The graphics studio at the Liberty campus, 1955; photographed by student Ross Lowell. Image courtesy Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.


This summer the Portland Museum of Art  mounted an exhibition about the first nineteen years of Haystack. In the Vanguard: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 1950-1969. The show explores how an experimental school in rural Maine transformed art, craft, and design in the 20th century and helped define the aesthetics of the nation’s counterculture.

Organized by co-curators Rachael Arauz and Diana Greenwold, the exhibition includes more than 90 works of art, including textiles, ceramics, glass, metalwork, paintings, and prints, as well as newly discovered correspondence, photographs, brochures, posters, and magazine articles from the Haystack archive. In the Vanguard presents the most comprehensive exhibition to date about one of the country’s most influential and lasting art institutions. It is a vital, compelling, and inspiring story about the pivotal imprint one small school in Maine has left on midcentury American culture. 

The exhibition has closed in Portland and will travel to Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and will be on view there December 14, 2019 – March 8, 2020.


Download the full Press Release from the Portland Museum of Art

Related Press:

Washington Post
(July 24) What makes a great art school? Haystack has the elusive answer.

Boston Globe
(June 23) In Maine, a persistent vision amid the pines.

Portland Press Herald
(April 28) Museums look at the legacies of 2 Maine art colonies

Forbes Magazine:
(April 25) A Celebration Of Haystack, Coastal Maine’s Visionary Crafts School

Portland Press Herald:
(March 28) Four Maine arts groups receive $329,000 in federal funding