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Maine Arts and Culture

A Thriving Committment to the Arts

Southern Maine and the Portland area has much to offer! Visit a wide variety of museums and galleries from traditional to contemporary - small independent artist owned galleries and nationally recognized museums are all available.

The Old Port FestivalIn Portland's Art District one can experience all the cultural opportunities of any major metropolitan city but on a much more livable scale. The Portland Museum of Art, housing a permanent collection of paintings by Winslow Homer, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Picasso and other Masters; the Maine Historical Society and adjacent Longfellow House; Merrill Auditorium; the Portland Symphony Orchestra; the award winning Children's Museum of Maine; and Portland Stage Company are all within a ten-minute walk. The city supports a vibrant community of visual and performing artists plus a changing array of exhibits, festivals, concerts and has become well known as an antique shoppers dream. 

Dance performances are scheduled by the Portland Ballet Company, which has a repertoire of more than 30 ballets ranging from classic to contemporary. Maine State Ballet, based in nearby Falmouth, also presents ballet in Portland.

The nationally acclaimed Portland Symphony Orchestra performs at Merrill Auditorium. The orchestra offers classical and pops concerts from October through April, plus "Independence Pops" concerts in July and "Magic of Christmas" concerts in December. The Portland Opera Repertory Theatre (PORT) performs grand opera in the city's Merrill Auditorium during summer and winter. The Portland Concert Association presents dance, opera, musical theater, jazz, and classical music throughout the year. The 1929 State Theatre offers a variety of music performances.

Portland's Comitment to the Arts

Portland Museum of ArtLocated downtown, The Portland Museum of Art displays fine and decorative arts dating from the eighteenth century to the present. Featured are works by American artists such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, Andrew Wyeth, and Hiram Powers, and by such European artists as Auguste Renoir, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, and Mary Cassatt.

An extensive glass collection features the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The museum's primary building, designed by I. M. Pei and Partners, strives to capture the quality of "portland light" for the benefit of the art displayed there. Its neighboring buildings are the McLellan House, which dates from 1801, and the L.D.M. Sweat Galleries, a 1911 Beaux Arts structure; both of these buildings display American paintings and decorative arts.

Formerly the Museum of African Tribal Art, The Museum of African Culture, is the only museum in New England devoted exclusively to Sub-Saharan African tribal arts. The art and artifacts of its permanent collection total more than 1,500 items.

Located on the campus of the Maine College of Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art showcases new trends in contemporary art. The Salt Gallery exhibit features student and professional work in documentary studies/photography.

Offering participatory exhibits for children up to 10 years of age, The Children's Museum of Maine includes a farm, a grocery store, a car repair shop, and a vet clinic.

Portland's smaller museums include the Fire Museum, showcasing antique fire-fighting equipment; Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum, which exhibits a parlor car, coaches and locomotives, also offers 30-minute train rides along Casco Bay; the Portland Harbor Museum (formerly the Spring Point Museum) featuring local history and views of Portland Harbor; and the exhibits of the Maine Historical Society.

Addtional Relocation Information

Portland Arts & Culture Experience the variety of all Portland area museums and galleries at our Gallery Registry.
Local Maine Communities Access Local Community information available, including homes sales, schools and demographics.



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