With its rugged coastline, picturesque lighthouses, and charming small towns, Maine is a state that has long captured the imagination of artists and art lovers alike. But beyond its natural beauty, Maine also boasts a vibrant and diverse art scene that is well worth exploring. From world-class museums to innovative galleries and artist studios, the Pine Tree State offers a wealth of opportunities to experience and engage with art. One of the best ways to delve into Maine’s art scene is by following the Maine Art Museum Trail, a curated route that takes you to some of the state’s most enchanting art institutions.

The Maine Art Museum Trail: An Overview

The Maine Art Museum Trail is a network of nine museums spread across the state, each offering a unique perspective on Maine’s art and culture. The trail spans over 200 miles, from the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in the south to the University of Maine Museum of Art in the north. Along the way, visitors can explore a diverse range of art, from traditional landscape paintings to contemporary installations.

Starting the Journey: Ogunquit Museum of American Art

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is a perfect starting point for the Maine Art Museum Trail. Nestled on the rocky coast, the museum houses a collection of over 3,000 works, focusing on American modernism. The museum’s sculpture garden, with its stunning ocean views, is a must-see.

Exploring Portland’s Art Scene

Next on the trail is Maine’s largest city, Portland, home to the Portland Museum of Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art. The Portland Museum of Art boasts an impressive collection of European, American, and contemporary art, while the Institute of Contemporary Art showcases innovative works by emerging and established artists.

Mid-Coast Gems: The Farnsworth Art Museum and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art

Continuing north, the trail leads to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, known for its extensive collection of works by the Wyeth family. Nearby, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art offers a dynamic program of exhibitions and events.

Historic Highlights: The Colby College Museum of Art and the Maine State Museum

In Waterville, the Colby College Museum of Art houses one of the nation’s premier collections of American art. Further north in Augusta, the Maine State Museum offers a fascinating look at Maine’s history through art and artifacts.

Ending the Trail: The University of Maine Museum of Art

The trail concludes at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor, which features a diverse collection of contemporary art. The museum’s rotating exhibitions ensure there’s always something new to discover.

Planning Your Visit

While the Maine Art Museum Trail can be completed in a few days, taking the time to explore each museum and the surrounding areas will provide a richer experience. Many of the museums offer workshops, lectures, and special events, so be sure to check their calendars when planning your visit.


Maine’s art scene is as diverse and captivating as its landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or a casual observer, the Maine Art Museum Trail offers a unique and enriching way to explore the state’s cultural treasures. So why wait? Start planning your artistic journey through Maine today!

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