Bowdoin College Museum of Art recently presented an Edward Hopper retrospective — Photo courtesy of Bowdoin College Museum of ArtAt the heart of Brunswick’s cultural renaissance is Bowdoin College, long an intellectual foundation for this quaint community. In addition to presenting a diverse array of public lectures, dance and theatre performances, the Bowdoin College of Art is a true gem. Consider, for instance, the fall 2011 exhibition “Edward Hopper’s Maine” in which the museum presented little known works by one of the Pine Tree State’s artistic giants. Free and open to the public, this museum features more than 20,000 objects in its vast collection. Contained within its walls are prized items representative of artistic achievements from the ancient world to the 21st century including decorative arts, paintings, and sculpture.
The Joshua Chamberlain House — Photo courtesy of Mark PechenikAcross the street from the Bowdoin College campus is the home, and now museum, of one of Maine’s greatest heroes. Prior to becoming Bowdoin College’s president in the late 1800s, General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was one the Union Army’s best commanders during the Civil War. His courageous stand at Little Round Top (in which he led his men in a successful charge down the hill, even though they had exhausted their ammunition, to capture hundreds of Confederate soldiers) is the stuff of legend.
Indeed, following publication of The Killer Angels, the Chamberlain Museum saw a dramatic upsurge in visitors. The museum is a fitting tribute to Chamberlain; here, informed guides recount Chamberlain’s life while pointing out such artifacts as the chair he used to sign progressive legislation as Maine’s governor, the bullet which wounded him during an infantry charge, and even the uniform he wore at Gettysburg.
Following an afternoon of touring these standout locations, it is time to sample some of Brunswick’s eateries. In recent years, the town has joined other Southern Maine communities which have become known for their gourmet cuisine. You can enjoy expertly prepared and presented food ranging from Indian to Mexican and Italian. Among establishments worth trying are El Camino (Mexican), Flipside Pizza (gourmet pizza), Great Impasta (Italian), and Shere Punjab (Indian).
"Grease" as recently performed at the Maine State Music Theatre — Photo courtesy of Maine State Music TheatreAfter a satisfying meal, why not sample Brunswick’s evening entertainment offerings? A good bet is the Maine State Music Theatre. This non-profit theatre company has been offering quality, professional productions for more than five decades. Recent presentations include stellar renditions of Broadway hits such as 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, and Sunset Boulevard.
Given all of these great things to do, Brunswick should definitely be on your trip itinerary while visiting Portland.