Farnsworth Receives $3 Million Wyeth Foundation Gift

FarnsworthArtist Jamie Wyeth with Chares and Julie Cawley at an event in their honor. Photo by Michael O”Neil.

The Farnsworth Art Museum, in downtown Rockland, Maine, is pleased to announce the receipt of a $3 Million gift from the Wyeth Foundation in honor of Julie and Charlie Cawley. The gift was announced at an event honoring the Cawleys, on Tuesday, June 30, at the museum’s Wyeth Center.

The gift to the Farnsworth Art Museum will go towards the museum’s Andrew Wyeth Memorial Endowment, launched in September 2009. Income from the endowment will support the maintenance and operation of four of the Farnsworth Art Museum’s properties: the Wyeth Center, Wyeth Study Center and Wyeth Research Center in Rockland, Maine, and the Olson House in Cushing, Maine—site of Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting Christina’s World.  “Phyllis and I are thrilled to be at this re-affirmation of our gratitude to Charlie Cawley for his transformation of the Farnsworth museum,” Artist Jamie Wyeth said to the sixty-or-more guests gathered for the evening’s festivities. “In that spirit Phyllis and I would like to continue the legacy that Charlie began. It is our pleasure to announce that the Board of Trustees of the Wyeth Foundation is awarding a grant to the Farnsworth Art Museum in the amount of $3 million.”

“Charlie and Julie Cawley’s leadership and generosity towards this museum were transformative,” commented Farnsworth Director Christopher J. Brownawell. “With this gift of $3 Million— the single largest gift to this museum ever—Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth allow the Farnsworth to once again chart a new course. With this major gift, the Andrew Wyeth Memorial Endowment will begin covering operational costs to four of our  properties—freeing up sorely needed funds for the types of exhibitions and programming that have placed this museum on the National stage.”

Charlie Cawley, co-founder of MBNA, has been a major philanthropist to not only the Farnsworth Art Museum, but to the entire midcoast of Maine. In the late 1990s, his generosity allowed the museum to transform a former Methodist Church on Union Street in Rockland into the Farnsworth’s Wyeth Center, and also to greatly expand its gallery space by transforming the former J.J. Newberry’s department store into what is now the Morehouse Wing of the Farnsworth.

The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s ongoing role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 15,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The National Register-listed Farnsworth Homestead; the Olson House, a National Historic Landmark; and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex. Please visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org for more information on current exhibitions, programs and events.