Information on:

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Bowdoin College Museum of Art
9400 College Station

The original collection of European paintings, Old Master drawings, and family portraits given by James Bowdoin III and his family in 1811 and 1826 was housed in a sequence of different campus locations until The Walker Art Building was completed in 1894. Included on the National Register of Historic Places, the handsome structure was given to the College by Harriet and Sophia Walker in honor of their uncle Theophilus Walker, a Boston entrepreneur and businessman. The Walker sisters were encyclopedic collectors and supporters of art education; they selected the renowned architect Charles Follen McKim whose firm McKim, Mead and White also designed the Boston Public Library, Morgan Library in New York, and the Brooklyn Museum, among many other important commissions. A landmark building in the history of museum architecture in the United States, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is one of the few remaining structures in which the architectural and decorative ideals of the late nineteenth century are so fully realized. McKim chose warm brick and limestone with a cooler granite to give life to the “balanced and symmetrical” design he intended to fulfill the Walker sisters’ insistence on a “ building which shall be entirely devoted to art” and, unlike many other museums of the time, “will also show the purpose for which it is to be used.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media


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