BRIDGTON — The Rufus Porter Museum of Art & Ingenuity names the latest addition to their downtown Bridgton campus in honor of the Graham Family. In a unanimous vote by the Rufus Porter Museum board of trustees, the most recent addition to the museum campus has been named in honor of long-time supporters and enthusiasts of the museum, Judith and William Graham and family.

The Graham Center, the third and most ambitious addition to the museum, fulfills a vision almost twenty years in the making and joins the historic Webb and Church Houses to form the greater Rufus Porter Museum campus. Housed in a post-and-beam structure cut and erected on site, the purpose-built gallery is the realization of a long-held vision of the founders to create a permanent space to display wall and staircase murals painted by Porter’s nephew, Jonathan D. Poor, from the Norton Homestead in East Baldwin, Maine. Poor, the earliest disciple of the itinerant painters known as Members of the Porter School of Landscape Mural Painting, painted the homestead murals in 1840.

Not only does the Center provide a permanent exhibition space for a superbly preserved collection of wall murals that has never been overpainted or wallpapered, but it also features interactive exhibits designed and implemented by Perch Design Studio of Portland, Maine, a multi-disciplinary museum design studio. It also provides areas for changing exhibits and community meetings, lectures and education, and climate-controlled storage space for the museum’s growing collections.
As a result of forward momentum spurred on by the addition of the Graham Center, exhibits in the Webb and Church Houses have been redesigned and integrated with new galleries to provide an educationally immersive and entertaining experience centered on New England-based artist, inventor, and museum namesake, Rufus Porter.

While perhaps best known for his legacy as a folk art muralist and portrait painter, Porter has come to be appreciated as a lifetime innovator and was recognized by Time magazine as the early 19th-century “Yankee da Vinci” in 1970. The addition of the Graham Center provides an exciting opportunity to showcase his legacy as a visionary inventor, patent holder, and founding editor and publisher of Scientific American, the oldest continuously published periodical in the U.S.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: