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Portland Museum of Art completes banner year
Winslow Homer Studio - Fish, 2012©trentbellphotography.

PORTLAND, ME.- The Portland Museum of Art finished 2012 with the highest attendance in more than a decade and the second-highest attendance in museum history. The PMA had 177,824 visitors in 2012, a 34 percent increase from the previous year. Additionally, the museum broke a historic attendance record with 25,853 visitors for the month of December. More than 1,700 new members joined the museum due to the excitement generated around the opening of the Winslow Homer Studio and the exhibition Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine (September 22-December 30), bringing the PMA’s membership to nearly 9,000.

In addition to Weatherbeaten, other exhibitions contributed to the museum’s success including: Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist; Tanja Alexia Hollander: Are You Really My Friend?; From Portland to Paris: Mildred Burrage’s Years in France; The Draw of the Normandy Coast, 1860–1960; Maine Sublime: Frederic Edwin Church’s Landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin; The Portland Society of Art: Winslow Homer’s Legacy in Maine; and Between Past and Present: The Homer Studio Photographic Project.

“Twenty twelve was a banner year for the Portland Museum of Art,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire. “We were successful on so many fronts: attendance, membership, Store & Café sales, fundraising, and most importantly, we raised our national reputation in the art world with the opening of the Winslow Homer Studio and the exhibition Weatherbeaten. We can’t thank the people of Maine and those outside the state enough for all of their support of the museum.”

This year promises to be yet another exciting year for the PMA. The exhibition schedule begins with a retrospective of paintings by the beloved contemporary Maine artist Lois Dodd in Lois Dodd: Catching the Light (January 17 – April 7). Voices of Design: 25 Years of Architalx (February 2 – May 19) celebrates 25 years of Portland’s Architalx lecture series with an interactive exhibition that showcases the power of design. The PMA’s celebration of Maine artists continues with the Circa series exhibition Blueberry Rakers: Photographs by David Brooks Stess (April 6 – May 19), featuring photographs of Maine’s annual blueberry harvest. The major summer exhibition, The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism (May 2 – September 8), from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, showcases 62 works from one of the most important collections of modern art in the country. SHANGAA: Art of Tanzania (June 8 – August 25) is the first major exhibition in the United States to focus on the traditional and living arts of Tanzania. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted (September 7 – December 8) will showcase recent works by the celebrated New York-based Iraqi artist. In conjunction with the Maine Civil War Trail Project, the PMA will present Winslow Homer’s Civil War (September 7 – December 8), an exhibition of Winslow Homer’s wood engravings drawn from our permanent collection. The year will conclude with the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial (September 26, 2013 – January 5, 2014), a juried exhibition that will include submissions from a breadth of contemporary artists.

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