019–20, the Lunder Institute for American Art convened its inaugural cohort of Research Fellows, all scholars working on art by African Americans represented in the Colby Museum’s collections. The program was organized and led by Tanya Sheehan, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Art and the Lunder Institute’s Director ...
  • Art + Conversation: River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames
    Art + Conversation: <em>River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames</em>
    Justin McCann, Lunder Curator for Whistler Studies at the Colby College Museum of Art, offers a virtual tour of the River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames exhibition, featuring a series of works created during the artist’s time living in Victorian London environs. Justin sheds a light on the environmental ...
  • Art + Conversation: Hew Locke: Here’s the Thing
    Art + Conversation: <em>Hew Locke: Here's the Thing</em>
    Sarah Duff, assistant professor of history at Colby College, and Diana Tuite, Katz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, discuss the Queen Victoria figurehead in the Colby Museum collection and British imperialism in relation to the Hew Locke: Here’s The Thing exhibition. https://youtu.be/crwdlCikssw Works shown: Anonymous, English, Figurehead of Queen Victoria, 19th century. ...
  • 2014 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture: Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
    2014 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture: Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
    The 2014 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Lecture was delivered by artists Tim Rollins and Angel Abreu. Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Struggle) develop work out of critical engagement with texts, an example of which is the Colby Museum’s 2013 acquisition Darkwater (after W. E. B. Du Bois), acquired in honor ...
  • Art + Conversation: SEED-O-MATIC
    Art + Conversation: SEED-O-MATIC
    Spring is the perfect time to start a garden. The SEED-O-MATIC, the world’s slowest vending machine, can help—even in the age of social distancing. Developed by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy and stocked with help from our partners at Fedco Seeds, this machine makes locally-produced seeds available as part of ...
  • 2016 Miles and Katharine Culberston Prentice Lecture: Leonardo Drew
    2016 Miles and Katharine Culberston Prentice Lecture: Leonardo Drew
    On October 27, 2016, artist Leonardo Drew presented the Museum’s annual Prentice Lecture with a discussion of his recent work and Number 104 (2005), which was at that point on view in the galleries.    After watching, be sure to read this insightful essay by Kyra Webb ’17. She attended the 2016 lecture ...
  • Fluid Movements
    Fluid Movements
    At Colby, I am an art history and chemistry double major minoring in physics, a member of the Museum Student Advisory Board, and a member of Women in Physics. These different interests mean that my mind is constantly trying to make connections between chemistry, art history, physics, and museums. I ...
  • Hew Locke on Here’s the Thing
    Hew Locke on <em>Here's the Thing</em>
    On February 20, 2020, Hew Locke spoke at the Colby College Musuem of Art in connection with the opening of his solo show Hew Locke: Here’s the Thing. His wide-ranging talk touched on his practice and personal mythology, works in the exhibition, and his fascination with the “detritus of history.” Watch ...
  • The Permanence of the Temporary: A Call for a Sustainable Art Movement
    The Permanence of the Temporary: A Call for a Sustainable Art Movement
      The neon message by Lauren Bon in the foyer of the Colby Museum of Art insists that “Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy.” The work was included in the fall 2019 exhibition Occupy Colby and remains on display now, raising questions ...
  • From the Archives: A Conversation with David Driskell
    From the Archives: A Conversation with David Driskell
    While access to the Colby Museum galleries is curtailed, The Lantern will be publishing videos, photos, and reflections from our archives. This is a chance for us to reflect on our rich legacy and imagine the many ways that the Museum will continue to grow in the future.   In 2017, the Colby Museum presented ...
  • Food Phreaking Issue 04: Seeds
    Food Phreaking Issue 04: Seeds
    Artists Zackery Denfeld and Cathrine Kramer of The Center for Genomic Gastronomy are two of the artists behind the SEED-O-MATIC, the world’s slowest vending machine, which dispenses unique seeds with cultural, ecological or culinary significance. The artists are also the editors of Food Phreaking, “the journal of experiments, exploits and ...
  • Baked Alaska: Hope in the Time of Disaster
    <em>Baked Alaska</em>: Hope in the Time of Disaster
    This essay is adapted from an assignment in the Colby College course Environmental Humanities: Stories of Crisis and Resilience, taught by Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities Christopher Walker.  The exhibition Occupy Colby featured many thought-provoking works, but the one that struck me the most was Justin Brice Guariglia’s large and graphic Baked Alaska (2018). ...
  • Gallery: I Am Not a Stranger photo corner
    Gallery: I Am Not a Stranger photo corner
    I Am Not a Stranger: Portraits by Séan Alonzo Harris posed a series of questions: who are the people we see everyday, and how do we get to know them? What does it mean to call a place home? And what if that place is Waterville, Maine? The project, consisting of ...
  • SEED-O-MATIC: Inside Fedco Seeds
    SEED-O-MATIC: Inside Fedco Seeds
    The SEED-O-MATIC is a vending machine that sells seeds and the soil needed to grow them. This fall, the machine was stocked with the help of Betsy Garrold and Roberta Bailey of Fedco Seeds. In these two videos, Garrold and Bailey discuss Mizspoona greens and the Open Source Seed Initiative, respectively.     
  • Art in Conversation with Climate Change: Anthropological Reflections
    Art in Conversation with Climate Change: Anthropological Reflections
    Ethnography and art can be forms of storytelling. Both can surface hidden patterns, invisible undercurrents, and fraught dimensions of life, revealing uncomfortable truths and subjugated knowledges. How does ethnography speak to art, and art to ethnography, about critical issues of our time? Can we read ethnography and art together—talking with ...
  • Transcript: The World Isn’t Me
    I took a friend of mine on a brief tour of Occupy Colby. “What does this mean?” she asks as we stand in front of the bear on the pile of junk. “Art is about how it’s supposed to make to you feel.” I reply to her dissatisfaction. We walk ...
  • Transcript: The Anthropocene: A New Era of Solitude
    Begin by centering yourself in the middle of the mirror Keep your feet shoulder width apart  Stand tall with your shoulders back Head straight  Now slowly raise your arms out beside you until they are parallel to the ground Stop  Take a moment to forget about those around you  Look at yourself  Notice the power in your stance,  The ...
  • Transcript: What is natural?
    At what point is something natural? Was this helmet a part of nature before there was a beehive on it? Is this a piece that demonstrates an instance where nature triumphed over something human made? Was this helmet already natural? We’ve seen how trucks, things that are more-than-human and nonliving, can be a part ...
  • Transcript: DisORDER
    “It is conceivable that our misunderstandings of the natural world, our misuse of it, and our conflicted relationship with it would not be conceivable without such ordering systems to formulate a picture of how they work and how we work within them.” (David Brooks) Why is this board here? OW! What ...
  • Transcript: My Death Song
    “Bird is the Word” soon will become Bird was the word A bird, perched on a peg. What type of life is that?  Birds cannot fly inside a museum.  Or the lives of polar bears, now confined to this electronic screen?  A slideshow of life, 5 second segments of existence.  Count the seconds the ...
  • Below the Surface: Maya Lin and “Becoming-With” Nature
    Below the Surface: Maya Lin and “Becoming-With” Nature
    This essay is adapted from an assignment in the Colby College course Environmental Humanities: Stories of Crisis and Resilience, taught by Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities Christopher Walker.  Maya Lin’s Interrupted River: Penobscot initially drew my attention due to its immense presence in the room. Spanning an entire wall and spilling onto the ceiling, ...
  • Going with the Flow: Reflections on Dams, the Wild, and Interrupted Rivers
    Going with the Flow: Reflections on Dams, the Wild, and Interrupted Rivers
    This essay is adapted from an assignment in the Colby College course Environmental Humanities: Stories of Crisis and Resilience, taught by Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities Christopher Walker.  Interrupted River: Penobscot by Maya Lin addresses our cultural perception of rivers as the embodiment of all that is free-flowing, wild, and unconfined. The work, composed ...
  • Murder, Chaos, and Fornication: Dystopian Environmental Futures in Alexis Rockman’s Paintings
    Murder, Chaos, and Fornication: Dystopian Environmental Futures in Alexis Rockman’s Paintings
    This essay is adapted from an assignment in the Colby College course Environmental Humanities: Stories of Crisis and Resilience, taught by Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities Christopher Walker.  Alexis Rockman’s paintings Disney World I and East 82nd Street in the exhibition Occupy Colby: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has ...
  • View a digital version of Up in Smoke, a companion to River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames
    View a digital version of <em>Up in Smoke</em>, a companion to <em>River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames</em>
    Click below to view a digital version of Up in Smoke, a companion guide now available in River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames. Up in Smoke features an essay by Gail Carlson, assistant professor of environmental studies at Colby College, and introductory text by curators Shalini Le Gall and Justin McCann. 
  • 2019 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Lecture: Carrie Mae Weems
    2019 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Lecture: Carrie Mae Weems
    On Thursday, October 23, 2019, the Colby College Museum of Art and the Lunder Institute for American Art were pleased to welcome Carrie Mae Weems to deliver the Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture.  
  • Contemporary Communication, Contemporary Art: The Power of the Instagram Influencer
    Contemporary Communication, Contemporary Art: The Power of the Instagram Influencer
    Instagram has become the social media platform of choice for many individuals and art institutions. Readily accessible and easy to learn how to navigate, it allows visual imagery to speak for itself, a strategy that is very effective in engaging different kinds of audiences. A user interested in the art ...
  • Artistas americanos contra el cambio climático
    Artistas americanos contra el cambio climático
    Clara Ortiz is an Argentinian artist who works with natural fibers. Her practice, which includes making her own dyes, references the life and memory of her people. She visited the Colby Museum in October 2019 and wrote this review for leedor.com, a Spanish-language arts and culture website. You can read the original ...
  • Nature and Culture in River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames
    Nature and Culture in <em>River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames</em>
    In these short essays, Tilly Peck ’22 and Mae Sefransky ’20 reflect on the nature vs. culture debate vis-a-vis River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames. Both pieces are adapted from an assignment in the Colby College course Environmental Humanities: Stories of Crisis and Resilience, taught by Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities Christopher Walker.      Nature: ...
  • Capturing the Leviathan: Alex Katz’s Moby Dick
    Capturing the Leviathan: Alex Katz's <em>Moby Dick</em>
    In 1948, when Alex Katz rendered in pen and ink the characters and scenes of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, Herman Melville was widely considered one of the most important writers in American literature. His work was the focus of numerous scholarly studies, and Moby-Dick was a classic, often cited as ...
  • Photo Essay: Paddling the Messalonskee
    Photo Essay: Paddling the Messalonskee
    On September 15 and September 22, Colby College Director of Outdoor Education Ryan Linehan led two canoe trips on the Messalonskee River in conjunction with tours of the exhibition River Works: Whistler and the Industrial Thames. Joseph Bui ’22 photographed the trip, and Ryan offered the following thoughts on the ...
  • Lunder Institute Panel Discussion: What Role do Artists Have to Play in Addressing Climate Change?
    Lunder Institute Panel Discussion: What Role do Artists Have to Play in Addressing Climate Change?
    On Wednesday, September 18, Lunder Institute Fellow Phong Bui sat in conversation with artists Alexis Rockman and Allyson Viera and Colby professors Denise Bruesewitz and Keith Peterson to explore the idea that artists need to create at the same scale that society has the capacity to destroy. The panel discussion, organized ...
  • Thinking about Art: Philosophy and Art Integration Tour
    Thinking about Art: Philosophy and Art Integration Tour
    In the acclaimed dialogue Meno written by Plato, the conversation between Socrates and Meno involves an argument around the act of “teaching” virtue. In response to Meno’s suspicion of the methodological approach to teaching, Socrates asks a boy to solve a mathematical problem without giving the answer directly. Instead, he ...
  • Spotlight on Climate Change
    Spotlight on Climate Change
    This fall, the Colby Museum is featuring a slate of exhibitions and objects that examine the complex relationships between humans and the environment. To continue the conversations started in our galleries, The Lantern is soliciting submissions about art and climate change that expand on these shows and the larger themes ...
  • Finding Place in Art
    Finding Place in Art
    We find meaning when we feel connected to learning. Teachers generally have an easier time introducing a topic if they can find ways to pair it with their students’ prior knowledge, and arts educators play an important role in fostering this type of learning experience for students in museums. Whether ...
  • Brown Ash Endangerment and Indigenous Solutions
    Brown Ash Endangerment and Indigenous Solutions
    Brown ash trees, also known as black ash, are critically endangered throughout the state of Maine. The emerald ash borer (EAB), a parasitic beetle that has already killed ash trees across the United States, was first detected in Maine last May—several years before it was anticipated. Faced with these ongoing ...
  • Nineteenth-Century Automata and Our Visual Culture Today
    Nineteenth-Century Automata and Our Visual Culture Today
    In the summer of 2018, I was the collections intern for the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey. I worked alongside two other interns, doing a little bit of everything—registrar work, research, and weekly demonstrations in the gallery. ...
  • Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    As participants in Colby’s studio program developed their work for the Senior Art Exhibition this spring, students in my Writing Art Criticism class researched and wrote interpretive essays for the accompanying catalog. In this series of Lanternposts my students explore alternative ways of responding to and telling stories about their peers’ ...
  • Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    As participants in Colby’s studio program developed their work for the Senior Art Exhibition this spring, students in my Writing Art Criticism class researched and wrote interpretive essays for the accompanying catalog. In this series of Lantern posts my students explore alternative ways of responding to and telling stories about their peers’ ...
  • Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    As participants in Colby’s studio program developed their work for the Senior Art Exhibition this spring, students in my Writing Art Criticism class researched and wrote interpretive essays for the accompanying catalog. In this series of Lantern posts my students explore alternative ways of responding to and telling stories about ...
  • Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019
    As participants in Colby’s studio program developed their work for the Senior Art Exhibition this spring, students in my Writing Art Criticism class researched and wrote interpretive essays for the accompanying catalog. In this series of Lantern posts my students explore alternative ways of responding to and telling stories about their peers’ ...
  • Art + Storytelling at the Colby College Museum of Art
    <em>Art + Storytelling at the Colby College Museum of Art </em>
    Stories help us to make meaning of our lives and the world around us. They relate our experiences to a broad cultural and emotional landscape. In teaching us to ask questions and to make connections, stories nourish empathy. Stories live in the Colby College Museum of Art. Just as there are ...
  • A Summer of Art with Grafton Tyler Brown
    A Summer of Art with Grafton Tyler Brown
    Working at the Colby Museum of Art last summer as a curatorial intern opened my eyes to the inner workings of an art museum. My job was to assist the curatorial staff with their responsibilities, which included research, writing, and organization, and I focused on studying the art of the ...
  • A Conversation Between Jenna Crowder and Carly Glovinski
    A Conversation Between Jenna Crowder and Carly Glovinski
    On Friday, November 2, The Chart’s Jenna Crowder joined Currents 8 artist Carly Glovinski for a discussion about Glovinski’s exhibition at the Colby College Museum of Art and a reading list Crowder generated in response to the work. A condensed version of their conversation appears here, and a copy of ...
  • Olivia Fountain
    Olivia Fountain
    This post is part of our “Meet & Greet” series, periodic posts meant to introduce our online audiences to staff members here at the Colby College Museum of Art. Olivia Fountain, the new Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow, joined the museum this fall. We sat down with Olivia to discuss ...
  • Beyond Oneself: Escaping Vice in Goya’s Los Caprichos
    Beyond Oneself: Escaping Vice in Goya’s <em>Los Caprichos</em>
    When the Colby Museum of Art contacted me several months ago with the project of translating a nineteenth-century commentary on Goya’s Los Caprichos from Spanish to English, I recalled my first experience of Goya’s works at the Prado Museum in Madrid years before. Nightmarish visions of grotesque wretches cloaked in ...
  • You’re Speaking My Language: Cultivating Creativity
    You’re Speaking My Language: Cultivating Creativity
    When I started working at the Colby College Museum of Art, the art museum was going through a transition of identifying their audiences and creating more diverse, inclusive and innovative programs that welcomed new audiences. You’re Speaking My Language was one of the programs developed for spring 2017, with the ...
  • Walls of Colby
    Walls of Colby
    As Colby students, we first see the spaces we live in as bare, white-walled rooms, devoid of any evidence of human presence. They feel alien at first—disconcertingly empty boxes we’ll inhabit for nine months, but never really own. We wage war against this unfamiliarity and temporariness through the decoration and ...
  • Conversation with Richard Blanco
    Conversation with Richard Blanco
    Poet Richard Blanco was the Artist in Residence at the Lunder Institute in the spring. Michael D. Burke, Professor of English at Colby, sat down with him and talked about his career, occasional poems, and teaching poetry. Below is an excerpt of the interview. You could read the full interview ...
  • Henry Kirke Brown’s Filatrice
    Henry Kirke Brown’s <em>Filatrice</em>
    Women play an important role in Henry Kirke Brown’s life and career. Filatrice manifests this strong influence and the significance of women in industrial society. Henry Kirke Brown’s statuette Filatrice was commissioned in 1850 by the American Art Union, an institution devoted to the cultivation of American art. Yet with its ...
  • City of Ambition
    City of Ambition
    For into ...
  • A Path into the Arts
    A Path into the Arts
    Whether you intern, give tours as a docent, volunteer for programs, attend events, or just frequent the galleries – you can make these experiences as meaningful as you want.
  • Art and Knowledge
    Art and Knowledge
    There is a story that the artist Tim Rollins liked to tell about his grandmother, Alice Rollins. She worked at Colby, in Foss dining hall, from 1957 to 1975.  One winter evening when Tim was eleven or twelve, she called her son, Rollins’s father, to ask for a ride home ...
  • Senior Exhibition 2018
    Senior Exhibition 2018
    In this series of blogposts, my students revisit their interviews and share additional perspectives on the rich and compelling practices of their peers.
  • Making Space for Conversation
    Making Space for Conversation
    Entitled Space for Conversation, this series was designed to establish a shared understanding of best practices for public art initiatives and innovative projects and to examine the ways art can instigate meaningful exchange and serve as a catalyst for reshaping public spaces.
  • Immigration, Masculinity, and Motherhood
    Immigration, Masculinity, and Motherhood
    Okón decided to place the video in a desert, a location contrary to all female concepts. The barren terrain depicts an infertile soil with few signs of fauna or animals. The desert offers the men of the video a place where even the soil exudes hypermasculinity. Ironically, the only other ...
  • The Teacher Tree
    The Teacher Tree
    As part of the presentation of in the Colby Museum’s lobby, visitors are invited to compose dedications to their favorite teachers on paper leaves. A cascade of these leaves now fills one of the lobby’s windows, and a handful of dedications appears here in celebration of Teacher ...
  • New Women and Progressive Education
    New Women and Progressive Education
    As a freelance photographer in the late 1890s, Johnston sought out subjects that could illuminate the rapid social advances of the Progressive Era.
  • Disability Studies in Art History
    Disability Studies in Art History
    In analyzing my experiences with pieces by Close and Lei, my goal is to understand the ways these artists chose to portray the disabled body through their art, how they chose to represent their own disabilities, and how this impacted my experience as a nondisabled viewer.
  • Murals from Tholing Monastery
    Murals from Tholing Monastery
    Tholing Monastery, located at the border of the Tibet Autonomous Region and India, has preserved most of its extraordinarily gorgeous and valuable wall paintings from the eleventh century to the sixteenth century.
  • Japanese Folding Screens
    Japanese Folding Screens
    The diversity of the Byobu screens displays the different stages of Chinese influence, from screens that are exact copies of Chinese paintings to those that merely interpret Chinese subjects.
  • Bird Days at the Museum
    Bird Days at the Museum
    Being part of this project gave me a chance to engage with the local community and to plan two separate activities whose main goal was to educate and connect humans of all ages.
  • Where in the World Was MSAB over Jan Plan?
    Where in the World Was MSAB over Jan Plan?
    Every year Colby students from all majors and class years have the opportunity to focus their studies intensively on one subject for the month of January. This year, nearly every Museum Student Advisory Board (MSAB) member chose to focus his or her studies on life outside the Colby campus. Here’s ...
  • Audubon and Ornithology in Early America
    Audubon and Ornithology in Early America
    Audubon’s contributions to ornithology derive from his love of birds, exquisitely expressed through his keen observations and arresting visual depictions. Although his work has been criticized by the ornithological and art communities as appearing exaggerated, a closer look reveals details that are accurate and could only have been produced by ...
  • Julianne Gilland
    Julianne Gilland
    Julianne Gilland, our new deputy director, joined the Museum this fall. We recently sat down with Julianne to discuss her role at the Museum, her background, and her experiences living in Central Maine.
  • Seniors’ Tour & Tea 2017
    Seniors' Tour & Tea 2017
    In anticipation of the upcoming Marsden Hartley’s Maine exhibition, which opened in summer 2017, a senior-geared program provided an overwhelming opportunity. Bayley Ray-Smith ’19 developed the foundations of the program and, in early summer, Jake Abbe-Schneider ’19, Linde Family Foundation Summer Education Intern, worked under the supervision of Margaret Aiken and ...
  • Art, Community, and Ethical Urban Development
    Art, Community, and Ethical Urban Development
    Students enrolled in the course hosted Theaster in a class discussion, joined him on a tour of Waterville’s South End, attended multiple community meetings arranged around his visit, and traveled to Chicago to visit some of his projects on the South Side. These are some of their responses to that ...
  • The Painter from Maine
    The Painter from Maine
    Special Collections houses Colby’s rare books and manuscript collections as well as the college archives. Drawing on these rich collections, the exhibit highlights Hartley’s own literary work as a lesser-known aspect of his creative career, as well as letters, manuscripts, and published works by some of the Maine writers Hartley ...
  • Artwork out of the Museum
    Artwork out of the Museum
    When I was able to put Homer’s work in context, not only out of the museum but off the pedestal of “genius” that often surrounds great artists, I found myself thinking about his paintings differently. I was able to see improvisation, movement, and creativity that I hadn’t noticed before.
  • Art World Aspirations in the Big Apple
    Art World Aspirations in the Big Apple
    Over the course of the four-day trip, the students are set up with professionals working in all corners of the art world, from museums and galleries to studios and auction houses to communications and law firms and other organizations.
  • Space, Place, and Belonging
    Space, Place, and Belonging
    This October, students from Associate Professor Winifred Tate’s anthropology class “Space, Place, and Belonging” visited the Colby College Museum of Art. They each selected one photograph from Leah Modigliani’s installation, How Long Can We Tolerate This?, and analyzed it as a representation of place.
  • Marsden Hartley’s Glass Paintings
    Marsden Hartley's Glass Paintings
    Hartley’s first glass paintings from 1917 are primitive compared to his canvas paintings from prior years. A complicated procedure, reverse painting on glass requires that details and highlights be painted first, then the foreground carefully laid on top.
  • Theodore Robinson’s Angelus
    Theodore Robinson's Angelus
    I began my research on Theodore Robinson’s Angelus (Figure 1) during the spring of my freshman year as a student in Tanya Sheehan’s Reading Images course (AR101W).  Researching the painting for a discourse analysis paper, I made interesting historical discoveries that allowed me to explore aspects of Robinson’s career that previously ...
  • Inaugural Lunder Institute Artist in Residence Kicks Off
    Inaugural Lunder Institute Artist in Residence Kicks Off
    Originally published in the Colby Echo–Theaster Gates joins us on Mayflower Hill as the first inaugural Lunder Institute Artist in Residence.
  • A Map of Hartley’s Maine
    A Map of Hartley's Maine
    A map of the places where Marsden Hartley lived and worked in the Pine Tree State.
  • Discovering Marsden Hartley in Stoneham, Maine
    Discovering Marsden Hartley in Stoneham, Maine
    Houses like the ones he painted can still be seen in this area. He liked to walk and spent a lot of time on the road. He collected thoughts and memories and then used them later on somewhere else. The waterfall Hartley painted is on Great Brook and today you ...
  • From Ancient Rome to Human Morphology
    From Ancient Rome to Human Morphology
    Last week, the 2017 Faculty Biennial Show opened in the Davis Gallery at the Colby Museum. This three-week exhibition features a variety of artworks created by five distinguished faculty members of Colby’s art department.
  • Aspirations Tours at the Museum
    Aspirations Tours at the Museum
    Colby volunteer Maine Aspirations program provides elementary, middle, and high school students with an early look at the college experience.
  • All About the Details
    All About the Details
    A special collaboration between the Colby College Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Marsden Hartley’s Maine enabled an in-depth study of works by the artist that have never before been brought together for analysis. A year and a half in advance of the show’s ...
  • Tea Time For Docent Emeriti
    Tea Time For Docent Emeriti
    Through the Colby Docent Program, what we all really hope is that students make a personal connection with a work of art, that we break down barriers for entering an art museum, and that they enjoyed the experience enough to return with friends or family.
  • Margaret Aiken
    Margaret Aiken
    This post is a part of our “Meet & Greet” Series, periodic posts meant to introduce our online audiences to staff members here at the Colby College Museum of Art! Margaret Aiken, the Linde Family Foundation Coordinator of School and Teacher Programs, is starting her third year of working at the ...
  • Katz in Cleveland
    Katz in Cleveland
    “The Cleveland Museum of Art has…a global collection, so it’s possible to view Katz’s creations in several different contexts made possible by these holdings.”
  • Art and Artifacts
    Art and Artifacts
    Large and wonderfully varied, the Pestana Collection of World War I materials is a rich resource for the study of the 1914–1918 time period, reflecting Dr. Pestana’s long interest in World War I history and material culture.
  • A Trip to the Science Fair
    A Trip to the Science Fair
    “In examining works of art we can use the electromagnetic spectrum to our advantage, allowing us to see far more than we can with just our naked eye.”
  • ’10, ’13, ’15, ’16
    ’10, ’13, ’15, ’16
    “Individuality is the most important quality I took away from Zao Wou-Ki and my time at Colby College. Since I graduated, I’ve found the strength to express my individuality and push myself to continue to challenge myself.”
  • From STEM to STEAM
    From STEM to STEAM
    “This student’s extensive research into the ecology represented shed new light on this artwork, and demonstrated the potential for arts integration to define alternative pathways in art history.”
  • Our Leading Library
    Our Leading Library
    For twenty-three years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and have made a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
  • Water Music
    Water Music
    Music and performing arts were lifelong passions of Zao’s, and in both his personal and professional lives, he surrounded himself with music, performers, and composers.
  • Revollusion, or the Battle of Utopias
    Revollusion, or the Battle of Utopias
    “I don’t think you can learn without using boundless imagination, considering absurdity and failure, and analyzing and questioning the parameters used to transmit a message, both as a giver and a receiver.”
  • A Friendship
    A Friendship
    “The relationship between these modernist masters had its roots in their common cultural history, but flourished in environments distant from that time and place.”
  • Come Tour With Me
    Come Tour With Me
    “I smiled when I heard, “How do you know so much?” while on a spontaneous tour with a group of new docents two weeks ago, knowing these beginners would soon be asked the same question. We listen and share. We listen to share.”
  • Finding Zao Wou-Ki
    Finding Zao Wou-Ki
    “Two of the questions I have been hearing frequently since the opening of No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki on Mayflower Hill are Where did you get all of these paintings? and How did you find them?”
  • Peeking around the Back Side
    Peeking around the Back Side
    “A look at the reverse of a painting can reveal a lot about its structure and stability; it’s a bit like examining the foundation of a house.”
  • A Suite Semester
    A Suite Semester
    “In my seminar on the Vollard Suite, I learned how to look closely and how to help others look—for details, technique and style, visual connections to other works of art, and evidence of philosophical and symbolic influences.”
  • “Worlds Within Worlds”
    "Worlds Within Worlds"
    “Drew invited me to think differently about the ancient objects and ruins that I study each day, to see them in a new context of beauty and decay.”
  • A Bittersweet Goodbye
    A Bittersweet Goodbye
    “The Museum was a staff of four—and we all wore multiple hats to say the least…I distinctly remember sweeping the gallery floors and installing exhibition labels right before each exhibition opening!”
  • Revisiting america
    Revisiting america
    “Reencountering my work in the Colby Museum now, I see it as indicating the fine line between what we perceive as fixed or stable and what may at any moment disintegrate, fade away, or simply become an illegible replica of what it once stood for.”
  • Time Lapse
    Time Lapse
    Stretching the expanse of the lobby, Rivane Neuenschwander’s Ze Carioca was installed over the course of several days. This time lapse video condenses the process into a single minute.
  • A Colby Homecoming
    A Colby Homecoming
    “Though nostalgia initially drew me back to Mayflower Hill, it was the new ideas and connections that made my day truly special; as always, the weathervane atop Miller Library is perpetually poised to point students in new directions. “
  • What Happened to Kitty James?
    What Happened to Kitty James?
    “How is it possible to be sure of an artist’s intent when examining evidence that is almost two hundred years old?”
  • Reflecting on Quilted Conversations
    Reflecting on Quilted Conversations
    “At first I wondered if I would be a good fit for this project. I am a person from the community who is old enough to be the grandmother of the students involved. But the more I worked with the girls and listened to their conversations, the more I enjoyed ...
  • Loose Threads
    Loose Threads
    “At the core of Margolles’s recent work are questions about the insufficiencies of traditional modes of representation. Must a work of art embody or internalize brutality in order to address it?”
  • New Acquisition
    New Acquisition
    “For Durand, though, painting in nature wasn’t just a mode of practice; it was a way of living and working in communion with the very subject matter he put on canvas.”
  • On the Road
    On the Road
    A recent trip to the nation’s capitol provided Colby seniors with insights into a variety of arts professions.
  • Intern Insights
    Intern Insights
    “The Party in the Maple Sugar Camp is fascinating because it represents a work that never was, a project Johnson had great ambitions for that never came to fruition.”
  • Artist Attributed
    Artist Attributed
    “The surviving volumes of Bascom’s diary accumulate references to over 1,100 likenesses, and the more than two hundred extant portraits demonstrate her sensitivity to nuances of physiognomy and dress and her facility with a range of materials.”
  • Meet and Greet
    Meet and Greet
    “I immediately sensed that there is a genuine commitment by everyone to build the Museum as an open place for learning and engaging—not only for the college but for the entire community. That attitude is a recipe for success and I am thrilled to be a part of such an ...
  • The Art Doctor
    The Art Doctor
    The first post in a new series looking at the conservation of objects at the Colby Museum.
  • Intern Exchange
    Intern Exchange
    The Colby-Bowdoin intern partnership enhances our students’ network, knowledge, and skills.
  • A Mule in the Capitol
    A Mule in the Capitol
    “One thin sheet of paper tells us a story of a young, broke artist who, to further his artistic development, drew on anything he could.”
  • Want a Weather Vane?
    Want a Weather Vane?
    The Museum Student Advisory Board is offering Colby students the opportunity to design and have produced a weather vane representing their student group.
  • Objects on the Move
    Objects on the Move
    Despite being tucked away in northern New England, the Colby Museum’s objects are far from stationary.
  • Quilted Conversations
    Quilted Conversations
    The Museum is partnering with Colby’s Feminist Alliance, Students Organized for Black and Hispanic Unity (SOBHU), and the Womxn of Color Alliance (WOCA) to put together a series of workshops.
  • Anything but Common
    Anything but Common
    Just as the Colby Museum celebrates the re-launch of The Lantern, another Waterville cultural institution is celebrating a new space!
  • Lively Spaces, Lively Summer
    Lively Spaces, Lively Summer
    “I had finally returned to summer camp but was no longer the camper.”
  • First Impressions
    First Impressions
    In his doctor, Vincent Van Gogh found a partner and a brother, but also a fellow patient.
  • Face Off
    Face Off
    Benjamin Hallowell’s charmed life in Boston came to an end on August 26, 1765. . .
  • A Second Skin
    A Second Skin
    Men drawn to the whaling life were promised adventure, but scrimshaw attests that excitement did not dominate the months or years they were out at sea.
  • Director’s Spotlight
    Director’s Spotlight
    The Museum looks to build its new media collection in partnership with peer institutions.
  • A Year of Transitions
    A Year of Transitions
    “But this year, Beth has gently reminded me that all aspects of my experience, including that of being a woman, can enrich my work as a curator.”
  • Handle With Care
    Handle With Care
    “One of the biggest parts of our jobs is solving problems, because we’re doing things, in many instances, where no one has ever done it before.”
  • Seeing Green
    Seeing Green
    “Beginning early in popular environmentalism there’s a tendency to see environmental problems as universal and that makes it harder to see the inequities that exist, both socially and ecologically between certain communities around the world.”
  • A Supermarket in California
    A Supermarket in California
    “Every poet, every artist, lives in the shadows of those practitioners she most admires, those whose works have illuminated the world for her.”
  • A Danish Sojourn
    A Danish Sojourn
    “Judging from the good use that visitors made of Louisiana’s picturesque campus—reading, picnicking, napping, and the aforementioned swimming, not to mention listening and looking—the weekend had occasioned a renewable feast of exquisite memories.”