For the remainder of the academic year, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art will show the second half of its two-part portrayal of "The American Scene."

Part I of this exhibit comprised the nationally significant Federal and Colonial portraits as well as early 19th-century portraits.

Following a chronological trajectory, Part II draws from art created between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries in American history.

Diana K. Tuite, the resident Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Intern, composed the exhibit of around 25 paintings and three sculptures. Only one of these pieces is on loan for the exhibit.

In describing the exhibit, Tuite emphasized the tug of war between looking back and looking forward that surfaces in many of the pieces. Particularly evident, she explained, is that the art "hints at what is to come with post-war art."

Much of the art also reveals the diverse avenues that artists pursued both stylistically and in terms of subject matter at the turn of the last century.

The numerous landscapes within the show especially illuminate this diversity. Several of these landscapes are tropical settings, which Tuite attributed to the American painter's "broadening interest" in landscape.

Another unique aspect of this exhibit is the emphasis it places on Maine landscape paintings.

Tuite explained that because many of the featured artists lived in New England and New York, they were drawn toward the numerous artistic colonies in Maine. Several of the landscapes depict Maine settings, most notably paintings by Rockwell Kent, James Fitzgerald, and Marsden Hartley.

Other landscapes in the show emphasize the stylistic diversity with which the American setting was rendered at the time. There are several metaphysical landscapes, as well as those that showcase expressionistic color.

Portraits also play a striking role in this exhibit. On either side of Cecilia Beaux's massive portrait of Anna Scott Fisher, Tuite arranged numerous portraits that document the ways in which artists were using primitive styles to push forward the role and representation of figurative painting.

The city and urban loneliness also emerge as prominent themes in these paintings, revealing their importance in American culture.

"The American Scene: Part II" serves as a beautiful, eclectic conclusion to the museum's year-long exhibit of American art. It reveals the important pluralistic direction in which art was moving in the early 20th century.

Rather than comprising a "linear map," Tuite explained, the art in this exhibit reveals the numerous, distinct styles that American artists developed to reflect the changes of the time.

"The American Scene: Part II" is in the Boyd Gallery and will be on display until June 8, 2008.