Maine College of Art & Design is pleased to announce a new gift of artwork donated through the generosity of Rick, Bill, and Brad Barton in honor of their mother, the artist Nancy Hemenway Barton. The piece, entitled Stone, Stone, is an original textile sculpture that is now on display in College's Joanne Waxman Library. 

Nancy Hemenway Barton, Stone, Stone, bayeta with bayeta applique and lamb’s wool and alpaca needlecraft, 57" x 91", 1975.

Stone, Stone was originally exhibited in our library as part of a 2017 “Hemenway Trail” that celebrated the artist's breakthrough career through a collaborative display of her large-scale textile wall hangings at art institutions across Maine, also including the Portland Museum of Art and Bates College. The multi-site exhibition was developed in conjunction with the Art Gallery at the University of New England’s major retrospective Ahead of Her Time: The Life and Work of Nancy Hemenway Barton, which included watercolors, oils, portraits, textile designs and wall hangings. The show was curated by Anne Zill alongside Hemenway’s sons, who referred to an installation guide Hemenway drafted on a piece of cardboard years earlier. 

“We are grateful to the Barton family for choosing Maine College of Art & Design to display this seminal artwork by such a prominent and celebrated Maine artist,” said President Laura Freid. “As a feminist, globalist, and mentor for younger women artists seeking to balance careers with raising a family, Hemenway was ahead of her time.”

Nancy Hemenway Barton (1920-2008) was born in Boothbay Harbor and lived in Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and elsewhere. It was in Bolivia that Hemenway moved from painting to working with yarns and hand-loomed wools. The artist referred to the new media as “bayetage,” a word she invented to reflect her combinations of collage and bayeta (flower-dyed wool). Over her life, Hemenway participated in 20 solo exhibitions, including major shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine, and the Los Angeles County Museum. Her work has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Although Maine College of Art & Design is not a collecting institution, an exception was made to be able to share the stunning artwork Stone Stone with the public. The artwork is especially valuable as an inspiration to the students taking courses in the College's Textile & Fashion Design program.

Read more about Nancy Hemenway Barton and view a catalog of the related retrospective exhibit at A limited supply of the catalogs are also available for free distribution at the Joanne Waxman Library.