Most people don’t use world-class museums and Camden in the same sentence but they should. We are fortunate to have some amazing museums and not just for art lovers. These are great activities for a rainy day or for anyone who is inspired by art, the history of transportation, and lighthouses. Here are my four top museums that should be on your list of “must-see” things to do.
Maine Lighthouse Museum
Once you pass through these doors at One Park Drive in Rockland, Maine you will enter the Maine Lighthouse Museum, home to the largest collection of lighthouse, lifesaving, and U.S. Coast Guard artifacts in the nation, founded by the late CWO4, Ken Black.
The mission of the Maine Lighthouse Museum is to educate the public regarding the long-standing traditions, heroism and progress of America’s Lighthouse and Lifesaving services and the United States Coast Guard through the conservation and interpretation of the nation’s most significant collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts. Read more about the museum here.
Center for Maine Contemporary Art
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) advances contemporary art in Maine through direct engagement with artists and the public, creating exceptional exhibitions and programs that communicate the transformative power of the art of our time.
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art has been supporting, exhibiting, and sustaining arts and artists with ties to Maine since its founding in 1952. In that time, CMCA has grown from a scrappy upstart presenting shows in barns and backrooms to become the state’s preeminent contemporary arts organization, hosting a slew of internationally-known artists along the way. With its new space in the heart of downtown Rockland, CMCA extends its reach exponentially, allowing it to continue its mission on a whole new level. Read more about their story and mission here.
Owls Head Transportation Museum
Owls Head, ME
This museum could be called Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and More! It’s not just a museum about cars, it’s for lovers of any and all modes of transportation.
The Owls Head Transportation Museum is a nonprofit educational organization. Its mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and operate pre-1940 aircraft, ground vehicles, engines and related technologies significant to the evolution of transportation for the purpose of education.
Home to a world-class operating collection, the Owls Head Transportation Museum (OHTM) features more than 150 antique automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, bicycles, engines and more. Located in picturesque Midcoast Maine, the Museum offers something for everyone with award-winning exhibits halls, community education programs and a full event season, featuring Wings & Wheels Spectacular and the New England Auto Auction™.
Founded in 1974, the Museum is a place where machines of a bygone era are celebrated through conservation, preservation, and demonstration. Unlike many museums, OHTM’s collection is primarily operational, offering visitors a spectacular and rare experience at a number of outdoor events throughout the year. Care and maintenance of these historic vehicles aircraft requires the attention of a small but mighty staff and an extensive, dedicated volunteer network. Read more about their story and history here.
Farnsworth Art Museum
The Farnsworth Art Museum, or simply the Farnsworth is truly world-class and is a must-see when in Camden. In my humble opinion.
The Farnsworth celebrates Maine’s role in American Contemporary Art and offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. The museum has over 20,000 square feet of gallery space and 15,000 works in the collection. Its Wyeth Center contains numerous works by Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth. Read more about the Farnsworth Art Museum here.
All of these museums are an easy, short drive from Elms of Camden so I encourage to visit one or all of them if they strike your fancy. Thanks for reading and safe travels.
Elms of Camden