COA to show film premiere about longtime MDI summer resident, artist

Robert S. Neuman

BAR HARBOR — Adopting a serial approach to his art practice, modernist artist and longtime Mount Desert Island summer resident Robert S. Neuman (1926-2015) sought to define and resolve artistic contradictions in successive bodies of work – groups of paintings, drawings or prints that sometimes extended over decades. 

Join College of the Atlantic for the premiere of a new film about Neuman at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the Davis Center for Human Ecology.  

“Pieces of the World: The Art and Life of Robert S. Neuman” gathers in-person interviews with scholars, family and friends; archival and personal photographs; and images of numerous artworks to create an intimate and compelling portrait of the artist.  

The film tracks Neuman’s early commercial success with Pace Gallery and Allan Stone Gallery, both in New York City, and his efforts to balance his studio practice with teaching appointments at institutions including Brown, Harvard and Keene State College in New Hampshire, where he retired as chair of its art department.  

The film also looks at Neuman’s personal life: interviews with family members, friends and colleagues reveal his long connection to MDI, where he spent summers for nearly 50 years; his combined sensitivity and drive; and his ability to tell a humorous story at his own expense. 

The film was produced by the Estate of Robert S. Neuman, with underwriting from Keene State College. It was written and narrated by Brian Wallace, curator of the David Sarnoff Collection at the College of New Jersey. Former Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery educator Shari Osborn provided the film concept and initial interviews, and assistant professor of Visual Communication at Landmark College Eric Stewart handled post-production consulting and editing.  

The showing is accompanied by a Neuman exhibition at the Davis Center that runs until Sept. 4. 

This free event is open to the public as part of COA’s annual summer event series, which is underwritten by the College of the Atlantic Champlain Society. Registration is not required. Learn more at 


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