current exhibition

Stories of the Sea

Featuring Vincent van Gogh’s first painting to depict
the outdoors and two seminal paintings by Andrew Wyeth

Installation view of Stories of the Sea, featuring Hew Locke’s Gravesend, at the Currier Museum. Photo by Morgan Karanasios.

The Currier is thrilled to present Stories of the Sea, a new show that brings together a number of extraordinary loans with a wide array of artworks and objects from the museum’s permanent collection in order to explore various maritime themes.

The selection spans the 16th century to the present day, and includes dramatic seascapes painted in the Romantic tradition; images of steamers and transoceanic travels, referencing migration and tourism; representations of harbors and shipyards; and poetic tributes to the hardships endured by men working at sea.

Stories of the Sea also looks at the ways in which women have been conventionally depicted by the Western art canon in relation to the sea. Although at times seductive and mysterious, as in the case of mermaids and mythological sea monsters, women are more often presented as melancholic and pensive, waiting in anguish ashore for the return of their men. Georgia O’Keeffe’s Cross by the Sea, Canada (1932), one of the most beloved paintings in the Currier’s collection, stands out in this section.

A First for Van Gogh + Two Works by Wyeth

Visitors can view Vincent van Gogh’s first outdoor painting, Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather (1882). The work shows diminutive figures walking along the shore against three anchored boats, and provides among the first glimpses into the techniques of a visionary artist whose expressive and emotive use of vibrant colors and dynamic application of paint would transform the art world forever.

Set in Scheveningen, a seaside town near The Hague in the Netherlands, the artwork was painted eleven days prior to Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather, which is held at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

This extraordinary painting is on temporary loan to the Currier alongside two paintings by Andrew Wyeth, whose first museum exhibition took place at the Currier in 1939, when the artist was just 21 years old. The oldest of the paintings is The Wake (1964), a haunting image of an unmanned boat careening unpredictably. The other, Day Dream (1980) features a recumbent nude charged with psychological tension and a sense of illicit intimacy.

Now on view.

past exhibitions

Archived material on past exhibitions can be explored further here, and recent past exhibition catalogues are available through the museum shop.

artist in residence

Our Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program invites artists to live and work at the museum. While in residence, artists consider the collection and community, and refresh our perspectives on the role of the museum. The program is central to the Currier Museum’s mission of connecting our audiences with art and creative thinking, whether of the past or the future. We hope to learn from our visiting artists – and be surprised by their perspectives.

Artists working in all media participate in the AIR program, which has three main components: 1) an open call to support emerging artists making socially engaged art; 2) an invitational through which artists are selected to develop special projects, commissions, or exhibitions; and 3) artist-led, community-centered public art projects in the city of Nashua, NH.


Open Call for Artist in Residence Applications

Our annual open call is currently live from October 1 – December 1, 2022. Artists who share the museum’s goal of positively impacting communities through the transformative power of art are encouraged to apply to this residency.

Learn More