Portland Museum of Art
This angular I. M. Pei–designed building in the heart of downtown Portland is not only the city’s shining cultural institution; it also houses the state’s oldest museum (and with 17,000 objects in its collection, the largest). In addition to crafts and early-American furniture, the museum is home to some impressive works by American artists—many of them painters with Maine affiliations: Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper. The more international in-house Joan Whitney Payson Collection also features heavy-hitters, with works by Picasso, Matisse, and Monet. The PMA’s biennial shines a spotlight on contemporary Maine artists as well, and it’s well worth timing a visit to take in the surfeit of local talent. Visitors can also partake in everything from watercolor classes to jazz brunches in the café on Sundays. In 2006, the museum acquired Winslow Homer’s home and studio on Prout’s Neck, and hopes to open it to the public by 2010.
Insider Tip: Friday evenings, thanks to support from L. L. Bean, are free to the public.
Admission: $10 adults; $8 students and seniors; $4 children (ages 6–17). Open Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; also open Monday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. from June to mid-October. Guided tours daily at 2 p.m.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.