Recently off the Wall

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Stephanie Lampert (b. 1983), York, 2007, C-print mounted on Sintra, Paul W. Zimmerman Purchase Fund, 2011.33

NEW/NOW: Stephanie Lempert
Jan. 11–Apr. 13, 2014
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014

NEW/NOW: Stephanie Lempert explores systems of visual and verbal communication through sculpture, photography and video. Lempert is fascinated by the language she infuses in her work: recorded snippets of conversations, personal histories, and memories. She is both a collector and preserver of sounds and stories, sourcing the raw material for her work from the vast urban landscape of New York City, as well as from one-on-one interviews she conducts with her subjects.

In her Language of Space series, Lempert is an anonymous listener who tunes into dialogues exchanged across various New York neighborhoods, transportation hubs, and bridges. She documents each chosen site first by photographing it and then by infusing the surface of the image with transcriptions of the overheard conversations. As in the Language of Space series, the Memory Lines series also combines photography and language to capture not only the expressions of the sitters but also the stories of their lives. Written in the subjects' own handwriting, aspects of their biographies are hidden in their facial lines and wrinkles.

In Reconstructed Reliquaries, hand-written childhood memories are interwoven to produce actual objects with the aid of 3D printing. NEW/NOW: Stephanie Lempert will survey these bodies of work, as well as debut her video project and three new Language of Space photographs.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Lempert is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been exhibited at Socrates Sculpture Park, The Armory Show, Art Basel Miami, the Moscow World Fine Art Fair, the 2006 New York Video Festival and many other venues in the U.S. and abroad.


Maurice Sendak, Wild Thing & Max, late 60's early 1970's, Ink & watercolor on paper, 20 1/2 x 16 1/2 in., original illustration Private collection, Edward T. Long Circa

Maurice Sendak
Nov. 9, 2013–Feb. 9, 2014
Opening Reception
5:30-7:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013

Maurice Sendak will be comprised of 65 works, culled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sendak’s beloved Where the Wild Things Are. It will explore the creative genius of a man who gave form, in words and images, to the fierce power of children’s imagination. Original works will be complemented by quotes from 50 prominent individuals such as Tom Hanks, President Barak Obama and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss). Also in the gallery will be a film, documentaries, a reading table for children and families, and an interactive art-making area.

The exhibition will be grouped in four themes and will examine:

Where the Wild Things Are: From Pages to Stages and Screens: Original book illustrations, limited-edition lithographs, and sculpture; opera set design drawings; movie concept sketches

“A book is a book is a book": Illustrations for The Sign at Rosie’s Door, Pierre, In the Night Kitchen, Little Bear, and more

Cover to Cover; Wall to Wall: Magazine covers, original posters, prints and more (Including art for The Rolling Stone, American Ballet, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and Children’s Book Week)


 

Lisa Hoke
Lisa Hoke, The Gravity of Color, New Britain, 2008, installation, Stephen B. Lawrence Fund and the Edwin Austin Abbey Mural Fund of the National Academy of Design


Lisa Hoke, The Gravity of Color, New Britain (detail)

Lisa Hoke: The Gravity of Color
May 28, 2008 (beginning)

Following a national competition for the honor, artist Lisa Hoke of New York City has been commissioned to create a new installation for the NBMAA at the top of the LeWitt Staircase leading from the first to second floor of the Museum. Her work on the colorful multi-media artwork will begin May 28 and will be completed by the end of June.

Hoke is a 2008 recipient of a fellowship sponsored by the Edwin Austin Abbey Endowment at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts. More than 50 artists from throughout the U.S. submitted proposals for the project, coordinated in conjunction with NBMAA Director Douglas Hyland. A panel of six judges reviewed applications for the project, including three Museum representatives -- Hyland, NBMAA Chairman Timothy McLaughlin and Trustee Linda Cheverton-Wick.

Hoke’s work will replace The Eye, an installation created by Stephen Hendee in 2006 for the opening of the Chase Family Building.

Hoke is known for the innovative use of “found” materials in her work. Her NBMAA installation will be created with clear plastic cups coated with vibrantly colored paints, as well as new and vintage opaque paper cups found through a variety of sources.

Each of thousands of cups will be attached to Museum walls with a grommet, or glued, creating a breathtaking, jewel-like visual impact with swirls of color and texture. During her installation, Hoke will work with several assistants to choreograph the work from the wall at the top of the staircase, around the windows and up the inner wall next to the staircase as it extends to the second floor.

Hoke’s installation, like Stephen Hendee’s work The Eye, is a temporary piece which will be replaced in two to five years by another commissioned work of art. Hoke has created similar installations for other U.S. museums.



Fern Berman, Architecture 101, detail, 1999, C-Print on Somerset Velvet 330 gsm paper, 30 x 20 in., New Britain Museum of American Art


Fern Berman (b. 1958), Man in the Moon, 2011, C-print on Somerset Velvet 330 gsm paper, 42 x 28 in., Collection of the artist

NEW/NOW: Fern Berman
Sept. 21, 2013–Jan. 5, 2014
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013
Remarks at 2:30 p.m.

Brilliant color, almost meditative compositions and illusory textures reveal a photographer who “paints” with her camera. Connecticut-based photographer Fern Berman finds beauty in unexpected places: a swatch of flaking paint, a splash of Venetian red, words of faded graffiti or an ancient weathered rooftop. Approximately twenty of her photographs, whose emotive color owes a “great debt” to painters such as Franz Marc, Mark Rothko, Vasily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee, will be on view in NEW/NOW: Fern Berman.

Berman’s interest in abstraction, color relationships and expression through de-materialization and decay rests on patient observation and extended contemplation of her chosen subject. Whether viewed as a group or individually at close range, her photographs pose the question: does Berman imbue the subject with mystery and emotion through her distinctive vision, or is she simply revealing the layers of what is already there? As Tracey O’Shaughnessy of Republican-American has observed, “Perhaps that’s [her] way of reminding us how each of us lays a thin layer of ourselves which ultimately erodes to reveal something earlier and more atavistic. Or perhaps it’s a reminder that corrosion itself is a kind of beauty. More than likely, though, it is the photographer’s gentle nudge to encourage us to look a little closer to see radiance in the neglected, moldering architecture that defines our lives.”

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1958, Berman studied photography at the Art Institute of Boston and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In addition to the New Britain Museum of American Art, her work is represented in the collections of Wesleyan University, the Buhl Foundation, WNPR New Haven, and numerous other private collections.


 

Holiday Decorations
Dec. 4, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014

The Museum's halls will be decked with creatively themed trees, the centerpiece being a Hawaiian Christmas Tree in the lobby to complement and celebrate the exhibition Aloha: Hawaiian Art and Artifacts from the Sullivan Collection. The ArtLab will host a Kwanzaa Tree by artist and docent Loretta Eason. A Paint Brush Tree in the Impressionism Gallery will celebrate the Impressionist's love of paint and color. In the Benton Gallery an interpretive tree will help bring the murals to life. And, in homage to our contemporary artists, visitors will find a pink Martin Kline-inspired tree in the Contemporary Gallery. Not to leave out the culinary arts, the Café on the Park will feature a Recipe Swap Tree. Yes, leave one of your favorite recipes and take a new one to try.

Also on view, the Moser Library will be dressed in traditional Victorian Christmas splendor thanks to artist Ken Adams, and the Beth El Temple of West Hartford will put up a Hanukkah Display in the Stanley Works Center.

Thanks go to the Holiday Decorating Committee Ken Adams, Manon-Lu Christ, Lydia Dyson, Ellen Fisher, Wendy Kirkland, and Carol Shimelman.


 

STAGECRAFT: 50 Years of Design at Hartford Stage
Oct. 2–Dec. 15, 2013
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
Remarks at 6 p.m.

In celebration of Hartford Stage’s 50th Anniversary Season, STAGECRAFT consists of a selection of costumes, props and scenic elements from the company’s extensive collection. A hallmark of the theatre’s work is the quality of the work that appears on stage, all of which is built here in Hartford. Scores of locally based artists, craftspeople, and technicians created these pieces to animate the visions of some of the world’s most prominent theatrical designers.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most distinguished awards, including a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Margo Jones Award for Development of New Works, OBIE awards, and two New York Critics Circle Awards, and has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April, The Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm, The Carpetbagger’s Children, The Orphans' Home Cycle, Tea at Five and Resurrection (Through the Night).

“We are thrilled to partner with Hartford Stage to celebrate 50 years of great theater and community service,” said Douglas Hyland, Director of New Britain Museum. “And to offer this treasure to the public makes this project a stunning example of a collaborative effort between two of Hartford areas anchor institutions.


 


Jason Huff, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, Google Search Suggestions, 2010–13, Book cover, 9 x 7 in.

New Media: Jason Huff
July 27–Dec. 8, 2013
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
Remarks at 6 p.m.

Jason Huff’s the road not taken highlights the hidden systems and processes that underlie our routine use of the web and other digital tools.

Brooklyn-based artist, writer and designer Jason Huff is intensely interested in how our interactions with new media technologies shape our daily experiences and affect the creative process. Huff’s multi-media installations critically examine the validity and usefulness of innovations in digital publishing and other mainstay Internet features, weighing the ability of new digital tools to effectively replace “old media.”

The Road Not Taken playfully explores the effects of the Internet on literature and art. The project takes Robert Frost's seminal 1916 poem, The Road Not Taken, and re-envisions it five times by feeding it through Google's auto-complete search function. Of the work, Huff says the following: “As technology automates suggestions and routes data algorithmically, our decisions about the information we navigate to become increasingly important.” On view will be a traditionally bound and printed collection of Huff’s iterations of Frost’s poem as well as an audio recording of Huff’s tongue-in-cheek poetry being recited.


 

Max Ginsberg, The Friends, New Britain Museum of American Art

Imagine That! Children’s and Young Adult Illustrations from the Sanford B.D. Low Illustration Collection
Begins June 24, 2013

Imagine That! Children’s and Young Adult Illustrations from the Sanford B.D. Low Illustration Collection spans 120 years of American illustration, focusing on original art created for children’s and young adult books, periodicals and newspapers as well as science fiction and graphic art for young readers. It draws from the Museum’s rich holdings and includes acrylics, watercolors, gouaches, oils, pen and ink drawings, and photography.

Visitors can unravel Walter Wick’s photograph for I Spy: Treasure Hunt: A Picture Book of Riddles, see early Disney technology in an animation cel from Pinocchio, and immerse themselves in the adventure of N.C. Wyeth’s painting for Treasure Island. Also featured is the work of Nicholas Napoletano, a recent graduate of the Illustration Program at the Hartford Art School who illustrated a children’s story written by the Museum’s Director Douglas Hyland. Look for The Mystery of West Rock on the bookshelves of the Museum Shop later this year.


 

Barbara Bosworth (b. 1953), Bill above Millers River. detail, Inkjet print, 24 x 60 in. Gift of the artist courtesy of the National Park Service, 2013.30

To Be at the Farther Edge: Photographs Along the New England Trail: Barbara Bosworth
Opening Reception
5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
First Friday fee applied

The Museum is proud to participate in an "exhibition trail" dedicated to landscape photography of Barbara Bosworth, Artist-in-Residence for the New England National Scenic Trail (NET). Nine Connecticut and Massachusetts venues along the trail will feature her visual response to the vistas and paths she encountered while hiking. As Curator Randi Hopkins explains, "The 215-mile trail that she photographed runs through a remarkable swath of New England, rich in natural beauty, geological significance, and cultural heritage. Her works capture the unique experience of nature - what is seen at on one particular moment during one particular day, at one particular time of year - as well as the paradoxically timeless nature of our natural environment."
The exhibition trail is presented by the National Park Service in cooperation with the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Connecticut Forest & Park Association.

 


Jacob Collins, Overcast Fire Island, detail, 2012, Oil on panel, 13 x 24 in., Collection of the artist and Adelson Galleries

Jacob Collins: Recent Work
Aug. 24–Nov. 24, 2013
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013
Remarks at 2:30 p.m.

The works of Jacob Collins form that rarest of unions where classic beauty and striking originality meet as harmonious equals.

The Museum is thrilled to present Jacob Collins: Recent Work as part of a continued effort to make prominently visible the work of contemporary representational painters. The exhibition will feature the studiously crafted portraits, landscapes, and still lifes in oil and graphite by Collins, a leading figure in the revival of classical style of academic painting. Celebrated for his careful draftsmanship and finely-tuned eye, Collins invites viewers to appreciate meticulously recorded moments and details of daily life: the texture of hair, the softly rumpled bed sheet, the hardness of stone, the reflective nature of polished wood.

Collins studied painting at the New York Studio School, the New York Academy of Art, and the Art Students League. He has been commissioned to paint many luminaries, including J. Paul Getty, Jr. and President George H.W. Bush, and to paint the Forbes family properties in Normandy, France. He lives and works in New York City where he has founded the Water Street Atelier, The Grand Central Academy of Art, and the Hudson River Fellowship, all aimed toward classically training artists through rigorously painting from life, as well as studying technical perspective, anatomy, figure structure, painting methods and materials, and art history. As an artist, teacher and role model, Collins stands to preserve and advance the kind of painting that—while set in the present—exudes a sense of timelessness.

Funding provided by John and Jasie Britton.


 


Meet Lexi Lee Sullivan, Assistant Curator at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, who will be the juror of this year's Members Exhibition.

Members Exhibition
Oct. 12–27, 2013
Reception and Awards Ceremony at NBMAA
1-2:30 p.m., Sunday Oct. 13, 2013

The list is in for the 44th Annual Juried Members Exhibition! Congratulations to the winners and accepted artists! Click here to view the list.

Important Dates:

Oct. 27, 2013 Exhibition closes
Oct. 28, 2013 Pick-up of displayed works,
1-5 p.m. at NBMAA


Open to NBMAA members 18 years and older, this year’s exhibition will be juried by Lexi Lee Sullivan, Assistant Curator at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. The Annual Juried Members Exhibition is a prime opportunity for the Museum to highlight the exceptional work of emerging artists in all media and expose contemporary visual arts to a wide audience.

PRIZES: First Prize: $1,000, Second Prize: $500, Third Prize: $250, Juror’s Award: Upgraded NBMAA
Membership and NBMAA Blog interview; Visitors’ Choice: NBMAA Blog interview and write-up on
the website.

Over the years, this longstanding NBMAA tradition has seen an increase in the quality of submissions, earning a slot in the Museum’s McKernan Gallery for changing exhibitions. “With this year’s improvements, we seek to elevate the exhibition even further, making it a prominent showcase in the Northeast region, attracting a greater number of artists from further afield and opening it up to cutting edge media and genre,” commented Director Douglas Hyland. “Our long-term goal is to endow the Members Exhibition prize pool. Toward that end, if you value the artists in our midst and want to encourage their advancement, and the NBMAA as a hub for this artistic output, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Members Exhibition Advancement Fund, see Front Desk for details or contact Jenna.”


 


Louis Comfort Tiffany, Port of Piraeus, Greece, detail, n.d., Oil on canvas, 8 x 14 in., Nassau County Museum of Art.

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Silver-Mounted Favrile Glass Vase, ca. 1900, Sterling silver, gold, favrile glass, 7 3/4 in x 3 1/2 in. (diameter), Tiffany & Co. Archives, B2011.27

The Brilliance of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Painter and Craftsman
May 24–Sept. 29, 2013
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, May 30, 2013
Remarks at 6 p.m.

The Brilliance of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Painter and Craftsman is a major exploration of the paintings of Louis C. Tiffany (1848–1933) within the wider context of his creative genius. A celebrated glass and jewelry designer, Tiffany was first and always a painter, studying under George Inness and Samuel Colman at the start of his career. While Tiffany’s paintings are not widely known, they reveal a profound sensitivity to light and color. Ultimately, these interests drove Tiffany’s refinement of glass, a medium in which he concentrated so much of his creative energies. Furthermore, the subjects of Tiffany’s painting, particularly the Orientalist scenes captured during the artist’s travels in North Africa and the Middle East, informed his design aesthetic, which was known not only for its nature-inspired forms but also its exotic motifs from Morocco, India, Turkey and the Far East.

At the core of the exhibition are approximately 100 highlights from the Nassau County Museum’s collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany paintings, the best and largest of its kind. To demonstrate the indubitable link between Tiffany’s painting and design, the paintings will be thematically grouped alongside a treasure-trove of approximately 40 examples of large stained glass windows, furniture, lamps, vases and other decorative art objects. These objects come from the extensive holdings of the Mark Twain House & Museum, whose interior was designed by Tiffany’s firm, Associated Artists, as well as from private collections. Examples of exquisite jewelry designed or co-designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany are on loan from the premier holdings of Tiffany & Co. Archives.

Funding comes from The David T. Langrock Foundation, The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the New Britain legislative delegation and the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

Opening Reception Dinner
Plated dinner in Stanley Works Center.

Appetizer
Prosciutto & melon carpaccio, basil mascarpone cream, basil aioli

Entree
Pecan crusted atlantic salmon, mandarin orange & pomegranate glaze, haricot vert w/ mint & lemon, basmati rice w/ caramelized onions & lentils

Vegetarian Option
Open lasagna with summer vegetables and roasted red pepper coulis

Dessert
Tiffany Blue Cup Cake

Soft drinks will be available and cash wine and beer bar. $50 per person. Dinner seats at 7 p.m., reservations required, contact the Front Desk at (860) 229-0257, ext. 0.


 


Skylar Hughes, Hem and Leaf and Branch and Bone, Oil on canvas, 14 x 14 in., 2012, Collection of the artist

Skylar Hughes, Untitled Collage (1), Collage on postcard, 3H x 5H in., 2012, Collection of the artist

NEW/NOW: Skylar Hughes One Big Gust of Wind
June 15–Sept. 15, 2013
OPENING RECEPTION
3-4:30 p.m., Sunday, June 16, 2013
Remarks at 3:30 p.m.

Skylar Hughes investigates relationships, associations, and the artistic process in the paintings and collages on display in One Big Gust of Wind. The works hover on the edge between abstraction and representation, the familiar and the unrecognizable, and conscious and unconscious painterly gesture.

Rooted in the exploration of the artistic process, Hughes’ works also search for understanding of oneself and of the passage of time. As Hughes explains, “I’ve always considered my work as a kind of placeholder for a period of time in my life, something to put down not just to show for, but in order to understand and move on from.” Skylar Hughes is a Connecticut-born artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. He earned a B.F.A. from the Hartford Art School in 2009. One Big Gust of Wind is his first solo exhibition.


 


Jane Bunker, Illumination, detail, 2012, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 in., Collection of the artist.

Jane Bunker: Illumination
June 8–Aug. 18, 2013
Opening Reception
3-4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 15, 2013
Remarks at 3:30 p.m.

Because of undiagnosed childhood myopia, Jane Bunker saw the world as blurry and light-filled for many years and had no idea that others perceived it differently. Although her vision was eventually diagnosed and corrected, she uses this blurred perspective to investigate meaning. As she explains, “Beneath the appearance of apparent separate objects lies a deeper truth of interconnectedness—a oneness that is at the heart of all we perceive of as real. The lack of sharp boundaries between trees, flowers, sky and grass in my paintings is my way of attempting to paint that deeper truth.”

Born in Boston and raised on Cape Cod, Bunker studied art as a child at the Farnsworth School of Art in North Truro and went on to earn her B.A. in Art at Stanford University. She ultimately changed course and spent the middle years of her life practicing psychology. In 1993, she returned to painting full time, though psychology and interconnectedness continue to inform her work. Her painting is also influenced by photography; in fact, each canvas begins from a landscape photograph or a close-up of a floral form taken by the artist in a moment of instant recognition and close connection to the subject.


 


Brown Gillespie, Milkyway, 2011, Wood, custom programmed LEDs, acrylic on canvas, 53 x 50 in., New Britain Museum of American Art,
Gift of Mary Gillespie

New Media: Brown Gillespie
Apr. 6–July 21, 2013
Opening Reception: 5:30-8 p.m.,
First Friday, April 5, 2013

Brown Gillespie has always been fascinated by color—its ephemeral and ever-changing quality in nature, principles of color theory, as well as the effect of emotions on the human perception of color. These interests coalesce in Gillespie’s Light Visions series to which Milkyway belongs.

Part painting, part light show, Milkyway consists of a box-framed canvas with acrylic pigments and LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) inside the frame. Programmed to loop, the LEDs continuously emit light onto the pigments to create swirling effects that mesmerize the eye on a visceral level. The hope, as Gillespie explains, is “that the changing color interacts and helps open access to the less rational, more experiential side of the brain and may help to heighten perception in the same way as a quiet walk in the woods . . . At first you don’t really see much, but after time, perception shifts and suddenly new smells and sounds become abundant along with heightened visual acuity.”

 


Community’s collective belongings. Photos by Collections Manager, John Urgo.

NEW/NOW: Michael Mahalchick: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Mar. 9–June 9, 2013
Opening Reception
Sunday, Mar. 10, 2013, 1-2:30 p.m.
Artists Remarks 1:30 p.m.

Michael Mahalchick to assemble a material portrait of the New Britain community with your help.

Michael Mahalchick moves seamlessly between the realms of sculpture/assemblage, installation, performance, music and dance, weaving chance, humor, brio and what he calls a “scavenging” aesthetic into his work. A graduate of the Tyler School of Art (BFA) and the California Institute of the Arts (MFA), he has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at PS1/MoMA, Queens, NY and the Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY, and is currently on the visiting faculty at the Yale University School of Art.

As Mahalchick conceptualizes his installation in NEW/NOW, he invites your input and participation. Objects donated to the Museum will become the raw material for his work. Mahalchick will combine them in unexpected ways to present a cross-section of our community’s collective belongings. The artist welcomes your trinkets, hand-made treasures, decorative items, manufactured goods, heirlooms with which you are ready to part, etc. If an object could conceivably be found at a garage sale and is of reasonable size, it likely fits the bill. Please be creative and think outside the box, and you may just find your former belonging reimagined, reused, reworked and on view in the Cheney Gallery from March 9 through June 9, 2013.

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.



 


Romolo del Deo, The Beauty of Time, 2010, Bronze (unique), 19 x 9 x 6 in., Collection of Thomas and Kathryn Cox

A Joint Venture: The Collection of Thomas and Kathryn Cox
Jan. 25–June 2, 2013
Opening Reception
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, 2-3:30 p.m.

Married for the last 14 years, Thomas and Kathryn Cox joined their individual collections and passion for art and have been a force of American art collecting ever since.

Drawn to paintings that celebrate the beauty and awe-inspiring wonders of nature, the Coxes have shared an affinity for traditional landscapes of churning seas and drifting clouds. Among the many highlights are 19th-century seascapes by William Trost Richards, Stanley Woodward, and Frederick Waugh as well as landscapes by Alfred Bricher, Charles Davis, John Joseph Enneking, Walter Launt Palmer, and Nelson H. White.

Over the years, Tom and Kay’s interests have also grown to include contemporary works in a variety of mediums. Today, their eclectic collection includes exquisite glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly, Dante Marioni, Lino Tagliapietra; one-of-a-kind vessels by master ceramicist Cliff Lee; still-lifes by contemporary realists including the late Stephen Brown, Jacob Collins, Graydon Parrish, Larry Preston, Michael Thiese, Dan Truth and others; a whimsical riff on history painting by Mary Dwyer; an expressive pastel portrait of a pig by Bryan Nash Gill; and a haunting and evocative sculpture by Romolo del Deo, which toured the country last year as part of The Tides of Provincetown exhibition.

Kay Cox was an outstanding Chairman of the Museum Board, providing inspired leadership and support. She and Tom have enjoyed collecting and in many ways their close connection to the Museum has helped shape the direction that their collection has taken over a decade. The Coxes are also longtime co-chairs of the American Art Circle and John Butler Talcott Society premier membership groups.


 

Art from the New Britain Public & Parochial Schools
May 23–June 2, 2013
Opening Reception
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 6:30-8 p.m.

For the 23rd year, the creative output of our youngest artists will be celebrated in Art from the New Britain Public & Parochial Schools. This popular exhibition will feature some 250 artists from kindergarten through high school. The artwork ranges in medium, and will include pastels, markers, collage, crayon, pencil, watercolor, oil paints, tempera, charcoal, clay, ink, and acrylics. A panel of NBMAA docents select the award winners.

Presented By:


 

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Divan Japonais, color lithograph, 1893, 808 x 608 mm, Herakleidon Museum, Athens Greece.

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Aristide Bruant dans son Cabaret (in his Cabaret), color lithograph, 1893, 1273 x 950 mm, Herakleidon Museum, Athens Greece.

Toulouse-Lautrec & His World
January 12–May 12, 2013
Opening Reception
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013
3:30-5 p.m.

For the first time out of Europe, Toulouse-Lautrec & His World begins its U.S. tour here before moving on to Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, PA.

On view from January 12–May 12, 2013 in the McKernan Gallery, this traveling exhibition is on loan from the Herakleidon Museum, in Athens, Greece and is from the collection of Paul and Belinda Firos, the Connecticut collectors who also brought us M.C. Escher: Impossible Reality in 2010.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec lived in Paris during the Belle Époque (Beautiful Era) frequenting cabarets and cafés where he captured its famous singers, actors, his friends and the working class in his highly celebrated posters, prints, caricatures, sketches, and paintings. Greatly influenced by the French Impressionist movement, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is a post-impressionist of the mid-late 1800's. Due to his excessive lifestyle Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died from complications of alcoholism and syphilis in 1901 at age 36.

This exhibition highlights approximately 150 of Toulouse-Lautrec’s rare works on paper including sketches, and some of his iconic posters like Jane Avril, Divan Japonais, and La Troupe de Mademoiselle Eglantine. The included posters are incredibly rare and fragile because as temporary advertisements for a particular show they were not done on quality paper. Some of the works are accompanied by appropriate passages from French literature, photographs, and other objects, in order to help the viewer better understand the atmosphere of that time.

Herakleidon

Toulouse-Lautrec & His World is from the collection of Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece, www.herakleidon.com


 

Tony de los Reyes, Cannibal, 2009, Red bister on paper, 59 1/2 x 44 1/2 x 2 in., Collection of Bryan and Maureen Stockton.

NEW/NOW: Tony de los Reyes: Chasing Moby-Dick
Dec. 1, 2012–Mar. 3, 2013
Opening Reception
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012,
5:30-7 p.m.

Upcoming NEW/NOW artist Tony de los Reyes has spent the last decade visually interpreting and expanding on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. He infuses the classic genre and narrative tradition of “history painting” with modern aesthetics, drawing on minimalism, abstraction, and a wide variety of media not merely to illustrate, but to “reconstruct the epic in a transitional space between literature, political history, and contemporary art.”

In constructing dramatic permutations of the text, de los Reyes creates a mythic vision of America and its enduring national obsessions, envisioning the same insatiable and self-destructive nature that defines Moby Dick’s Captain Ahab. Raw linen stained with sumi ink, pure black and white pigments, and sanguine red bister visually enhance the aura of bloodlust and violence in de los Reyes evocative and allegorical work.

De los Reyes has held many exhibitions on the West Coast and throughout the country. Last year, he received a City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship Award and was named the Mid-Career Artist Fellow by California Community Foundation in recognition of his outstanding creative accomplishments.

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.


 

Artist Eric Souther with screenshots of his YouTube video captured in the background. Art Marlon Portraits.

New Media: Eric Souther
Nov. 15, 2012–Mar. 31, 2013
Opening Reception
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013,
5:30-7 p.m.

This November, the Museum presents Eric Souther as part of its New Media series. Known for building and utilizing his own software, Souther manipulates video and sound to explore how technology shapes experience and communication in our contemporary culture. His artwork also reveals how machines enrich the expressive means of artists. He “find[s] that creating experiences that lead to new understandings are more important than delving into the exact presentation of information,” and his Search Engine Vision “Chair” does just that.

“Chair” is a compilation of the first 1,000 videos that appear under the keyword “chair” on YouTube. Using Max/MSP and Jitter computer programs, Souther wraps the visual catalogue around a 3D chair model and maneuvers cameras to imitate the process of sifting through information online. He places the viewer in an alternative dimension where the database can be experienced “all at once as a form, an aesthetic visualization of sensory knowledge and experience,” expressing the “vastly broad potentialities of experiencing ‘chair’” and capturing the visual language created by the online community.

Souther’s aim as an artist is to question how we navigate today’s “complex system” of information overload. He “creates individual artistic explorations” of the unseen network of the digital age in which we all engage—the sharing, compiling and encountering of information—to reveal the experiences of modern life “saturated with digital information.”


 

Dine, Hockney and Summers: Contemporary Prints from the Paul and Teresa Kanev Collection opening reception.

Dine, Hockney and Summers: Contemporary Prints from the Paul and Teresa Kanev Collection
Oct. 19, 2012–Jan. 20, 2013
Opening Reception
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012,
2-3:30 p.m.

Though its visibility has often been overshadowed by painting, performance and installation art, contemporary printmaking has been the focus of many artists working in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Debuting on October 19, Dine, Hockney and Summers: Contemporary Prints from the Paul and Teresa Kanev Collection aims to give greater attention to achievements in this medium. The exhibition, drawn from the collection of Dr. Paul and Mrs. Teresa Kanev, comprises approximately 20 impressive etchings, lithographs, woodblocks and cardboard reliefs by Jim Dine (b. 1935), David Hockney (b. 1937), and Carol Summers (b. 1925).

Highlights include some of Dine’s famous hearts and robes, three examples from Hockney’s The Weather Series, and Summers’ colorful woodblock landscapes. Often producing works monumental in scale, these artists have helped revolutionize printmaking as an artistic practice. Dine has become one of today’s most prolific, inventive and dedicated printmakers, with work in permanent collections worldwide. Hockney, called “Pop art’s enfant terrible” by British art critic Jonathan Jones, possesses a mastery of color that

dominates his style regardless of the many mediums in which he works. Summers has reworked the ancient technique of woodblock printing, allowing for printing on a previously unprecedented scale and championing what is now known as the “Carol Summers technique.”


 

Gertrude Käsebier, Louise Grace, c. 1919, Sepia toned gelatin silver print, 9 x 11 in., New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of Francine du Plessix Gray, 2005.181.

In Focus: Recent Acquisitions in Photography
Nov. 9
Dec. 30, 2012
Opening Reception
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012,
5:30-7 p.m.

In Focus: Recent Acquisitions in Photography, on view in the McKernan Gallery from November 9 through December 30, 2012, will unveil the Museum’s emergent photography collection to the public for the first time. Although it was not until 1999 that the Museum began to incorporate photography into its holdings, the collection has grown steadily over the past 13 years. Organized in a chronological and thematic fashion, the exhibition consists of approximately 120 works that chart the development of photography over one and a half centuries to illuminate the importance of this medium in shaping this country’s visual culture.

In 2005, the NBMAA received the extraordinary Helen Vibberts Photography Collection from her brother Charles Goss. This collection includes daguerreotypes, tin types, cartes de visite, and other early 19th-century photographs. Spanning almost a century, many of these images were taken by members of prominent New Britain families. More recent acquisitions have focused on contemporary works, including Renate Aller’s minimalist, atmospheric ocean views and Stephanie Lempert’s photographic soundscapes.

The themes represented in the exhibition are: 19th-Century Portraiture and Local Photography; Landscape: Natural and Manmade; Photojournalism; Face and Figure; and Abstraction, Conceptualism, and Beyond. Well-known highlights include ones by New Britain’s own Sol LeWitt, and Dorothea Lange, Lewis Hine, William Wegman, Christine Breslin, Alfred Cheney Johnston and Nelson Augustus Moore. The exhibit will allow viewers to not only delve into the scope of the Museum’s permanent holdings in photography, but also to confront the variety of unexpected directions in which the genre of photography has moved since its inception.


Melinda Beck, Fine Dining with Your Dog, from Dogs Magazine in Germany, 2008, brush, pen and ink, and Photoshop, 8.25 x 5.25 in., Courtesy of the artist


Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration
July 21–Dec. 9, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, 2012

Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration brings 26 illustrations by the most widely recognized and awarded illustrators working today to the Low Illustration Gallery. Curated by Scott Bakal, an accomplished illustrator and professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the exhibition opens a window into the world of the modern illustrator and the tools and techniques that have transformed the face of illustration in the 21st century.

The roster of featured artists spans generations from the most seasoned illustrators with over three decades of experience to some of the youngest and newest names in the field. Among them is Melinda Beck, for example, who has not only produced illustrations for such noteworthy publications as the The New York Times, Random House, Rolling Stone and GQ, but also created Emmy-nominated animation for Nickelodeon.

Collectively, the artists participating in Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration have been the makers of some of the most recognizable images in today’s visual culture. The exhibition will feature an interactive display with digital galleries and video reels of artists’ portfolios to extend viewing opportunities. By providing a glimpse into artists’ creative use of digital media, Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration celebrates the intersections between art and technology to showcase the exciting possibilities of contemporary illustration.


Atta Kim, ON-AIR Project 160-13, The India Series, Paharganj in New Delhi, detail, 2007, eight-hour exposure, chromogenic print, 64.25 x 48.25 in., Courtesy of the artist


NEW/NOW: Atta Kim
Aug. 25–Nov. 25, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, 2012

Remarks by Ira Kim at 6 p.m.

Korean-american Artist Explores Human Existence On A Personal And Collective Level Through His Long-exposure Photographic Series.

Identity and survival are two of the most central aspects of human life, and our experiences shape our quest for both. This fall’s NEW/NOW: Atta Kim showcases six magnificent, larger-than-life photographs that examine fundamental questions of existence. Drawn from two series of Kim’s work, The Museum Project and ON-AIR Project, they capture figures and movement in carefully composed space and time, resulting in richly layered and surreal images.

Atta Kim (b. 1956) is strongly influenced by German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s existential explorations of the “question of being” and the Buddhist concept that change is the only constant of life. In The Museum Project, Kim depicts models in glass cases, creating “my own private museum that displays very basic human elements—violence, sex, ideology” so that “the models become live relics.” ON-AIR Project more subtly expresses ideas of identity and preservation in long-exposure images of people and cities, where signs of life blend into mere blurs. Kim’s work illustrates the notion that “everything has its own value of existence,” but also that “everything eventually disappears,” two truths that humans strive to reconcile and accept in living out our own lives.

Solo exhibitions of Atta Kim have been presented by institutions such as the International Center for Photography, New York; Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Rodin Gallery, Seoul; the Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, Missouri; and the Nikon Salon, Tokyo. His solo exhibition, Atta Kim: ON-AIR, was displayed as part of the Collateral Events for the fifty-third Venice Biennale in 2009. He has also shown in numerous group exhibitions while dividing his time between Seoul and New York.


PH 2.0
Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg, Particular Heights, 2010, Hand made steel swing set, counter, and LCD monitor, Collection of artist

New Media: Particular Heights 2.0
May 26–Nov. 11, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, June 1, 2012

A swing set, an LED counter, and a web camera: all that is missing is the audience to bring the ensemble to life. Stationed on the front courtyard of the NBMAA, Particular Heights 2.0 transforms the viewer into a participant, inviting him or her to swing on the counting swing— “counting” because the swing acts as a record-keeper of its own use.

As the swing reaches a particular height, several operations are triggered. First, one digit is added to the LED counter affixed to the swing, which over time collects a quantitative documentation of the number of accumulated swings. Secondly, a webcam will capture a snapshot of the person in flight and then feed it as a series of stills to a monitor in the Batchelor Gallery. The resulting images will be strung together into a loop as an experiment in stop-motion animation.

Particular Heights 2.0 is a collaboration between artists Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg, who have been recognized both nationally and abroad for their multi-media, technologically-savvy installations and sculptures. Together, New Haven/Brooklyn-based Theriault, and Versteeg, who currently lives and works in New York City, construct a work that examines the idea of a recycled image, where an object is physically constructed, photographed, and subsequently digitized.


2012 Members Exhibition Winners, From left: Rebecca Fellows, Diana Roberts-Paschall, Priscilla Palumbo, Juror Robert Burns, Victoria Sivigny, James Brunelle, Jr., Robert Noreika, and Sharon Kocay.

The 43rd Annual Juried Members Exhibition

Oct. 13, 2012–Oct. 28, 2012
Opening Reception
Sunday, Oct. 14, 1-2:30 p.m.


The 43rd Annual Juried Members Exhibition will be held this year from Oct. 13–28. An Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony for the exhibition will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. This year's Members Exhibition will be on view in the spacious McKernan Gallery.

The juror for this year’s exhibition is Robert Burns, Executive Director of the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT.

Prize winners for 43rd Annual Juried Members Exhibition

First Prize – Diana Roberts-Paschall
Second Prize – Victoria Sivigny
Oil/Acrylic Award – Robert Noreika
Watercolor Award – Sharon Kocay
Photography Award – Steve Adams
Print Award – James Brunelle
Sculpture Award – Rebecca Fellows
Juror’s Award – Priscilla Palumbo

Click here to download Members Exhibtion Program


- Current - Upcoming - Recently off the Wall


Nelson Holbrook White, The Yellow Umbrella, Oil on canvas, 9 x 16 in., Courtesy of the artist.


Nelson H. White: Scenic Spirit
July 12–Oct. 14, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-8 p.m., Thursday, July 12, 2012

The White family is best known for their long legacy as one of Connecticut’s most accomplished dynasties of artists. Generation after generation, the White’s have produced breathtaking landscapes in oil, pastel, and watercolor. Nelson Holbrook White, inspired by time spent in Florence, Italy and the legacy of traditional schooling, continues to paint vibrant intersections of sky, earth, and water. His survey exhibition, Nelson H. White: Scenic Spirit, will showcase approximately 35 works, including two by his father, Nelson Cooke White (1900–1989) and grandfather Henry Cooke White (1861–1952).

Nelson H. White’s (b. 1932) passion for natural settings is most closely inspired by the work of Italian artist and teacher Pietro Annigoni (1910–1988), whom he praised as “the greatest realist painter of our time.” White began studying under Annigoni after a visit to Florence in 1954 and has since split his time living and painting in Italy, Connecticut and Shelter Island, New York.

Scenic Spirit exhibits White’s wide range of landscapes and portraiture from 1980–2011. White believes “the essential objective of art is to render beauty.” Ranging from heavy daubs of bold paint to lighter, wispy strokes, his application of paint lead viewers’ eyes across each canvas and animates his scenes of undulating dunes, marshes, streams and shores. He brings his travels to New Britain through unique perspectives and fleeting strokes that place his audience within the beauty and truth of ever-changing nature.


Robert Walter Weir (1803 – 1889) Self Portrait (Head of Man with White Beard), 1860s, Oil on panel, 17 x 14 in., Brigham Young University Museum of Art


The Weir Family, 1820-1920: Expanding the Traditions of American Art
June 30–Sept. 30, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, June 29, 2012

The Weir Family, 1820-1920: Expanding the Traditions of American Art explores the impact of studying artistic traditions in Europe on the development of American art forms. On display in the McKernan Gallery, a total of 74 paintings by Robert Walter Weir (1803-1889) and his sons John Ferguson Weir (1841-1926) and Julian Alden Weir (1851-1919) will demonstrate how their transatlantic encounters helped shape American art for nearly a century.

Robert Walter Weir, the patriarch of the talented family, was one of the first Americans to travel to Italy for art study (1824-1827). After his return, he became a leader in the New York art scene and gained a reputation as a history painter. In 1834, he accepted the position of instructor of drawing at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he remained for 42 years. His best known painting is his large Embarkation of the Pilgrims for the Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C. Among Robert Weir’s more famous pupils were his sons, John and Julian, who like their father became artists and teachers. After establishing his reputation with two large paintings of industrial scenes, John took his first of several European tours before he began his 44-year teaching career at Yale University. There he established the first academic art program at an educational institution in the United States, basing his teaching on the French atelier system. Julian studied under this system at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris for four years (1873-1877). Excelling as an academic painter, he later embraced Impressionism, becoming a leader of the American Impressionists.

Watch this short, informative video produced by CPBN Media Lab about the Weir family and the Weir Farm National Historic Site, featuring Park Ranger Emily Bryant.

This exhibition was organized by the Brigham Young University Museum of Art and supported by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The foundation sponsor is the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support has come from Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley and the Milton A. & Gloria G. Barlow Foundation.

Further support from David T. Langrock Foundation, the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, and the Connecticut Humanities Council.



Francis Silva, Evening, 1881, Oil on canvas, 31 ½ x 47 ½ in., Collection of Laura and David Grey.

Poetic Journey Continued: American Art from the Grey Collection
June 2, 2012–September 2, 2012
Opening reception with Collectors’ remarks on Sunday, June 3, 1-2:30 p.m.

A sequel to the 2007 exhibition Poetic Journeys: American Art from the Grey Collection, this exhibition presents 12 newly-acquired works by major American painters of the 19th century on loan to the New Britain Museum of American Art from Laura and David Grey. Laura and David Grey first journeyed into the world of art collecting in 2001 and have since assembled an exquisite collection of Hudson River School, Academic, and Impressionist paintings from 1850-1900. This selection, comprised of a total of 11 paintings by Samuel Colman, Jasper Cropsey, Thomas Dougherty, Robert Spear Dunning, Asher B. Durand, Sanford Gifford, David Johnson, Jarvis McEntee, Charles Sprague Pearce, Francis Silva, and Guy Wiggins as well as a one-of-a-kind tile by Winslow Homer, represents the last five years of the Greys’ collecting efforts. Speckled throughout the galleries, these works of art will complement the Museum’s permanent collection and advance our understanding and appreciation of a glorious period in the history of American art.


Michael Salter
Michael A. Salter, 100% Real, 2012. MDF, vinyl stickers, 22 x 14 x 5 in. Collection of the artist.

Michael SalterMichael A. Salter, Icon-o-lot 1, 2012. MDF, vinyl stickers, 36 x 42 x 4½ in. Collection of the artist.

Michael A. Salter, Guaranteed to Kill, 2012. MDF (medium-density fibreboard), vinyl stickers, Courtesy of the artist.

NEW/NOW: Michael Salter: Visual Plastic
May 18–August 19, 2012
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., Thursday, May 17, 2012

The findings of a self-proclaimed “Obsessive Observer"

Advertisements, logos, product placement, and pop culture as a whole regularly bombard our lives. It is the environment within this continuous cycle of reappearing neon signs and corporate branding that the next NEW/NOW artist, Michael Salter, investigates in order to “sort out the cacophony of visual noise in order to rethink meaning, motive, perception, and narrative.

Drawings from a wide range of sources from toy design and animation to signage and kinetic sculpture, Salter convenes a dense web of imagery into one location, inviting the viewer to slow down his or her fast-paced life and become an “obsessive observer.

All of Salter’s work begins with his fascination for the connection of brand image and public perception: the fact that an attractive advertisement can entice a consumer to purchase an object and that a logo can become associated with its wearers’ identity, for example. As the artist explains, “My work tends to be both a filter through which I try to see clearly through the visual dust storm and a response in the same language to our visual culture.

Make your own Icon-alot


Abraham Lincoln
Oscar Berger, Abraham Lincoln, ink on paper,
New Britain Museum of American Art

Theodore Roosevelt
Oscar Berger, Theodore Roosevelt, ink on paper, New Britain Museum of American Art

Low Illustration Gallery: Oscar Berger’s Presidential Lines
May 8–July 15, 2012

Drawn with a single continuous line, Oscar Berger’s caricatures capture the likeness of 36 U.S. Presidents

The spirit of the election year will transform the Low Illustration Gallery into a parade of presidential caricatures by cartoonist Oscar Berger. Beginning with the first President George Washington, the collection continues through the thirty-seventh President, Richard Nixon. Described by a contemporary as "kindly rather than critical, mildly satirical but never vicious, Berger’s caricatures are playful and light-hearted.

Born in 1901 in Presov, Czechoslovakia, Berger became a cartoonist in Prague and studied art in Paris and Berlin. He eventually secured a position with one of the largest Berlin newspapers and was one of the few journalists admitted to the 1923 Munich trial that followed Hitler’s plot to overthrow the government. Once the Nazis came to power, Berger’s political cartoons angered Hitler, and the artist was forced to leave Germany. After spells in Hungary, France, Switzerland, and England, he settled in New York City after World War II and his work subsequently appeared in The New York Times, Life, and the New York Herald Tribune. During the 1950s, Berger attended many sessions at the United Nations and illustrated virtually every important world leader to be seen there.

While aiming to entertain first and foremost, the secondary objective of Oscar Berger’s presidential caricatures has much in common with that of the American public during election year: to grasp the fundamental essence of the President or President-to-be.



Benny Andrews, George Deem, 1966, Oil on canvas
28¼ x 29¾ in., New Britain Museum of American Art


Mark Mutchnik, George Deem, 1982, Oil on silver print, New Britain Museum of American Art

The Art of Friendship: The Collection of George Deem
April 6–July 8, 2012
Opening Reception
1-2:30 p.m., Sunday, April 15, 2012

A collection that pays tribute to a renowned American artist through the art of his closest friends

The Art of Friendship: The Collection of George Deem will showcase approximately thirty works from the Collection of George Deem, a significant American artist who was best known for his adoration of the Old Masters whose work he re-painted, adding clever alterations. Surrounded by a coterie of other talented individuals, Deem assembled a diverse collection of paintings, drawings, collages, and photographs primarily through gift or trade.

Many of Deem’s friendships trace back to his student days at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he met a group of artists whose shared interest and intellectual exchanges led to a lifetime of camaraderie and reciprocal gift giving. The 1966 painting of George Deem by Benny Andrews demonstrates the comradeship between Deem and other artists in his circle. At once a portrait and a landscape, Andrews’ George Deem quotes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring as a deliberate reference to Deem’s practice of using images from famous masterpieces in his own work. Deem, in turn, created a collage to honor Andrews. The exhibition is speckled with many other poignant tributes.

Author and biographer Charles Molesworth has emphasized the importance of the mutual exchange of art among artists, noting that “the gift becomes more than an object, uniting giver and receiver in time and space, creating the pull of reciprocity, and charging the transaction with nearly a magical aura. Featuring the art of Etel Adnan, Benny Andrews, Mary Ellen Andrews, Power Boothe, George Deem, John Evans, George Freedman, Lee Guilliatt, Josef Levi, Mark Mutchnik, Augustmoon Ochiishi, Michael George Ottensmeyer, Gail Rutherford, Erica Ambika Rutherford, Peter Angelo Simon, and James Zver, the exhibition and its accompanying brochure shed light on the ties that connected Deem and his friends through their compelling artworks.

A Related Concurrent Exhibition
George Deem: The Art of Art History
April 11, 2012 Through September 1, 2012
Boston Athenaeum

 


Martin Kline, Cosmos, 2000, encaustic on panel, 49 x 49 x 2.75 in., Collection of the artist

Martin Kline, Randazzo, Detail, 2000, encaustic on panel, 47.875 x 47.875 x 3 in., Collection of the artist

Martin Kline: Romantic Nature
Mar. 17–June 17, 2012
Opening Reception
1-3 p.m., Saturday, Mar. 24, 2012

Consisting of approximately seventy-five works, the the first major retrospective of artist Martin Kline exhibition charts his independent path which weaves through the history of art—from the ancient world of Greek mythology, to the American symbol of the baseball bat, to Ed Ruscha and Jackson Pollock—with thought-provoking whimsy and irony. His seductive works in encaustic feature built-up surfaces that elicit a haptic response from the viewer—one is compelled to touch them. Serious philosophical questions are raised about mankind’s interaction and interference with nature in works that attract and repel. Kline’s imaginative and emotional appeal connect him to a lineage of 19th century writers, naturalists, and artists who sought to understand man’s vital role in coexisting symbiotically with nature.

Martin Kline’s work is included in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art as well as various international and American museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Fogg Museum of the Harvard University Art Museums.

The 160-page hard-cover book, Martin Kline: Romantic Nature, accompanies the exhibition and features an essay by Marshall N. Price, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Academy Museum in New York. Following Mr. Price’s essay and catalog of works are selected critical essays from past exhibitions by authors Henry Geldzahler, Barbara Rose, Linda Norden, Carter Ratcliff, Nan Rosenthal, Alison de Lima Greene, and Eleanor Heartney, along with one essay by the artist recalling his residency in Japan. Available in the Museum Shop.



The tragicomic hero of Michael Conti's Hockey Shorts

NEW MEDIA: Michael Conti: Slapstick
Feb. 3–May 20, 2012
Exhibition Reception
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, May 4, 2012

An installation consisting of photographs and a short video which subverts the myth of the “Sports Hero” and the “Wilderness Man.

Michael Conti’s Hockey Shorts is a fifteen minute video that features a modern day Don Quixote as he embarks on a solitary quest in the Alaskan wilderness. Playing the role of this tragicomic hero, the artist ventures out alone, but determined, to face the harsh landscape in his hockey gear. With no goal or teammates in sight, the hockey player chooses nature as his opponent, making his obsessive game appear not only irrational, but also incredibly comedic.

Michael Conti has been experimenting with photography and video to capture the spirit of adventure since he was very young. Driven by an interest in the raw and wild world, Michael moved to Alaska in 1993 to explore the frontier and gain unique experiences he could translate into art. The idea for Slapstick, for example, comes directly from the myths of the “Wilderness Man” and the “Sports Hero,” but both masculine archetypes are ultimately subverted through humor and absurdity.


FE1
Sophie Kelly, An accredited judge of the Middlebury Garden Club, made this Pollock-inspired arrangement at last year's Floral Expressions Show

FE2Jackson Pollock, T.P.'s Boat in Menemsha Pond, ca. 1934

11th Biennial Floral Expressions Placement Show
May 11–13, 2012
Opening Reception
5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, May 11, 2012

Come join us this Mother’s Day weekend for this popular floral expressions tradition. General admission is free for all mothers the Weekend of the floral expressions show.

Twenty floral arrangements inspired by select pieces in the Museum’s permanent collection will be on display, created by members of the Garden Club and National Council accredited judges from The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut.

The New Britain Garden Club has been a member of The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut since 1941. The Museum and the Garden Club have had a working relationship for much of that history: many
members of the Garden Club have lent their talents to the Museum as docents and volunteers. One of the Museum’s gardens has been named for The New Britain Garden Club in recognition of their long service and support.

We give special thanks to the members of the Floral Expressions Placement Committee for organizing another beautiful show: Lillian Smith, Barbara Waskowitz, Lydia Dyson, Sylvia Lucas, Sylvia O’Riley, and Terry Stoleson.



Marc Swanson's
Marc Swanson, Untitled (Crystal, Hooking Left), 2011, Mixed media, Collection of the artist

NEW/NOW: Marc Swanson
Feb. 11–May 13, 2012
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012

Marc Swanson, automythologist: one who excels at crafting sparkling, enigmatic totems from the messiness of his own history.

Self-identity, development, conflict, and nostalgia are all re-occurring themes found in the works of the NEW/NOW artist Marc Swanson. His unique exhibition features a diverse range of mixed media that incorporates photography, sculpture, drawing, collage, video, and installation. Bill Arning, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, recognizes Marc Swanson as “the archetypal constructivist for today” whose works illustrate the personal journey of the artist’s psyche through simple form and composure.

Born in New Britain, Connecticut, and now residing in Brooklyn, New York, Marc has re-located to several areas across the country. His continual struggle to find a place secure and comfortable enough to call home can be detected in his artwork.

Marc’s pieces are influenced by the challenge of self-diagnosis and the multiple identities that simultaneously occupy one’s mind. With each installation comes a new discovery in the artist’s personal history. Self-exploration is achieved through his creations. The dueling faces of masculinity expressed by Marc’s stag sculptures acknowledge a common conflict between wrestling identities. These sleek and graceful busts are completely adorned in crystals. The disparities between the two mediums call traditional gender roles into question.

The intimate fusion of self-discovery with exquisite installations allows for a deeper understanding of Marc Swanson’s being.



Currier & Ives, American Forest Scene/Maple Sugaring, 1856. Lithograph (after a painting by A.F. Tait), 18 11/16 x 27 in. Collection of Dorrance Kelly



Currier & Ives, A Midnight Race on the Mississippi, 1860. Lithograph (F.F. Palmer on stone from a sketch by H.D. Manning), 18 7/16 x 28 1/8 in. Collection of Dorrance Kelly

Currier & Ives: Impressions of America
Nov. 12, 2011–Apr. 29, 2012
Opening Reception
1-2:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012

Currier & Ives: Impressions of America will contain approximately twenty of Currier & Ives’ most iconic and highly-prized prints from the private collection of Dr. Dorrance Kelly and will be featured in the Museum’s Sanford B.D. Low Illustration Gallery from November 12, 2011–April 8, 2012. Kelly, a Danbury oral surgeon, lives in West Redding, Connecticut.


Frequently referred to as the “Printers for the People,” Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives took advantage of what was then the newly-invented process of lithography to make ownership of full-color images possible for the general public. Imported to the United State in the 1820s from Bavaria, lithography allowed for a quick and relatively cheap production of prints using limestone as the printing surface. With over 7,500 different images in existence, Currier & Ives lithographs accounted for three-quarters of the American print market. Capturing a wide array of themes—from daily news to homely genre scenes—they became some of the most popular and recognizable representations of life and times in America.

Included in the exhibition is the print “Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington on Long Island Sound on Monday Evening January 13th, 1840,” the first commercial success of Nathaniel Ives after he opened the printing shop, N. Currier, in 1835. The depiction of the 1840 disaster secured N. Currier’s place in the newspaper industry. Recognizing the public’s thirst to have images widely available for consumption, the firm (renamed in 1857 when James M. Ives was made partner) quickly expanded its repertoire from strictly documentary works to artistic portraits, captures of daily life, landscapes, and scenes conveying the spirit of sports culture, technological progress, urbanization, and westward expansion.

A reception is planned for Sunday, January 8, 2012 from 1-2:30 p.m. with remarks at 1:30 p.m. by Robert K. Newman, Director of The Old Print Shop in New York, one of America’ oldest galleries.



Ernest Lawson, Aspens, 1928, Oil on canvas, Collection of Barbara Belgrade Spargo

The Barbara Belgrade Spargo Collection:
Facets of Modernity (1900–1950)
Jan 13–Apr. 1, 2012
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012

Barbara Belgrade Spargo purchased her first piece of art in 1976. Since this defining moment in her life, she has continued to build her personal art collection, expanding into over 300 different pieces. Earning her undergraduate degree at Connecticut College and her Masters in Liberal Studies at Wesleyan, Barbara is a well-respected scholar who has donated a colossal amount of time and energy to art museums and organizations throughout Connecticut.

Once found hard at work in the corporate world, Barbara has shifted her focus from business to art. Her fantastic taste for art can be seen at the Florence Griswold Museum, The Old Saybrook Adult Education Program, and now at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Her refined collection: Facets of Modernity (1900–1950), consists of approximately 35 pieces created in the early 20th-century. Several pieces originate from artists John French Sloan, William Glackens, Robert, Henri, and Everett Shinn: all influential founders of the Ashcan School movement, iconic for using realist techniques.

Facets of Modernity accurately portrays the various influential styles and techniques of art present in the first half of the 19th-century. From the abstract expressionist paintings of Anne Ryan to the intricate etchings of Martin Lewis, the growing evolution of art is beautifully outlined through Barbara Belgrade Spargo’s compelling collection.



Alfred Jacob Miller, Caravan En Route, n.d., Oil on canvas, 21 ½ x 48 in., Bank of America Collection


Edward Sheriff Curtis, A Zuni Woman, Plate No. 614, from North American Indian portfolio 17, n.d., Photogravure, 22 x 18 in., Bank of America Collection

Searching the Horizon: The Real American West 1830-1920, Art from the Bank of America Collection
Nov. 26, 2011–Mar. 4, 2012
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011

Searching the Horizon: The Real American West 1830-1920 explores the vastness and variety of the West through the numerous ways artists chose to depict it, whether to chronicle current events, or to capture the culture and traditions of the region’s native inhabitants, the American Indians. The people of the 18th and 19th century American West, their work, their lifestyles, and cultures, hold a prominent place in the American imagination. People across the globe are familiar with the western cowboy, the Plains Indian, and the cavalry officer without ever having met one. This global awareness of the peoples of the West is due, in large part, to Western art.

Divided into four thematic sections; Settlement, Landscape, Native Americans and Urbanization and Industry, Searching the Horizon features more than 100 works of art and objects that reflect the development of the nation from the 1830s through the early twentieth century. Through paintings, works on paper, photography and rare objects and artifacts, the exhibition reveals aspects of the West that both reinforce and refute the familiar mythology, offering the contemporary museum visitor the opportunity to explore a range of interpretations of the American West.

Sponsored by the Bank of America Art in Our Communities program.


Marc Swanson's
This series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.

Carson Fox: Bi-Polar
Nov. 5, 2011 - Feb. 5, 2012

Carson Fox. Bi-Polar is an installation that transports the viewer into a surround of related yet opposing elements. In the words of David Revere McFadden, Chief Curator at the Museum of Arts & Design, “Fox invites the viewer into a world that teeters precariously between the real and the unreal, the beautiful and the unsettling.”

Bi-Polar is divided into two rooms. In one, 112 life-like icicles are suspended from the ceiling and hundreds of snowflakes, each individually crafted from cast resin,
seemingly float across the walls without the possibility of melting. Carson’s “ice room” is a place where the ephemeral becomes eternal, and the fragile is made indestructible. In the adjacent, smaller space, representations of fire create the suggestion of heat and light—the room is covered with hand-painted flames and anchored by a set of large logs emitting a warm, steady glow.

Woven into the installation are threads of the artist’s personal biography and, as the title suggests, a family history of mental illness. Yet, Bi-Polar also insists upon a broader reading, as it addresses the universal human desire to resist against the forces of natural order, push the boundaries of what is within or beyond our control,
and ultimately, arrest time. As the artist herself puts it, “In the fantasy of artificiality, the fleeting moment is held in stasis and death is denied.”



Bradbury's Blue Boar is an interactive piece that takes viewer's heads and projects them on a blue boar.

New Media: Victoria Bradbury: Blue Boar
Oct. 15, 2011–Jan. 29, 2012

Victoria Bradbury’s installation Blue Boar will be on view in the New Media alcove in the Batchelor Gallery beginning October 15. It is an interactive, mixed media video installation that brings the viewer into the fold of a witch trial.

Bradbury’s 10th great-grandmother, Mary Bradbury, was convicted of witchcraft in Salem, MA, in 1692. The installation draws inspiration from the documented “blue boar incident,” in which 75-year-old Mary was accused of transforming herself into a blue boar. Using projection and face-recognition software, the viewer becomes a participant in the historic story of Mary’s trial, as his or her face becomes superimposed onto the head of a sculpted boar.

Bradbury’s installation triggers a multi-sensory experience that invites the viewer to weigh a multiplicity of perspectives from which to consider the so-called “blue boar incident” and the writing of history in general. Central to the work is the bond, a mental and visual relationship, which Bradbury creates between her ancestor and the viewer: a shared fate. In Bradbury’s own words, it becomes a mutual “detachment. . . displacement. . . beheading.”


Robert Charles Hudson, Monkey Wrench, 2011, Mixed media, 78 x 37 in., Collection of the artist

Robert Charles Hudson: Above the Underground
Dec. 2, 2011 - Jan. 8, 2012
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Above the Underground is a recent body of work completed by Robert Charles Hudson, on view in the Davis Gallery from Dec. 2, 2011 to Jan. 8, 2012. Ten mixed-media works will be presented, all of them inspired by Hudson’s family traditions as well as the broader African American heritage. The title of the series, of course, refers to the Underground Railroad, the term that collectively describes the effort of the enslaved to free themselves from bondage in antebellum South. The nucleus of each of the artworks is a small quilt, hand-sewn following instructions Hudson inherited from his mother, who herself belonged to a lineage of quilters. The quilts are incorporated into exceptionally vividly-rendered canvases to create richly symbolic paintings. All of the quilts, as well as their painted extensions, represent specific coded images that were once used to guide escaping slaves during their journey to freedom, such as “Log Cabin,” a pattern that indicated the location of a “safe house.” Just as the symbols of the Underground Railroad that inspired them, Hudson’s paintings are able to convey a wealth of information using seemingly simple, abstract forms. Lovingly crafted, these paintings carry a rich history “above the underground.”


Arthur Carter, Orthogonal Construction 15, 2010, Stainless steel relief with red and black painted rectangles, 30 x 48 in.

Arthur Carter: Orthogonals
Sept. 30 - Nov. 27, 2011
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011

In Arthur Carter: Orthogonals, mastery of color theory, geometry, and minimalist aesthetics combine in a visually rewarding and cerebrally reeling display of prowess and aptitude. Recalling color theory innovators Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers, and Hans Hofmann, the mathematical geniuses Fibonacci and Pythagoras, and minimalist pioneer Donald Judd, Arthur Carter taps into color’s potential to serve as structure and builds on art’s historical cross-pollination with philosophy, design, mathematics, and technology.

Carter did not come to art via traditional means; in fact, he boasts a tremendous amount of experience in a wide range of fields. He was trained as a classical pianist, earned a degree in French literature from Brown University, served in the U.S. Coast Guard, earned his MBA in Finance, followed a 25-year-long career in investment-banking, founded and published two newspapers, taught as a professor at Iona College and New York University, and has been and continues to be a business owner in multiple companies.

Featured in this exhibition are seven examples from the Orthogonals series and nine other related reliefs and works on paper created between 2008 and 2010 that exemplify the artist’s fascination with number theory, color purity, and minimalist logic and process.



42nd Annual Juried Members Exhibition
Oct. 29 - Nov. 13, 2011
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011


Sarah Lamb, Dexter II, 2010, Oil on linen, 35 x 53 in., Collection of Spanierman Gallery, LLC


Sarah Lamb, Olives, 2009, Oil on linen, 5 x 12 in., Collection of Spanierman Gallery, LLC

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.

NEW/NOW: Sarah Lamb
Aug. 13 - Oct. 30, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011

Sarah Lamb—still-life painter and realist—seduced by the art of trompe l’oeil.

“Incredibly beautiful,” “truly amazing,” “clarity and colors reminiscent of the Masters,” these are all online comments about the work of our next NEW/NOW artist, Sarah Lamb. Lamb’s exhibition will feature 18 recent paintings, mainly still-lifes, a few landscapes, and a small self-portrait.

Among a younger generation of American painters who carry on the tradition of representational realism, Lamb fuses her classically realistic style with a bold compositional sense and a perceptive use of color. She is drawn to arresting colors and subtle textures and is also fascinated by the way light absorbs, reflects, and shines through objects. Says Lamb, “Being predominantly a still-life painter and a realist, I’ve always been seduced by the art of trompe l’oeil. The genre seems a natural fit with the subjects I find interesting, the compositions I’m drawn to, and the way I see the world through paint.”

Lamb was born in Petersburg, VA, studied in Italy and France and is an alumna of the prestigious Water Street Atelier in Manhattan, led by her mentor, Jacob Collins. She boasts an impressive exhibition record in fine galleries coast to coast and a large following of admiring and discerning collectors. She currently resides with her artist husband David Larned on a 300-year old farm outside of Philadelphia, near Chadd’s Ford, and is represented by the Spanierman Gallery in New York, where she recently had a sell-out, one-woman show.


Willem de Kooning (1904–1997). Untitled, 1948. Oil on paper, 13.5 x 12 in., The Phillips Collection, Gift of Judith H. Miller (1990.006.0004)


Paul Resika (b. 1928). Fanfare, 1989. Oil on canvas, 69.5 x 49.5 in., Courtesy of Berta Walker Gallery

The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America's Oldest Continuous Art Colony
1899-2011
July 15 - Oct. 16, 2011
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, July 17, 2011

This exhibition will focus on Provincetown's legacy as an art colony, and will cover over 100 artists from Charles W. Hawthorne's founding of the Cape Cod School of Art in 1899 to the present day. This will be the largest and most comprehensive survey of the art colony completed in over 40 years.

The exhibition and accompanying scholarly catalogue will be divided into nine sections that focus on various events in the art colony, such as Forum 49 and the founding of the Fine Arts Work Center. The artists included will be displayed in one of these sections to highlight the narrative of Provincetown's importance in America's art history. While many of the artists-such as Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell-worked or lived in Provincetown for years, some major figures of the 20th century-including Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, and Mark Rothko-also "passed through." We aim to show that many of the most important artists of the past century were inspired by Provincetown.

In the News:
McQuaid, Cate (August 2, 2011). "Beacon for art on Cape", boston.com

Caitlin, Roger (July 17, 2011). "Provincetown Has Timeless Appeal for Artists", The Hartford Courant



Stills from Deb Todd Wheeler's So She Floats.

New Media: Deb Todd Wheeler
June 22 - Oct. 9, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Friday, July 1, 2011

The third installment of our newly launched new media series is Deb Todd Wheeler, who is described as “one of the standouts among Boston’s conceptual sculptors and installation artists.”

Wheeler’s video So She Floats will be shown in the New Media alcove in the Batchelor Gallery for Contemporary Art along with two artifacts from the video: the oar and a section of the inflatable dress.

In 1988, the discovery of a patch of accumulated plastic debris in the North Pacific larger than the size of Texas captured the imagination of many, providing tangible evidence that indeed nothing we make ever really leaves us. Deb Todd Wheeler’s new media exhibition, So She Floats, is a poetic rumination on the earth’s oceanic currents, and the role human productivity plays in the growing population of plastic particulates that are caught up in the gyres.

So She Floats is one of many projects by Wheeler that explores qualities of a particular kind of plastic, blown film polyethylene, the very material our daily newspapers are wrapped in.

The video features a woman wearing a polyethylene dress that gets inflated by her foot-pump wearing companion, who follows her to the sea, where a small circular raft awaits her. The dress wearer then takes her oar and with great determination, tries to head out to sea. Despite her efforts, no matter how she paddles, she can only go in circles, endlessly spinning around.


Eugene Morelli, Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, Tupelo with Acrylic and Hammered silver, Collection of Kem Appell



Sponsored by Conry Asset Management, LLC.

One Man’s Passion: The Art of Carved Birds
Aug. 5 - Sept. 25, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011

One Man’s Passion: The Art of Carved Birds consists of over 60 objects from the collection of J. Kemler “Kem” Appell, one of the leading collectors of miniature decorative bird carvings in the U.S.

Twenty-seven artists are featured, all world championship carvers and masters of artistic form and design. The exhibition will break new ground presenting bird carving as fine art and will chart the evolution of the art form in recent years.

As Appell appreciates, many carvers are also painters or sculptors who deal with all aspects of art and design, 2D painting, 3D sculpture, architectural construction, and structural engineering. While maintaining the traditional use of woods to construct the birds themselves, other materials—such as metals, fibers and contemporary paints—are more commonly being used to enhance habitat and presentation. Today’s carvers are also integrating a specific narrative into their work, making a more dramatic presentation. This exhibition will also highlight examples of several other interpretive categories.

The exhibition includes a display explaining the process by which these bird carvers create their masterpieces. Related programming includes both lectures and demonstrations by leading artists.

In the News:
Dunne, Susan (August 2, 2011). "Carved Birds At New Britain Museum of American Art, Aug. 5-Sept. 25", The Hartford Courant


Colin Burke's solargraphic installation, Parallax.

Colin Burke: Parallax, a Solargraphic Installation
LeWitt Family Staircase
Through Sept. 23, 2011

Connecticut artist Colin Burke currently has an installation of pinhole cameras facing Walnut Hill Park in the LeWitt Family Staircase. The multiple cameras are installed to track the sun’s path and will be taken down throughout the summer months with the last coming down in September.

Going back to early photographic history, before the latent image was discovered, Joseph Nicephore Niepce (1765-1833), a French inventor, set up his camera aimed out his window for a full day exposure. The resulting image (heliogram) captured light landing on both the East and West surfaces of the buildings and plant life in view. The contemporary solargraphic method harkens back to this early experiment, where the exposures are set up to capture the procession of the path of the sun over the course of weeks or months. Objects moving faster than the sun disappear from view, leaving an unpopulated landscape, and further illustrating the transitory illusion of presence in the wider context of a span of time and history.

Burke has this to say about his work “This is science and art, and as much scientific experimentation as creative exploration. I want to lift the veil of these antique photographic techniques, revealing the heretofore interior of the mysterious black box.”


Dean Cornwall, Clancy Made Her Way South, (detail), 1920

Committee's Choice: Selections from the Sanford B.D. Low Memorial Collection of American Illustration
Through Aug. 28, 2011

Believed to be the nation's first museum-based collection focusing on American illustrations from the 19th century to the Present, the Sanford B.D. Low Memorial Collection of American Illustration now consists of more than 1,500 illustrations thanks to the generosity and dedication of the Committee members themselves. This exhibition is comprised of the favorite illustrations of current Low Illustration Committee members. They have, in their labels, explained the historical significance of each illustration as well as why these particular artworks appealed to them.


Catherine Cabaniss, Palimpsest, 2002, Assemblage, 36 x 24 in., Collection of Donald Come

NEW/NOW: Catherine Cabaniss
Apr. 30 - Aug. 7, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., Thursday, May 12, 2011

Next up in the NEW/NOW series is Catherine Cabaniss who brings her latest productions from her body of work entitled “Palimpsest.” The exhibition opens April 30 and runs through Aug. 7, 2011.

A palimpsest is a parchment on which the writing has been erased to create space for new text. Often the old script shows through and lingers behind the new words. Cabaniss first discovered this art form on a trip to Ireland in 2002 where she learned about seventh-century monks who laboriously wrote on parchment, then erased and revised it—thereby building up layers of meaning. Cabaniss does the same, but uses new materials, in this case digital photos printed on fabric; and assemblages using Plexiglas, hardware and RIVES BFK fine printmaking paper.

In these recent works, Cabaniss is inspired especially by the Celtic inscriptions on stone as well as metal and Celtic knot work. In ancient times the poet held an honored place and most things worth recording were written in verse as they were easy to remember and pleasant for listening. Inspired, Cabaniss uses selections from ancient Irish poetry in her creations.

Cabaniss, a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, holds a B.A. from Sweet Briar College in Virginia and a B.F.A from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


James Wyeth, The Faune, 2002, Oil on canvas, 36 x 26 in., Collection of Brandywine River Museum, Purchase made possible by the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation; the Roemer Foundation; the Margaret Dorrance Strawbridge Foundation of PA, I, Inc.; and an anonymous donor


James Wyeth, Don Quixote Poster, 2003, Combined mediums on toned board, Collection of Brandywine River Museum. Purchase made possible by the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr., and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation; the Roemer Foundation; the Margaret Dorrance Strawbridge Foundation of PA, I, Inc.; and an anonymous donor

Rudolf Nureyev by James Wyeth
June 3 - July 31, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Friday, June 3, 2011

Like a method actor, Wyeth, spends as much time as possible with the subject of his portrait, “trying to get under his skin, trying to absorb his character by osmosis.” Celebrated artist James “Jamie” Wyeth (b. 1946), third generation of the American art dynasty that included his father Andrew Wyeth and grandfather N.C. Wyeth, is well–known for his depictions of birds, animals and landscapes and his sensitive and illuminating portraits, including ones of presidents Jimmy Carter and JFK as well as Andy Warhol.

It was in 1977, that Wyeth persuaded the famous ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993) to pose for him. He observed Nureyev for one whole year during which time he sketched the dancer in rehearsals, on stage, and in his dressing room. Nureyev also sat for portraits at the Wyeth Pennsylvania farm. During these sessions Nureyev would critique Wyeth’s portraits, well aware of the importance of the series would have regarding his public image.

The paintings included in the exhibition date from 1977 to 2003 and document the artist’s fascination with the world’s most famous ballet dancer over the course of 26 years. Nureyev was inspired by Wyeth as well, and said: “Wyeth knew his anatomy better than his tailor.”

The exhibition includes 15 paintings of combined mixed mediums, six of which are studies, three sketchbook images, a costume from Raymonda, Act III, Jean de Brienne and a pair of ballet slippers worn by Nureyev. This exhibition has been organized by the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Presented with support from Conry Asset Management, LLC, Brendan T. Conry, Founder & Principal.

Please be aware that Rudolf Nureyev by James Wyeth contains one nude portrait of Nureyev.


Frederick Carl Frieseke, The Green Parasol, 1915, Oil on canvas, 31 3/4 x 32 in., Jonathan W. Warner; on loan from the Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art


Julian Scott, Playing a Friendly Game of Freezeout, 1886, Oil on canvas, 24 1/2 x 29 1/2 in., The Warner Foundation, on loan from the Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art

An American Odyssey: The Warner Collection of American Art
Apr. 1 - July 3, 2011
Opening Reception
5-7 p.m., Saturday, Apr. 2, 2011

Beginning Apr. 1 and running through July 3, 2011 the New Britain Museum of American Art’s McKernan Gallery will feature An American Odyssey: The Warner Collection of American Art. Coming to New Britain from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the exhibition is composed of works from the personal collection of Jonathan “Jack” Warner and his wife Susan Austin Warner and the collection of The Warner Foundation.

Jack Warner started his private collection in the 1950s when he bought a series of prints by John James Audubon (1785-1851). Today the Warner Collection is one of the premiere collections of American art in the world.

Warner’s collection reflects his belief in learning American history through art and his passion for America. His collection includes historical and genre paintings, portraiture,
landscapes, and works from specific schools such as Impressionism and The Eight. Each of these artworks helps the viewer understand a different aspect of the American story. Works by Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Frederic E. Church (1826-1900), Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Winslow Homer (1836-1910), and James Peale (1749-1831) are featured in the collection.

Because the Warner Collection closely parallels the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum, the exhibition allows a number of opportunities to compare and contrast works in the two collections.



Ted Efremoff: Time in Contest with Truth
New Media Alcove, Batchelor Gallery
Through June 19, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Friday, Apr. 1, 2011

The NBMAA’s foray into New Media continues with an installation by artist Ted Efremoff on the theme of real versus fakes and forgeries. Efremoff’s installation is inspired by the mystery surrounding the NBMAA’s two versions of Figure in a Room by Frank Weston Benson. Which is real? Which is fake? Which is the original frame? Which is not? Often on view side by side, our visitors enjoy trying to crack the mystery themselves and discussing the merits of the “fake” artist. Efremoff will explore these themes with a site-specific installation, performances, and video production.


Winslow Homer, The Army of the Potomac—A Sharpshooter on Picket Duty—From A Painting by Winslow Homer, Esq., 1862, Wood engraving, New Britain Museum of American Art


Winslow Homer, Thanksgiving-Day in the Army—After Dinner—The Wishbone—Drawn by Winslow Homer, 1864, Wood engraving, The New Britain Museum of American Art

Winslow Homer and the American Civil War
Apr. 15 - May 29, 2011

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) is widely considered America’s most popular and influential artist. Like many other artists of the nineteenth century, he began his career as an engraver, primarily of illustrations for the leading magazines of his day. During the Civil War Homer was hired to be a full-time picture correspondent in Washington and at the Front.

Forty of Homer’s Civil War illustrations made between 1861 and 1864 for Harper’s Weekly and Leslie’s magazines will be the subject of Winslow Homer and the American Civil War. Also on view will be Skirmish in the Wilderness, a rare painting by Homer which depicts a moment in the Battle of the Wilderness fought May 5 - 6, 1864.

This exhibition is part of a community-wide commemoration with Central Connecticut State University and 62 other organizational partners. Go to www.ccsu.edu/civilwar for more information.


Carol Padberg, Love the Eats, 2010, mixed media,
36 x 36 in., Collection of the artist

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.

NEW/NOW: Interactive Crazy Quilts by Carol Padberg
Through Apr. 24, 2011
Opening Reception
6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011

For most of the last decade Carol Padberg has been exploring encoded abstraction through painting, installation, and collage. Two years ago this interest led her to the great textile traditions of West Africa, where fabrics often have elaborate patterns and symbols that refer to proverbs and historical events. Padberg synthesizes the influences of African textiles, American crazy quilts, and European modernism with her own family background of sewing, to produce information age art which stands at the intersection of quilting and computer code.

In this exhibition Padberg builds her quilts using a high capacity bar code structure layered with colored papers, scraps of fabric and paint, such that with a click of a smartphone, the viewer is transported down what Padberg calls a “rabbit hole” providing a window into the making of the art and the symbolism encoded within. Each work investigates ways in which technology has shaped our contemporary world. For example, in Love the Eats we are linked to images and texts that explore modern food production and consumption. Themes include pesticides commonly applied to apples; the Slow Food movement; and the trials and tribulations of feeding a large family.


Power Boothe, Dispatch, 1982, Oil on canvas,
72 x 72 in., Collection of the artist


Power Boothe, Extension, 1994, Oil on canvas,
72 x 72 in., Collection of the artist

Power Boothe: Out of Order
Through Apr. 10, 2011
Opening Reception
6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011

Boothe grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has had 18 solo exhibitions in New York, all of which received critical acclaim. His work is represented in many public collections such as the Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the British Museum. Furthermore, he has designed sets for Obie-Award winning productions, collaborated as a visual artist with choreographers and musicians, and received other awards for film work. Recently, Boothe retired as dean of Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford after nine years at the helm.

Unlike Picasso, the abstract art Power Boothe produces does not center on portraits of people. Boothe focuses on complex feelings and ideas rather than concrete scenes. He combines colors and shapes that are not usually placed together. At first glance, his works seem to just be a random mash of colors and shapes but when one considers the title and the feelings his work evokes, the conclusion makes more sense.


Cynthia Westwood, Blue Bathroom, detail, 2006, oil on linen, 20 x 30", Gift of The American Academy of Arts and Letters

Mary Dwyer, General George Washington Resigns, 2002, acrylic on wood, 26 x 23", Collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art

WomenArtists@NewBritainMuseum is made possible with support from the Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, and the NBMAA’s very own Docent Corps.

WomenArtists@NewBritainMuseum
Through Mar. 20, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Fri., Jan. 7, 2011

December 18, 2010 marked the opening of WomenArtists@NewBritainMuseum. For the first time, the Museum is showcasing the remarkable artistic output of women artists in the NBMAA’s permanent collection. The exhibition consists of 80 works selected from over 600 by women artists and will be on view through March 20.

Guest co-curators Sherry Buckberrough and Nancy Noble, University of Hartford Art History professors, were given free rein to select the featured work. As a result a wide variety of artists are displayed, from the seminal—Sarah Miriam Peale, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dorothea Lange, Louise Nevelson, Lee Krasner, and Helen Frankenthaler—to the contemporary—Nina Bentley, Ellen Carey, Lisa Hoke, and Lalla Essaydi.

The art works are grouped by eight themes: abstraction, identity, the city and modernity, narratives, nature, nudes, portraits and written signs. They include paintings, prints, sculpture, photography, video, one installation and a hologram.

Over the last 150 years the roles of women artists have evolved dramatically. Once they struggled to even attend the leading art academies, while in our own day they occupy positions of enormous influence. This exhibition chronicles this rise to prominence and the contributions of women artists to the development of American art. A scholarly catalogue accompanies the exhibition and is available in the Museum Shop.


Arthur Szyk, “Can’t You See I am Busy…”, detail, Ottawa, 1940, color ink drawing, The Gregg and Michelle Philipson Collection

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Swords: The Illustrations of Arthur Szyk
Oct. 21, 2010 - Jan. 30, 2011
Opening Reception
2-4 p.m., Sun., Oct. 24, 2010

The work of illustrator Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) will occupy the Low Illustration Gallery from Oct. 21, 2010 – Jan. 30, 2011. Already a successful and well-known illustrator when he fled Europe in 1940, Arthur Szyk made his new home in the United States. He almost immediately started lambasting Hitler and other fascists with his political caricatures and illustrations. Working in the style of 16th-century miniaturists, Szyk’s work was featured in Esquire, Time and Collier’s during World War II. He once famously declared, “Art is not my aim, it is my means.”

He has been critically acclaimed and widely praised for his use of illustration to promote human dignity, justice and tolerance. His sharp eye for political injustice has made him a champion for human rights groups across generations.

The NBMAA is proud to display these unique and important historical works. Thanks to Dr. Avinoam Patt, the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford who curated the exhibition and to Gregg and Michelle Philipson who lent their collection.


Christopher Pugliese, The Aim of the Artist, 2003, oil on linen, 28 x 38", Collection of Roz and Jerry Meyer

Christopher Pugliese, What's Next, 2003, oil on linen, 32 x 40", Collection of Roz and Jerry Meyer

NEW/NOW: Christopher Pugliese
Oct. 30, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Fri., Nov. 5, 2010

The Museum’s ongoing NEW/NOW series continues with the intriguing work of Christopher Pugliese. He currently resides in New York City but has been exhibited across the country and overseas, including in San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and London, in both solo exhibitions and group shows, and now at the NBMAA.

At an early age, Pugliese had the good fortune of meeting Ted Jacobs and Tony Ryder while studying at the New York Academy of Art. He lists them as two of his main influences and even traveled with them to France during his summer vacations while attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. On one of these trips abroad, Pugliese was fortunate to encounter Martha and Walter Erlbacher. The Erlbachers are world-renowned for their teaching of anatomy in both drawing and sculpture. These four combined artists helped to guide Pugliese’s early career path. He continued to hone his technique while studying at the National Academy of Design and the results are absorbing, to say the least.

His anatomical detail is incredible and the figures he portrays are sometimes grotesque, sometimes ethereal but always engaging. He occasionally portrays himself, often painting within the painting.

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.


José Formoso Reyes, Creel Nantucket "Friendship" Basket Handbag, ca. 1950-55, rattan, pine, oak and ebony, 8 ¼ x 6 ¾", Private Collection of Henry and Sharon Martin

Nantucket Lightship Baskets: Carrying On Tradition
Oct. 29, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 11, 2010

Nantucket Lightship Baskets: Carrying On Tradition will showcase the delicate, artistic, yet extremely practical baskets that have been used as a means of conveyance for hundreds of years. The exhibition will feature three periods of basket making: The early Lightship-made Baskets, Post Lightship era Nantucket-made Baskets and the innovative shapes and uses of Contemporary Baskets. The works by artists from the Ray family of basket makers as well as contemporary artists José Formoso Reyes and Michael Kane will be on view.

Sam and Janet Bailey, Paul and Diane Madden, Hank and Sharon Martin and Melinda and Paul Sullivan have all generously loaned items from their personal collections for this exhibition.

A portion of this exhibition will also be dedicated to the intricate process behind crafting a Nantucket Lightship Basket. The Basket Maker’s Catalogue has generously donated materials, handles, cane, and reed as well as a lightship basket on a mold in process, all available for visitors to see and touch.



41st Annual Members Exhibition
Nov. 20 - Dec. 5, 2010
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sun., Nov. 21, 2010

Call for artists. Open to NBMAA members at least 18 years old, one work per person. Juror: Dr. Susan Sturtevant, Director & CEO, Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington. Download the form for entry, download this form for more details or contact Development Associate Jenna DeNovellis at (860) 229-0257, ext. 231 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Frederic Edwin Church, The Parthenon, 1871, oil on canvas, 44.5 x 72.625", The Metropolitan Museum of Art


George Inness, Delaware Water Gap, 1861, oil on canvas, 36 x 50.25", The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hudson River Paintings from
the Metropolitan Museum of Art
March 13, 2009 - Nov. 2010

Large-scale and dynamic describe the selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Paintings and Sculpture Department collections which will be on view in the Henry and Sharon Martin gallery through Nov. 2010. “I believe you will be astonished by their beauty and significance,” says Director Douglas Hyland.

The Metropolitan’s loan includes masterpieces by Hudson River School artists Frederic Church (1826-1900), Asher B. Durand (1796-1886), George Inness (1825-1894) and John Frederick Kensett (1816-1872).

The Hudson River School artists traveled out of crowded, industrialized cities to the Hudson River, as well as abroad and into the West, to capture images of nature untouched by man. Church’s The Parthenon, 1871, a six-foot wide masterpiece, was painted after the artist visited Greece, where he had the opportunity to make many studies and oil sketches.Their punctiliously accurate works sought to pay tribute to the innate beauty of the American landscape, as well as to serve as an instrument for spiritual contemplation.

The Hudson River School paintings included in the exhibit are Church’s The Parthenon, Durand’s High Point: Shandaken Mountains, Inness’s Delaware Water Gap, and Kensett’s Sunset on the Sea, Hudson River Scene and Eaton’s Neck, Long Island, all of which impeccably capture the veracity of American landscapes.

Accompanying the selection of Hudson River School paintings is the masterpiece Harvest Scene, by Winslow Homer (1836-1910), the leading 19th-century genre painter.

The Museum is most grateful to Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to Kevin Avery, associate curator, Department of American Paintings and Sculpture and the entire American department at the Metropolitan for their support in arranging this significant loan. The exhibition is presented with the support of members of the NBMAA Executive Committee: Kathryn Cox, John Rathgeber, Henry Martin, Timothy McLaughlin, Linda Tomasso and Kimberly Zeytoonjian.


M.C. Escher, Ascending and Descending, lithograph, 13.189 x 11.22”, Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece. All M.C. Escher works (c) The M.C. Escher Company B.V. - Baarn - the NETHERLANDS


M.C. Escher, Reptiles, lithograph, 13.15 x 15.157”, Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece. All M.C. Escher works (c) The M.C. Escher Company B.V. - Baarn - the NETHERLANDS

M.C. Escher: Impossible Reality
July 16 - Nov. 14, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m., Thurs., July 22, 2010

From July 16 through Nov. 14, 2010, the New Britain Museum of American Art proudly presents M.C. Escher: Impossible Reality. One hundred and thirty works of this artist of worldwide fame will be on view including seminal and instantly recognizable pieces such as Ascending and Descending, Drawing Hands, and the extremely rare lithograph stone for the making of Flat Worms. The exhibition will be organized into multiple sections among them Impossible Worlds, Infinity, Metamorphosis and Tesselation.

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) has earned worldwide acclaim as a master printmaker, draftsman, book illustrator, and muralist. Though never having studied extensively in mathematics, the mind-bending techniques and impossible realities depicted in M.C. Escher’s works prove him a brilliant mathematician. Much of Escher’s work is intuitive; without focusing on labels, Escher created what came to him instinctively.

M.C. Escher: Impossible Reality features the artist’s woodcuts, lithographs, sculptures, as well as rare preparatory drawings for an in-depth view of not only the finished product of Escher’s iconic works, but also each of the mediums he entertained and his varying creative processes for each. A robust schedule of related programming is being planned, which includes a symposium, lectures, film, and music. Studio classes will also focus on Escher and the Museum Shop will showcase Escher merchandise.

M.C. Escher: Impossible Reality is presented with the generous support of Melinda and Paul Sullivan Foundation for the Decorative Arts and in cooperation with the Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece, www.herakleidon.com. The exhibition will travel from New Britain to the Akron Museum of Art, Akron, Ohio.


Aaron Draper Shattuck, Landscape, Sunset over the Hills, oil on canvas laid onto board, 12.5 x 18.25", collection of Dr. Timothy McLaughlin


Graydon Parrish, Rose, 2009, oil on panel, 16 x 12", collection of Dr. Timothy McLaughlin

American Reflections: The Collection of Dr. Timothy McLaughlin
Sept. 10 - Oct. 24, 2010
Opening Reception
1-2:30 p.m., Sun., Sept. 12, 2010

A gem of Northeastern art. Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Timothy McLaughlin has been collecting art for the last two decades.

In the upcoming exhibition American Reflections: The Collection of Dr. Timothy McLaughlin, over forty paintings, sculptures, and works on paper will be on view, many for the first time in a museum. McLaughlin’s collection is unique in its focus on Connecticut and the region. With works by major Hudson River School artists such as Frederick Kensett and Asher B. Durand, and American Impressionist masters such as Childe Hassam and Henry Ward Ranger, this collection is truly a gem of Northeastern art. Furthermore, McLaughlin has key examples by contemporary artists, such as Sol LeWitt and Graydon Parrish, which bring this collection into the twenty-first century. Overall, this exhibition aims to show how various artists over the past two centuries have been inspired by and reflecting on the landscapes, people, and cities of our region.


Jon Rappleye, Where Nightly Dwells the Starry Owl, 2008, acrylic and spray enamel on paper, 60” x 40”, Image courtesy of the artist and Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York


Jon Rappleye, Where in this Night the Beast does Dwell, 2009, acrylic and spray enamel on paper, 48 x 42.5", Courtesy of the artist and Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY

NEW/NOW: Jon Rappleye: After Eden
July 30 - Oct. 24, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

Gaze into another plane of existence and uncover otherworldly creatures with Jon Rappleye’s collection of extraordinary works. Guaranteed to break the rules of reality and stretch the world of imagination, this artist will leave viewers lost in wonder.

Using acrylic and spray enamel on paper, Jon Rappleye's drawings and sculptures depict fantastical worlds populated by exotic hybrid creatures. Biological structures and functions are reanimated, exploring ecological issues and evoking a dream world landscape. With titles like Serene in Spring’s Treacherous Cradle and A Litany in Time of Plague, viewers are reminded of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Rappleye was born in Provo, Utah in 1967. He received a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and now lives as well as works in Jersey City, NJ. Rappleye has had exhibits all over the country including the Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York, NY and the Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. He has received many awards and recognitions, such as the Outstanding Achievement in the Arts and Best of Show.

Most of Rappleye’s work recycles images from pop culture, art history, children’s books, and even his own artwork. Viewers will easily identify with his art as the images are like snippets out of a dream and evoke a sense of familiarity. Rappleye explains this illusion, “my work is about…a search for identity, a combination of abstract and representational modes from a fractured narrative.”

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.


Dan Truth, After the Repast, oil on canvas, 12 x 28", Collection of William and Jennifer Roehl


Dan Truth, Spanish Onions, oil on canvas, 14 x 22", Collection of Conrad Kronholm

Dan Truth: Realism/Impressionism
June 25 - Sept. 2, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m., First Friday, July 2, 2010

His work recalls that of the Old Masters in both style and virtuoso technique. Using a sampling of various painting traditions, Truth creates unique and timeless masterpieces.

Dan Truth’s landscapes, portraits and still lifes will be on display at the NBMAA from June 25, 2010 through September 2, 2010 in the Davis Gallery. Originally from Michigan, Truth now resides in Mystic, Connecticut and has derived inspiration from the state’s seaside scenery.

Truth studied extensively in Spain under both Ricardo Lecarcel Sr. and Jose Maria de Juan. His work reflects a strong European influence as well. He lists J.S. Chardin and Luis Melendez among his influences. Truth’s early work focused on landscape and some still life along with portraiture and figure composition. Most recently, he has poured his energy into still lifes. His work varies between impressionistic compositions and realism based in both the European and American traditions. Dan Truth: Realism/Impressionism will provide viewers with a small cross section of this unique artist’s beautiful range of work.

His work has been exhibited in the National Academy of Design, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum and the Slater Memorial Museum. This will be his first solo show at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Image
Dalton M. Ghetti, Sewing Needle and Spool, 2003, graphite and wood of a #2 pencil with razor blade and sewing needle without magnifying glass, collection of the artist, photo by STHPHOTO.com

Les Lourigan, The Alphabet Series, n.d., pen and marker on paper, 11 x 8.5”, Stephen B. Lawrence Fund

Jennifer Maestre, Naiad, pencils, 10.5 x 10.5 x 10.5”, collection of the artist

Meticulous Masterpieces: Contemporary Art by Dalton Ghetti, Les Lourigan and Jennifer Maestre
Apr. 2 - Aug 29, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m. First Friday, Apr. 2, 2010
Artist Remarks 6 p.m.

Sculpted pencils, visionary alphabets, unusual media, and painstaking attention to detail are common elements in the works of three contemporary artists on view in the Batchelor Gallery beginning April 2. The vivid colors and eye-catching detail contained in these small objects, that measure around a foot or less, will leave you astounded and amazed.

Dalton Ghetti, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has been making his pencil creations since he was a schoolboy in Brazil. Using a variety of simple razors and needles, he carves incredibly detailed miniature sculptures out of the lead core of pencils without the aid of technology or even a magnifying glass. Alphabet, 2005, comprised of 26 individual pencils, is his most famous work.

In the history of American art, there is a long tradition of folk artists who create drawings and paintings inspired by their inner calling to express themselves artistically. Les Lourigan, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, is one such artist. Recently, the NBMAA purchased the Alphabet series which will be included in this exhibition. Alphabet truly displays Lourigan’s unique vision of color, line, form, and abstraction.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and educated in Massachusetts, Jennifer Maestre has been making her creature- and nature-inspired colored pencil sculptures for the past ten years. Inspired by the possibility of creating something dangerous yet beautiful, she weaves the sharp tips of colored pencils together to form her organic and elemental figures.


Elana Herzog, Untitled, 2010, handmade cotton paper, textile, collection of the artist

NEW/NOW Elana Herzog
May 7 - July 25, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m. First Friday, May 7, 2010

By attaching found textiles—often shredded bedspreads and other fabrics—to walls using thousands of judiciously placed metal staples, the artist creates patterns of color and form that look like three-dimensional colored lines. It is as if the lines have come alive and have weight and substance. Herzog’s creations are further dramatized because once she has affixed the textiles to the walls, she proceeds to rip away some of the parts and thus there is the evidence left exposed where the fasteners once were. Her work is part performance because the creative phase is punctuated by the ebb and flow of application, the yin and yang of her creative process.

Herzog has admired New Britain native Sol LeWitt, the late genius of contemporary conceptual art, and also Frank Stella, who pioneered large explosive three-dimensional painting. However, unlike these artists, she has a strong affinity for textiles and often uses cheap, even tacky materials. She describes her work as follows:

“My work negotiates a thin line between attraction and repulsion, pain and pleasure, vulgar and sublime. I am fascinated by the way form is generated by growth and decay, construction and destruction. My work has a relationship to Modernism which is both reverent and irreverent…To the extent that I operate from a position of alienation, my relationship to both high and low culture remains vicarious. Site-specific projects are a large part of my practice. Each site has its challenges: formal, conceptual, and practical. Curiosity and desire confront the demands of the physical and institutional world—space, time, and resources.”

Image

John Singer Sargent, Tarragona, c. 1908, watercolor, 19.5 x 13.875”, New Britain Museum of American Art

The Great American Watercolor
Apr. 24 - July 3, 2010
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 25, 2010

Over 107 years, the Museum has amassed more than one thousand watercolors. 130 of them will be shown, many for the first time in decades, in an exhibition entitled The Great American Watercolor. Examples will range in date from the early years of the 19th century to the present. Some are small genre subjects of charming patriotic scenes and others, like Walton Ford’s Fallen Mias, are enormous, bombastic contemporary watercolors. There will also be several examples from the Low Illustration Collection of original artworks that were subsequently printed as covers, illustrations, and cartoons in magazines, books, and newspapers.

While the Museum’s oil paintings by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, John LaFarge, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper and Giorgio Cavallon are displayed in the galleries on a regular basis, their watercolors can only be displayed periodically due to the fragile nature of this expressive medium.

On display will be works of art from all periods of American art history in a wide variety of different styles, from realism to abstraction and every other stylistic nuance between these two extremes. The curator of the exhibition is Alexander J. Noelle, Assistant Curator. Funds in support of this exhibition have been received from Bank of America, the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation and the Bailey Family Fund for Special Exhibitions.


Over eighty Farmington artists celebrated their masterpieces displayed at the NBMAA during the East Farms 1st Grade Student Exhibition opening held on Feb. 12, 2010.



Art from the New Britain Public and Parochial Schools
May 13 - 23, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, May 13, 2010
Presented by Webster Bank

Berlin public Schools Exhibition
June 3 - 6, 2010
Opening Reception
6-8 p.m., Thurs., June 3, 2010


This flower arrangement captures the tension of Rowena Morrill’s Twilight Terrors.

Fine Art & Flowers
May 7 - 9, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-8 p.m. First Friday, May 7, 2010

The NBMAA will be garlanded in beauty with the New Britain Garden Club’s floral placement show set for Mother’s Day weekend. This is the New Britain Garden Club’s tenth biennial “Floral Expressions” Placement Show. The exhibit is free with general admission.

Twenty-two interpretative floral arrangements, inspired by select paintings and sculptures in the Museum’s collection, will be on display in the galleries alongside their companion works of art. Nine members of the Garden Club and all twelve of the National Council Accredited Judges of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut will create arrangements.

Judge Terry Stoleson and co-chairs Lillian Smith and Barbara Waskowitz will be teaming up to interpret Graydon Parrish’s 9/11 painting. Placement Committee members making arrangements are Lydia Dyson, Sylvia Lucas and Beth Yannello. Other Garden Club members participating include Mary Gould, Nancy Judd, Marilyn Miller and Norma Powell.


Kwabena Slaughter, Oh Very Yes!, details at inch 584, 410 and 118, 2008, 35mm slide filmstrip on light-box, Collection of the artist

NEW/NOW: Kwabena Slaughter
Jan. 29 - Apr. 25, 2010
Opening Reception
6-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, 2010

Regarding cameras and photographs as cultural artifacts, Kwabena Slaughter’s work asks: “what would photography look like if it had grown out of a different aesthetic tradition?”

Slaughter deconstructs the popular photographic image bearing strong visual similarity to western paintings by utilizing an entire roll of film to create one distorted photograph. “Before the invention of photography, and the movie camera, the scroll was the way to depict a narrative that was taking place over time. A unique quality of the scroll is that all the scenes exist in one unbroken image. I have been trying to recover this unified presentation through photography.”

A specially adapted camera is utilized to shoot unto rolls of color slide-film; there are no breaks in the frames and the ensuing panoramic effect, at times 100-feet long, is horizontally displayed on a light-box. "Dancing with Woman in Red” depicts a couple dancing across a 648 inch by 10 inch, 35 mm filmstrip. Whereas the typical photo can only suggest movement over time, the couple in Slaughter’s piece surge through the extended filmstrip, actually illustrating a temporal narrative through the observable movement of the dancers in the flowing elongation and surreal distortion of the couple’s features as they wind about the film.

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe.


A nearly pristine example of a chair made in the 1870s; made of maple and wool with dark stain and varnish, Miller Collection


A nesting carrier made from maple with pine or cherry bottoms reflects the Shakers near obsession with order, Miller Collection

Inspired Innovations:
A Celebration of Shaker Ingenuity
Jan. 16 - Apr. 11, 2010
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

Prepare to be inspired by the inspired innovations of the Shakers, on view in the McKernan Gallery beginning January 16 through April 11, 2010. Curated by West Hartford, Connecticut Shaker scholar M. Stephen Miller, Inspired Innovations: A Celebration of Shaker Ingenuity. The exhibition, organized into 12 Zones of Innovation and with three rooms resembling traditional Shaker quarters, will showcase some 350 objects spanning over 200 years from 1800 to 2000. A testament to the durability, practicality, and simplicity of Shaker ingenuity, with a focus on functionality, each piece is gracefully formed with a genuine devotion to ones craft that reflects the words of Shaker founder, Mother Ann: "labor to make the way of God your own; let it be your inheritance, your treasure, your occupation, your daily calling.

The exhibition is accompanied by a just-published book by Miller, with essays by twelve acclaimed Shaker scholars and more than 390 full-color images. An all-day symposium is planned for January 25th featuring four Shaker experts on topics ranging from innovations in use of space, how women fit into the Shaker world and how Shakers are relevant to us today. Several other lectures and book signings are scheduled.

This exhibition in presented with the support of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund through the recommendation of the William Hirsh Helfand Fund, M. Stephen Miller and an anonymous donor.

Two special tour dates with M. Stephen Miller
Tuesday, Mar. 9 and Wednesday Mar. 24 at 10 a.m.

Book Signing:
M. Stephen Miller: Inspired Innovations A Celebration of Shaker Ingenuity
Wednesday Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.
Monday Jan. 25 at 1 p.m.
Wednesday Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.
Tuesday Mar. 9 at 10 a.m.
Wednesday Mar. 10 at 1 p.m.
Thursday Mar. 11 at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday Mar. 24 at 10 a.m.
Thursday Mar. 25 at 1 p.m.
Wednesday Apr. 7 at 1 p.m.
Thursday Apr. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

John Haberle's
John Haberle, The Challenge, c. 1890, oil on canvas, 21.875 x 15.2", Thomas Colville Fine Art

John Haberle's
John Haberle, Torn in Transit, 1890-95, oil on canvas, 13.4375 x 17", Collection of the Brandywine River Museum

John Haberle: American Master of Illusion
Dec. 11, 2009 - Mar. 14, 2010

Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009

Combining a masterful technique with sly, witty historical and personal reference to American life from 1870 to 1910, today John Haberle is considered one of the most accomplished American trompe l’oeil painters.

Alluding to the moral and political issues of the time in the NBMAA’s Time and Eternity, Haberle juxtaposes objects of the temporal world, such as a pocket watch, playing cards and rosary beads with a newspaper clipping that references Robert G. Ingersoll, a lecturer who was tried for blasphemy because of his unorthodox views on slavery and the Bible. The slight but ingenious details make each of Haberle’s paintings exceedingly complex.

Haberle’s precise, trompe l’oeil paintings were well recognized about a decade during his lifetime. Afterward, he faded into obscurity but was rediscovered in 1949 by American scholar Alfred Frankenstein.

Along with Time and Eternity and the museum's own Haberle works, the NBMAA exhibition includes approximately 20 paintings and drawings on loan from museums from across the country.

Supplementing the exhibit is a catalog created by art historian and curator Gertrude Grace Sill entitled John Haberle: American Master of Illusion. Based primarily on new research gathered by Sill through forgotten Haberle archives and interviews with Haberle descendants, both the exhibition and catalog will be the first complete study devoted to Haberle. The exhibition will travel to Chadds Ford, PA, and Portland, ME.

The exhibition and catalog are presented with the support of Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, The David T. Langrock Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.



Community Threads
Gee’s Bend and Mazloomi Quilts Come to the NBMAA
through Feb. 28, 2010

Celebrating the stunning artistic output of the famous women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama and that of one of the most influential African-American quilting artists of the twenty-first century, Carolyn L. Mazloomi, the NBMAA is proud to display through February 28, 2010 Red, Yellow, Green, an original Gee’s Bend quilt, and All That Jazz, #2 by Dr. Mazloomi. These and several dozen other quilts from the historic to the contemporary will be on display throughout Greater Hartford as part of “Community Threads” a community-wide program sponsored by Community Health Services of Hartford with over 16 partnering venues participating. Click here to learn more!

As part of this program and inspired by the ideas of community, health and wellness, the NBMAA this winter will be constructing a quilt representing our city, state and all the people that make the NBMAA such a great destination. With the guidance of MetLife Artist-in-Residence Loretta Eason, visitors of all ages will create unique patches which will be assembled by Eason into a quilt that will be unveiled at the NBMAA’s annual Juneteenth Celebration on Friday, June 18, 2010.

NBMAA Events with Quilt-Making Sessions:
Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Community Day; 1-3 p.m. [free]
Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 - First Friday; 6-7:30 p.m. [fee]
Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 - Art Adventures
(children and families); 10:30 a.m.-noon [fee]
Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010 - Black History Month Celebration; 2-4 p.m. [free]

Sandra Allen's
Sandra Allen, Conduit, 2009, pencil on paper, 70 x 52.5", Collection of the artist

Detail of Sandra Allen's
Sandra Allen, Conduit, 2009, pencil on paper, 70 x 52.5", Collection of the artist

NEW/NOW Sandra Allen
Oct. 30, 2009 - Jan. 24, 2010

Opening Reception
6-6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, 2009

With only pencil and paper, Sandra Allen utilizes meticulous detail to illustrate hyper-realistic trees; her precise drawings resemble photographs. Since 2001, Allen has been fascinated with the subject, which she feels bears a great deal of symbolism.

Featuring bare, leafless timbers against a stark white backdrop, the emptiness of Allen’s work allows the viewer to focus on the tree as a subject rather than an object. Allen uncovers ways that the trees express something like the human experience: branches caught in a loving embrace, a gnarl in the bark, or a furrowed trunk bearing the weight of a heavy burden. More than being strikingly photographic, every fine facet of the penciled trees exudes a sense of pure will; they are solitary beings, expressing through bark and limb an abundant inner life.

Dubbed “more portrait than landscape,” Allen’s drawings represent an aspect of what it is to be human and consequently unveil a deep, emotional story: “The structure, form and surface of a tree record the strength, fragility, growth and endurance of its life over time. I see a correlation between the development of the human psyche and personality and the visual narrative that is evident on the surface and form of a tree,” said Allen.

Due to the large scale of the pieces, Allen works on small passages at a time, scrupulously studying the trees themselves and pouring over photos of the trees; “when the drawing is finished and on the wall, I’m back where I was at the beginning, looking.”

Member Exhibition 2008 First Place winner Dana Levin accepting her award.
Members Exhibition 2008 first place winner Dana Levin accepting her award at the opening.

A glimpe of the McKernan Gallery during the jurying of the Members Exhibition
A glimpse of the McKernan Gallery during the jurying of the Members Exhibition.

40th Annual Members Exhibition
Dec. 20, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010

Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009
Entries will be received 3-7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009; Entrance Fee: $10

The exhibition will consist of works in a variety of media, including oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, mixed media, collage, graphics, photography and sculpture. Entries typically come from members scattered throughout the Eastern Seaboard, however members from Connecticut are always well represented in the exhibition.

The exhibition is open to Museum members at least 18 years old, who may each enter one work. All two-dimensional work must be framed and ready for hanging. The size of the work is limited to 36” (unframed) in any direction. Sculpture must not exceed 50 pounds, and a pedestal must accompany the work. The juror for this year’s exhibition is Dr. Nancy Stula, Director of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut.

This is the second year that the exhibition is being held in the 3,000 square foot McKernan Gallery for changing exhibitions. According to Director Douglas Hyland, it is a well-deserved upgrade for their display, “The Members Exhibition is one of our most popular community-oriented events, year after year.”

For more information, please contact Development Associate Lisa Baker at (860) 229-0257, ext. 231 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Please have this form complete when you bring in your piece.


Wendell Minor, "Star Dreams", Look to the Stars, Putnam Juvenile, gouache watercolor on Strathmore paper, 9 1/2 x 24", collection of the artist


Wendell Minor, "Julie", Julie, HarperCollins, 1994, Acrylic on masonite, 13 1/2 x 10 1/2", collection of Jean Craighead George

Wendell Minor: Reaching for the Moon
Sept. 12 - Dec. 13, 2009

Opening Reception
2-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009

Minor’s resume includes Truman by David McCullough, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. He has also illustrated fifty children’s picture books, among them Jean Craighead George’s The Wolves are Back, Mary Higgins Clark’s Ghost Ship, and Buzz Aldrin’s Reaching for the Moon and Look to the Stars.

Much of Minor’s work is inspired by the environment and history, and his art encourages children to experience the natural world, and to discover the great American story.

The NBMAA exhibition will feature some of Minor’s most prized illustrations, as well as a handful of costumes and props which have served as reference material for his illustrations.

Over the course of his career, Minor has created over 2,000 works, garnering him numerous awards including the John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers, Smithsonian’s Notable Books for Young Readers, the ALA Booklist Children’s Choices, Notable Children’s Trade Books in Social Studies, Outstanding Science Trade Books, and the Oppenheim Platinum Award.

Pulitzer Prize winning author of 1776, John Adams, and Truman David McCullough says “Wendell Minor is an exceptionally gifted, almost unimaginably prolific American artist. In the world of publishing there is no one quite like him. Indeed, his value to the whole world of books, to publishers, editors, authors, and to millions of readers who care about books, can hardly be overstated.”


Paul Lantuch, "Smell of Fish", 1985, copper etching, aquatint, 9 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2", Gift of the artist, 2008.31.11


Paul Lantuch, "Vita Nova", 1989, copper engraving, 19 x 15", Gift of the artist, 2008.31.6

Paul Lantuch: Modern Master
Aug. 14 - Dec. 6, 2009

A modern day master, engraver Paul Lantuch infuses classical subjects and an academic style with a modern flair in his accomplished works on paper, Jewelry and gun engravings.

Lantuch recently donated 18 prints to the New Britain Museum of American Art’s permanent collection. These pieces, which range in date from 1971 to 1989, include zinc engravings, copper engravings and copper etchings which will be the focus of the current exhibition in the Davis Gallery. These works on paper will be on display alongside examples of Lantuch’s jewelry and gun engravings.

Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, Lantuch immigrated to the United States in 1979 where he became a personal gun engraver for William Ruger of Sturm, Ruger & Co. After this initial experience in the States, many of his gold inlay and engraved works were commissioned by well-known individuals including President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale and Hank Williams Jr. Much of Lantuch’s work reflects the Scythian Gold collection found in the St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, an exhibition that incorporates gold pieces lavishly decorated with precious stones and adorned with intricately carved details such as a panther or a stag.

Similarly inspired by the aesthetic inclinations of the Renaissance, Lantuch has dabbled in a bit of everything: painting, wood and stone carving, gold inlay, etching and sculpting. Lantuch has said that the more he masters, the more freedom he possesses.


Sam Gibbons, "Strung up on Dead Tree", acrylic on carved wood panel, 60 x 48 x 2", collection of the artist


Sam Gibbons, "Best of Luck", 2008-2009, acrylic on carved wood panel, 66 x 48", collection of the artist

NEW/NOW Sam Gibbons
July 31 - Oct. 25, 2009
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009

Animated yet haunting, Gibbons’ symmetrical compositions employ both vivacious colors and warped references to mortality and hollow optimism. His fervor for animation plays on the notion that a history or lineage exists in cartooning. In the same way that paintings go through movements, Gibbons has recognized that a similar type of growth and evolution occurs in cartooning.

While at first glance Gibbons’ work seems jovial, his work is laced with amputated limbs, jagged teeth, and scattered bones that quickly shift the tone of his work from sweet to sinister. His charming characters engage in unusual behavior making Gibbons’ work perplexing yet intriguing. Inspired mostly by Francisco de Goya’s “The Disasters of War,” Gibbons’ cartoon-like paintings focus mainly on issues of sex, violence and death. He refers to his latest cluster of works as “Bone Meal,” in direct relation with the theme of mortality.

“There are bones that appear in all the paintings in the show but they perform different roles. Some are used to prop up bodies, some signify life leaving a body, some spell out messages, some are discarded refuse. A lot of times, the bones connect parts in the paintings like they would in a living skeleton. The title makes reference to the bones that appear in the work but also refers to the idea of accepting (“eating”) something unpleasant such as death,” explained Gibbons.


Robert Mapplethorpe, Sleeping Cupid, 1989, gelatin silver print, 19.25 x 19.25”, Collection of Christopher Hyland, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York. Courtesy: Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

The Christopher Hyland Collection of Photography, By Way of These Eyes: The Sublime, Exotic and Familiar
June 6 - Sept 6, 2009
Opening Reception
5-7 p.m. Friday, June 12, 2009

The work of some of the most diverse and riveting contemporary American photographers will be featured in The Christopher Hyland Collection of Photography, By Way of These Eyes: The Sublime, Exotic and Familiar. “These collections enrich me emotionally, intellectually, and they give soul and heart,” said collector Christopher Hyland.

Expanding across various genres such as nudes, landscapes and self-portraits, the Hyland Collection includes work by artists Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sally Mann, Edward Weston, John Dugdale and Edward Steichen, among many others. The photography reflects life and speaks to the issues, themes, and social events that Hyland feels are noteworthy to society; it will display and represent aspects of culture and showcase how individuals behave in their differing lives.

Hyland’s exhibition unveils the power and splendor of photography. “Encapsulated in [any] image is a split second of a hum drum existence immortalized forever in this moment,” he said.

Hyland, a private art collector residing in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, began accumulating photography as a young boy. One of the first photographs he ever acquired was of himself and his father at a Memorial Day parade in the late 1940s. Since then, his fervor for photography and art has grown. Now, with an apartment adorned much like a museum, Hyland also collects African art and 19th and early 20th-century American paintings.

The Rita K. Heimann Collection:
150 Years of American Art
May 8 - Aug. 9, 2009
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, 2009

Manchester, Connecticut collector Rita Heimann shares her passion for American art in The Rita K. Heimann Collection: 150 years of American Art an exhibition featuring an array of genres and movements from the Hudson River School through modernism.

Rita Heimann’s collecting instincts first blossomed in the 1950s, when she purchased two framed drawings by unknown artists which she saw in a shop window in New York. She went on to acquire significant examples by 19th-century painters, William Trost Richards, Aaron Draper Shattuck, Mauritz Frederick De Haas, and by 20th-century luminaries Marguerite Zorach, Arthur Dove, Milton Avery and Sol LeWitt. Her most recent acquisition is an untitled, vividly colored still life by Lee Krasner.

Heimann, who has served as a docent at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford since 1996, has always loved art. It was there that she traded her love for Renaissance paintings and Chinese artwork for the grandeur of American art.

Focusing on people, places and things rather than a chronological survey, The Rita K. Heimann Collection: 150 Years of American Art will be presented in conjunction with the Connecticut Art Docent Network’s statewide symposium, to be held at the NBMAA on May 11, 2009. CADN, formed in 2000, holds biennial symposiums to further the education and understanding of art museum docents in the broad area of fine arts.


Fay Ku, Burden Lightens Piecemeal, 2008, graphite, watercolor, ink on paper, 50 x 68", collection of the artist


Fay Ku, Swarm III, 2008, graphite, watercolor, ink on paper, 50 x 70", collections of the artist

NEW/NOW Fay Ku
May 1 - July 26, 2009
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, May 7, 2009

Artist Fay Ku’s figurative, narrative, and psychological work explores the complexities of childhood by employing a vivacious cast of characters to partake in what Ku describes as “disquieting behavior”: hair pulling, regurgitation of snakes, or spontaneous plummeting through the air.


Portraying predominantly female characters, Ku’s work pays homage to traditional Asian art through her line work and meticulous use of colors, while the content questions the repercussions of socialization and the problematic aspects of human nature.

Ku depicts young girls at work or play to unveil emotional issues relating to childhood and identity; her work mimics the eccentricity of youth. Using graphite, watercolor and ink, Ku utilizes negative space to fashion an isolated “floating world” that eloquently mirrors the personal desires and hidden fantasies that exist within one’s mind.

The foundation for Ku’s work is rooted in her experience growing up entangled within both Chinese and American cultures. “As a child, both the Chinese culture, represented by my immigrant parents, and the American one outside the house were equally mystifying,” said Ku. “To travel between these two cultures meant not only switching between two sets of social connections or even two languages, but two distinct worldviews.”


Jui Bhave, Happy Colors, Gr. K, Jefferson Elementary School, 2008 Cover Art Award Winner of the Student Art Show

Student Art from the New Britain Public and Parochial Schools
May 14 - May 24, 2009
Opening Reception
6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 14, 2009

For the 19th year, the creative output of our youngest artists will be celebrated in Art from the New Britain Public & Parochial Schools from May 14 through May 24, 2009. This popular exhibition, sponsored once again by Webster Bank, will feature some 250 artists from kindergarten through high school.

The artwork ranges in medium, including: pastels, markers, collage, crayon, pencil, watercolor, oil paints, tempera, charcoal, clay, ink and acrylics. Each multi-faceted work is specially selected by New Britain schools to be featured in this exhibition. NBMAA docents select the award winners. The artists and their families will be fêted at a private awards ceremony from 6-6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 14, 2009, followed by an opening reception open to the public from 6:30-8 p.m.


Sponsored by


William Glackens, Julia’s Sister, c. 1915, oil on canvas, 26 x 32", Terra Foundation for American Art



Robert Henri, Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, 1903, oil on canvas, 32 x 26", Milwaukee Art Museum

The Eight and American Modernisms
March 6 - May 24, 2009
Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2009

The extraordinary collections of three major art institutions are featured in an exhibition focusing on a renowned group of American painters known as The Eight that will be featured at the NBMAA this spring.

The Eight and American Modernisms, guest curated by Betsy Kennedy of Chicago, will be on view from March 6 - May 24, 2009. An opening reception will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, March 12. Also featured as part of the exhibition will be a smaller “show within a show” in the Davis Gallery consisting of works on paper -- The Eight and Their Circle: Watercolors, Lithographs, Engravings and Drawings.

The main exhibition of 70 works of art is a collaboration between the NBMAA, Milwaukee Art Museum and the Terra Collection of American art, of which Kennedy is curator. The Terra collection was formerly housed in Chicago’s Terra Museum of American Art before it closed its doors in 2004. All three institutions are especially well known for their extensive collections of work by The Eight.

This group of painters who worked in the early 1900s includes Robert Henri, Arthur B. Davies, Maurice Prendergast, Ernest Lawson, William Glackens, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan, and George Luks. The Eight became their unofficial title because of a 1908 show they organized in New York -- their single united exhibition together. The show later traveled to the Midwest and Connecticut.

Members of The Eight were extremely diverse in their subjects and painting styles, most commonly associated with the realist movement in modern art. The Eight rebelled against traditional academic artistic standards, depicting urban scenes and welcoming artistic freedom. Many members of The Eight were formerly illustrators or journalists who wanted to move on to become fine art painters.

The exhibition is documented in a 144-page color catalogue edited by Kennedy that features an essay on each artist. The show will be on view in Milwaukee from June 6 - Aug. 23, 2009. In addition to a number of programs organized by the NBMAA a symposium on The Eight will be held in Chicago on June 19 and 20, 2009.

This exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the New Britain Museum of American Art in partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Terra Foundation for American Art is the lead sponsor.


Nicole Duennebier, untitled, 2008, acrylic on panel, 36 x 24”, collection of the artist



Nicole Duennebier, Treacle Monster, 2008, 5 x 7”, collection of the artist

NEW/NOW The Amalgamate: Nicole Duennebier
Jan. 30 - April 26, 2009
Opening Reception
5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

The eerily beautiful and haunting paintings of a young artist who grew up in East Hampton, CT are the subject of a NEW/NOW exhibition that will be on view from Jan. 30 - April 26, 2009. An opening reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

Nicole Duennebier of Somerville, MA, has created a series of paintings she calls The Amalgamate that draw heavily upon nature for inspiration.

“I am most compelled by the form of objects that I am physically repelled by but intellectually attracted to,” Duennebier says.

A recurring subject in her work this year is Cordyceps, a parasitic fungus that attacks insects and caterpillars and replaces the tissue of the host. A bright fruiting body emerges from the dead insect and engulfs it. Each fruiting body differs widely depending on the species it inhabits, tailoring itself to the dimensions of the insect. The Cordyceps covers the body in a symmetrical configuration which can at times be “eerily delectable in appearance,” the artist says.

“I think of the masses in my paintings as fruiting bodies, malignant growths that take on a lavish formation. They are not lying still but are very slowly expanding out across the terrain, usurping surrounding materials. These figures become garish amalgamations of color and texture,” Dunnebier says.

The artist is a graduate of Maine College of Art and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

Judith Leiber, Rounded teardrop-shaped box with dragonfly pattern, onyx lock, drop-in chain, 1992, Collection of Melinda and Paul Sullivan

Elegance at Hand: The Art of Judith Leiber
Nov. 7, 2008 - Mar. 1, 2009
Opening Reception
Friday, Nov. 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The handbags of Judith Leiber will be featured by the NBMAA in a special exhibition on view from Nov. 7, 2008 through Mar. 1, 2009, with an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.

The exhibition will highlight the extensive private collection of Melinda and Paul Sullivan, as well as handbags owned by Sharon and Henry Martin.

Leiber was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, where she studied the craft of handbag making during World War II. At the end of the war, Judith met and married Gerson Leiber, an American GI stationed in Budapest. In 1947 the couple immigrated to the U.S. and after many years working for various New York handbag manufacturers, Mrs. Leiber launched the Leiber Company in 1963. Since then, her company has created world-renowned handbags, evening bags and accessories. Leiber bags are included in the permanent collections of museums around the world. Although Mrs. Leiber retired in 1998, her significant impact on handbag design continues. Many of her original designs are still sold today.

One of the few luxury products still made in the United States by hand, Leiber accessories are infused with elements of sophistication, style and whimsy. Leiber creations have always been more art than fashion, a factor that has undoubtedly contributed to their enduring popularity.

Leiber handbags are part of the permanent design collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Each First Lady dating back to 1953 has carried custom made bags to Presidential Inaugurations. Leiber bags can also be seen in the hands of many celebrities on red carpet events around the world.


Gerrit Beneker (1882-1934), The Provincetown Plumber, 1921, oil on canvas, 32 x 30”, Provincetown Art Association and Museum Collection Gift of Alfred Morris



Gerrit Beneker (1882-1934), Sure We’ll Finish the Job, 1918, Liberty Loan poster, 40 x 30”, Collection of Katrina Beneker

Also Featuring:
Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911)
Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)
Robert Blum (1857-1903)
Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971)
John La Farge (1835-1910)
Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)
Ellen Emmet Rand (1874-1941)
Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
Ben Shahn (1898-1969)
Elihu Vedder (1836-1923)
Grant Wood (1891-1942)
N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)

Double Lives: American Painters as Illustrators 1850-1950
Dec. 10, 2008 - Feb. 22, 2009
Opening Reception
Thursday, Dec. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
6-8 p.m., Buffet Dinner
$50 reservation and pre-payment require

The NBMAA explores the often uneasy relationship between the art of easel painting and the art of illustration in an exhibition featuring the works of American artists who practiced both styles of painting between 1850 and 1950.

Double Lives: American Painters as Illustrators, 1850-1950, organized by guest curator Richard Boyle and the NBMAA, will be on view at the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, from Sept. 6 - Nov. 23, 2008, and at the NBMAA from Dec. 10 - Feb. 22, 2009. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Thursday, Dec. 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with a buffet dinner from 6-8 p.m. $50 reservation and pre-payment required, includes a complimentary glass of wine, call Morgan Fippinger at (860) 229-0257, ext. 222

Easel painting and illustration were part of an overall narrative tradition in American art in the mid-19th century in which both mediums were intertwined and sometimes interchangeable. This exhibition not only compares and contrasts fine art painting and illustration, but charts their development in America over time through the eyes of a select group of artists who engaged in both.

Illustration itself has many functions, but the exhibition emphasizes illustrated books, magazine articles and stories, non-fiction and fiction, directed at an audience of adults, as well as children and young people. Illustrations were based on a given text, with the goal of illuminating that text. Fine art, however, is created according to the artists’ own creativity and inspiration. Boyle explains that “in looking at the differences and similarities between the art of illustration and the art of independent easel painting and in comparing both by the same artists, perhaps it might be said that illustration stands in relation to fine art as prose does to poetry. Color, shape and draftsmanship (the abstract qualities of design) are the tools of both the fine arts painter and the illustrator, just as words are the tools of both the writer of prose and the writer of poetry.”

Illustrations began to have value of their own beginning in the late 18th century, when fiction became more popular and pictures based upon the stories began to appear. Illustrations for books and periodicals have been an important part of the American visual experience since at least the 1850s. Yet Boyle states that, beginning in the late 19th century, critics began to compare illustration and fine art painting, deeming illustration to be on a “lower plane.” The exhibition will be documented in an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Boyle. The presentation of this exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum is supported by the Davenport Family Fund for Exhibitions.


Michael Theise, Imitating Imitation, 2005, oil on panel, collection of the artist


Michael Theise, Yield, n.d., oil on board, collection of the artist

NEW/NOW The Eye Deceived: Paintings by Michael Theise
Oct. 18, 2008 - Jan. 24, 2009
Opening Reception
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2-4 p.m.

The hyper-realistic trompe l’oeil work of Connecticut artist Michael Theise will be featured in the Museum’s NEW/NOW gallery from Oct. 18, 2008 – Jan. 24, 2009. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008.

The French phrase meaning to “trick the eye,” trompe l’oeil refers to a painting or work of art that establishes an illusion sufficient to convince a casual viewer that an adjacent space or set of objects exists within a painting.

Theise takes his inspiration from 19th century American painters William M. Harnett and John Frederick Peto, who pioneered the technique in this country. He sometimes chooses contemporary props, many of which reference these earlier artists.

Like all trompe artists, he loves to capture the nuances of surface texture. Where he asserts his own artistic vision, however, is in the marriage of surface with form, and in his obvious delight in the intersection of form with idea.

Theise attended the Paier College of Art in Hamden, Conn., and later studied the techniques of trompe l’oeil painting with Ken Davies. Taking subject matter that is relevant to today, Theise uses wit and imagination to develop his own personal style, a contemporary idiom infused with the age-old tradition of trompe l’oeil.

Tom Yost's winning entry at last year's competition

Members Exhibition
Nov. 14, 2008 - Nov. 30, 2008
Opening Reception
Sunday, Nov. 16, 2-4 p.m.
Entries will be received Sunday, Nov. 9, 1-5 p.m.

The 39th Annual Juried Members Exhibition will be held this year from Nov. 14-30. An Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony for the exhibition will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16. This year's Members Exhibition will be on view in the spacious McKernan Gallery.

Included in the exhibition will be works executed in oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, mixed media, collage, graphics, photography and sculpture. Entries typically come from the entire Eastern Seaboard, and Museum members from throughout the state are always well represented in the exhibition.

The exhibition is open to Museum members at least 18 years old, who may each enter one work. All two-dimensional work must be framed and ready for hanging. The size of the work is limited to 36” (unframed) in any direction. Sculpture must not exceed 50 pounds, and a pedestal must accompany the work.

The juror for this year’s exhibition is Dr. Thomas Bruhn, Interim Director of the William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs, CT.

“The Members Exhibition is one of our most popular community-oriented events, year after year,” said Museum Director Douglas Hyland.

Sarah Austin's Max Ernst
Sarah Austin, Max Ernst, 1988, mixed media, 11.5 x 14.5 x 2.5", collection of Ms. Priscilla Cunningham

Sarah Austin's
Sarah Austin, Chick Austin, 1967, mixed media, 10.5 x 14 x 3", collection of the Sarah G. Austin Foundation, courtesy of the Pavel Zoubok Gallery

The Shadow Boxes of Sarah Austin
Aug. 8, 2008 - Nov. 2, 2008

The shadow box art of Sarah Austin, daughter of Chick Austin, legendary director of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, will be featured by the NBMAA in a special exhibition opening Aug. 8 in the Davis Gallery. It will be on view through Nov 2, 2008

Sarah was born in Hartford in 1935 to a family connected to the city’s founding fathers. She attended Oxford School in West Hartford and grew up in the unique Austin home designed by her father in Hartford’s West End. She studied art in Boston, at the Hartford Art School and abroad, and is said to have nurtured a “secret life” as a collage artist, creating more than 350 shadow boxes during a span of about 25 years. Some 20 of those boxes will be on view in the exhibition.

She constructed them herself of white pine, painted black and protected by Plexiglas. Much of Sarah’s art pays homage to the same writers and artists revered and befriended by her father – the modernists. Sarah, herself, grew up meeting many of the artists she depicts in her artwork, some of whom include Jackson Pollock, Mondrian, Matisse, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and Max Ernst.

Shy about showing her artwork to anyone, Sarah kept her shadow boxes under wraps for most of her adult life, so the opportunity to view them at the NBMAA is a rare treat. Sarah died of cancer in 1991.

The NBMAA will produce a catalogue that will be for sale in the Museum Shop documenting this exhibition and the work of Sarah Austin.

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Mark Peiser, Mountain Landscape, hemispherical wedge shaped orange cast crystal sculpture with rusticated bottom and an interior yellow moon, 8 x 10 x 2" deep, collection of The Johnson Museum

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Judith Schaechter, Joan of Arc, n.d., 39 x 35 x 6”, stained glass in light box, Collection of Cassandra and Horace Irvine


Dale Chihuly, Blue and Beyond Blue, glass chandelier, 9.5 x 6', Stephen B. Lawrence Fund and additional donors

Contemporary Glass: Chihuly and Beyond
July 11 - Oct. 26, 2008

The NBMAA will explore the art of studio glass and its explosive popularity in recent years in an exhibition including internationally known artists Dale Chihuly and Lino Tagliapietra, as well as more than 50 well-known international and American glass artists.

The exhibition will correspond with the Museum's acquisition of Chihuly's 9 x 7' chandelier, a major artwork acquired for the NBMAA's new Chase Family Building. In June, the chandelier will be permanently installed above the LeWitt Staircase leading from the first to second floor of the Museum. School children and young Museum visitors will be invited to enter a competition to name the chandelier after it is installed.

Chihuly attended the University of Washington in Seattle, where he studied interior design and architecture. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly earned a Master of Science in glass blowing at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He also earned a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he later established a glass program and taught for more than a decade. In 1968, Chihuly was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and became the first American glass blower to work in the prestigious Venini Fabrica in Murano, Italy. Chihuly co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA and is credited for spear-heading the avant-garde development of glass as a fine art.

Tagliapietra was born in Murano, where he was apprenticed to a glass studio at age 11 and worked under the internationally known master Archimede Seguso. He later worked as a glass blower and designer at other glass studios including Galliano Ferra, Venini, La Murrina, and Effetre International. Tagliapietra is known for his excellent craftsmanship and his ability to bring together the best of classic and contemporary design. He is also known as an inspiring teacher who helped link the traditions of Venice to the contemporary glass world of the United States. In 1979, Tagliapietra came to Seattle to teach at the Pilchuck School, thus beginning a long tradition of sharing centuries old Venetian techniques with American glass artists, which had begun with Gianni Toso in the mid-1970s at the Great California Glass Symposium.

In addition to Chihuly and Tagliapietra, the exhibition will include work by some 50 artists, and a variety of styles, subject matter and techniques will be represented. Included in the exhibition will be former NEW/NOW artist Mundy Hepburn and well-known glass artists Peter Greenwood, Dennis Peabody and Josh Simpson.

The exhibition will be documented in an illustrated brochure with an essay by William Warmus, one of the foremost glass experts in the country, and a series of educational programs, artist talks and other events will compliment it. The exhibition is presented by Bank of America with support from The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.

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For more glass, see Tacoma's Museum of Glass' live streaming Hot Shop!

Sam McKinniss' Doubting Thomas
Sam McKinniss, Doubting Thomas, 2008, oil on canvas, 30 x 30", collection of the artist

NEW/NOW Sam McKinniss: Fierce Doubt
Aug. 8, 2008 - Oct. 12, 2008

The portraits of Hartford artist Sam McKinniss will be featured from Aug. 8 – Oct. 12, 2008 in Fierce Doubt, his first museum show. An opening reception will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14.

McKinniss says his work rarely strays from portraiture, exploring themes related to desire, love, pop music, the male gaze, and the history of painting.

“For the same reasons why sad songs are the best pop songs, unrequited love is the best love because it incites the most intensely felt emotion,” says McKinniss. “A portrait inspires this kind of one-sided desire, the kind that hurts so badly even though you can’t get enough.”

“The purpose of these works is to fully exercise my inability to capture any subject, no matter how accurately I can render one’s likeness. The thought that I might literally capture with a portrait or in some way own another person is ludicrous. I can not hold on to anybody. I have chased each sitter with my gaze and they have momentarily succumbed to my advances. Thus each painting is a failed attempt at love; that is, a failed attempt at holding onto another human being. At best, they are emotionally exacting, flat representations of real people,” the artist explains.

McKinniss was born in 1985 in Northfield, MN, but moved to Connecticut at an early age. In 2007, he received a BFA from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, where he studied painting with Stephen Brown and Carol Padberg. Also in 2007, McKinniss won the prestigious GO! emerging artist contest at Real Art Ways in Hartford. His solo exhibition TRUE LOVE is on view at Real Art Ways this summer.

Menschenkunde XI
Menschenkunde XI, 2003
12 x 16"
C-print
Collection of the artist

Menschenkunde XXXII
Menschenkunde XXXII, 2006
10 x 12"
C-print
Collection of the artist

NEW/NOW: Angelika Rinnhofer
May 30 - Aug. 3, 2008

Photographer Angelika Rinnhofer’s work examining the drama of Renaissance and Baroque painting through photography will be featured in a NEW/NOW exhibition from May 30 - Aug. 3, 2008, with an opening reception (free for members) on June 1. The exhibition will feature images from her three series, “Menschenkunde,” “Felsenfest” and “Seelensucht.”

Rinnhofer’s three series feature the subjects of traditional Renaissance and Baroque oil painting, yet imply contradictions. In “Menschenkunde,” ordinary people pose as members of the Renaissance upper-class, suggesting that wealth and glamour is merely a façade. “Felsenfest” contrasts people’s interpretation of fact and faith; while “Seelensucht” features images of Christian martyrs after they have made grave sacrifices in the name of faith.

Rinnhofer was born in Nuremberg, Germany, where she grew up surrounded by the art, influence and imagery of Renaissance, Medieval and Baroque art. Rinnhofer attended Fachoberschule für Gestaltung Art School in Nuremberg, and for the next 10 years worked for various commercial photography studios. At one point she was taking glamour shots in a Berlin studio, which inspired her to create her series entitled “Menschenkunde.” These images depict the intrinsically-elite, “glamorous” photo subjects in a class-free, and more democratic way.

“I found it fascinating to observe most women’s physical and, even more importantly, mental transformation in front of the camera,” Rinnhofer said.

Rinnhofer uses a large-format camera and high-contrast lighting to emphasize details that evoke individuality—imperfections like a bit of dirt under one’s fingernail or an imprint of a tight sock on one’s leg. She often adds contemporary symbols such as laptops, fashion jewelry or wristwatches to her classically-attired photo subjects in order to establish a connection between the past and present.

Among her many awards and recognitions in the photographic arts industry, Rinnhofer has received the Kodak European Gold Award as well as a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and fellowships from the Dutchess Council Arts Council and Light Work. She is currently working on a photography series that comments on the suicides of famous Americans.

“I show our society’s elite inhabitants, immersed in their wealth and power with myriad possessions and exquisite taste, but nonetheless, miserable and unhappy,” she said, “Here is where publicity’s promise of happiness through envy and glamour is proven wrong.”

Eric Sloane Jersey Barn
Eric Sloane (1905-1985)
Barn Roof Tops, n.d.
22 3/8 x 26 3/8"
Oil on masonite
Gift of Mr. James D. Terra, 1978.14

Eric Sloane - roof tops
Eric Sloane (1905-1985)
The Old New Jersey Barn, n.d.
22 x 27 5/8"
Oil on masonite
Gift of Mr. James D. Terra, 1978.15

Eric Sloane’s America
May 11 - Aug. 3, 2008

The Museum will present an exhibition of artist Eric Sloane’s paintings from May 11 – Aug. 3, 2008 in the Davis Gallery. Sloane was both an American landscape painter and an author of illustrated works of cultural history and folklore.

Born Everard Jean Hinrichs in 1905 in New York City, Sloane later changed his name after studying under artist John French Sloan at the Art Students League in New York City. Sloane studied for brief periods at both Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he focused on meteorology, and the Yale University School of Fine Arts. He became fascinated with observing and painting the sky, weather and rustic landscapes, which eventually led to commissions to paint works for the U.S. Air Force. Sloane is credited with creating the first televised weather reporting network, an endeavor that likely grew out of his strong interest in meteorological phenomena.

An extremely diverse and talented painter, Sloane developed great interest in New England folk culture, colonial life and

Americana that led him to paint scenes from different areas across the country. In Taos, NM, Sloane painted numerous luminous depictions of the desert sky, while at his home in Warren, CT, he painted scenes of the New England countryside; depicting rural symbols such as farmhouses, covered bridges and barns. Sloane wrote and illustrated many colonial-era books on tools, architecture, farming techniques, folklore and rural wisdom, which featured detailed illustrations, hand-lettered titles, and folksy wit.

The exhibition will feature 13 of Sloane’s paintings, including one that is a recent gift from Ms. Jeanne Griffin and Dr. Lawrence Epstein. Eric Sloane’s America is sponsored by the American Savings Foundation.

Franz Bischoff
Franz A. Bischoff (1864-1929), Peonies,
c. 1912, oil on canvas, 30 x 40"

Arthur Rider
Arthur G. Rider, The Spanish Boat,
c. 1921, oil on canvas, 34” x 41”,
collection of The Irvine Museum

Guy Rose
Guy Rose, Point Lobos,
c. 1918, Oil on canvas, 24" x 29",
collection of The Irvine Museum

All Things Bright and Beautiful: California Impressionist Paintings from the Irvine Museum
April 1, 2008 - June 29, 2008

The Museum will present an exhibition featuring 60 works of California Impressionist art, All Things Bright and Beautiful: California Impressionist Paintings from the Irvine Museum, from April 1-June 29, 2008.

The exhibition celebrates Impressionistic landscape painting through intricate depictions of the immaculate California countryside, pre-industrialization. The paintings are rich with beauty, historical significance and a deep reverence for nature. This collection of images from the “land of sunshine” in the early 19th century is meant to remind viewers of the importance of preserving their incomparable and beautiful environment, particularly during a time of ecological crisis.

The California Impressionist movement was initiated in the 1890s by a group of spiritually-aware artists who were greatly influenced by Transcendentalism. The Transcendentalist movement, which reaffirmed faith in nature, affected spheres of art, literature, religion, culture and philosophy during the 19th century. Transcendental artists painted en plain air, or out-of-doors, and infused their art with intense light and color, capturing the majestic landscapes of California. California Impressionism peaked in the 1920s and lasted well into the Great Depression. In the 1930s, American artists looked away from nature and began to look toward material objects and industrialized metropolitan centers for inspiration, greatly impacting the style and subjects of American art forever.

The All Things Bright and Beautiful: California Impressionist Paintings from The Irvine Museum exhibition, curated by William H. Gerdts, features paintings by artists such as Maurice Braun and William Wendt, who believed in the spiritual power of nature. Braun was linked to the Theosophical Society, a transcendental group who believed that every object, particularly those of or relating to nature, has a spiritual value, and should be celebrated, praised and preserved. The influence of this Society is evident in Braun’s expressions of nature’s moods. Wendt viewed himself as an interpreter of nature, which he believed was full of symbolism from God. His deeply spiritual appreciation for nature accounts for the absence of humans or animals in his paintings. The exhibition also features works by Guy Rose, one of the most renowned California Impressionists and the founder of the movement, which blends distinctly European and American styles of Impressionism together.

Katie Chappell
Kate Cheney Chappell, Earth Envelope II,
mixed media, 22" x 30"

NEW/NOW Kate Cheney Chappell
March 7, 2008 - May 25, 2008

Inner Terrain, an exhibition of Kate Cheney Chappell's intriguing artwork celebrating the wonders and questions of life and nature, will be the subject of a NEW/NOW exhibition on view from March 7 - May 25, 2008.

Inner Terrain will feature a variety of different works from Chappell's 3D mixed media images, collagraphs, monotypes and watercolors. Chappell fuses poetry with art for this exhibition, with much of her inspiration coming from Wendell Berry's poem, The Peace of Wild Things. A smaller exhibition within the larger one will be on view--Go Inside the Stone, based on Charles Simic's poem by the same title. Viewers will enter a sort of "stone zone," "…a place where time slows, a spiritual habitat of stones," as Chappell says.

This year's winning entry
This year's winning entry by Jui Bhave, Happy Colors, 2008, yarn, crayon and watercolor, kindergarten, Jefferson Elementary School

Art from the New Britain Public
and Parochial Schools
May 15, 2008 - May 25, 2008

The Museum will feature Art from the New Britain Public and Parochial Schools from May 15 - 25, 2008. The annual exhibition, sponsored by Webster Bank, presents art created by New Britain children ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The artwork ranges in medium, including: pastels, markers, collage, crayon, pencil, watercolor, oil paints, tempera, charcoal, clay, ink and acrylics. Each multi-faceted work is specially selected from New Britain schools to be featured in this exhibition. An opening reception to celebrate the student’s artwork will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, 2008.

Cathie Bleck

Cathie Bleck: 13 Years of Artistic Expression
Feb. 8, 2008 - April 27, 2008

Nationally known artist/illustrator Cathie Bleck will be featured in a retrospective of her work at the New Britain Museum of American Art opening Feb. 8. The exhibition -- Cathie Bleck: 13 Years of Artistic Expression -- will be on view through April 27, 2008.

An artist’s reception and book signing will be held from 3-5 p.m. Sunday Feb. 24; the artist will speak and sign books at 3:30 p.m.

Bleck is best known for her distinctive scratchboard illustrations, involving a process similar in concept to woodblock printing. Working on clayboard, Bleck carves delicate yet powerful black and white illustrations that have become her trademark.

She has contributed to Esquire, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Washington Post, Random House and Warner Brothers Records.

Ethan Porter

Charles Ethan Porter
Jan. 12 - March 16, 2008

Connecticut-born, African-American artist Charles Ethan Porter will be featured in a special exhibition of 51 paintings on view from Jan. 12-March 16, 2008 at the NBMAA.

Porter painted mainly flowers, insects, fruit, and landscapes -- subjects that became his signature. He was well-regarded among critics and the public, and his work caught the eye of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) who introduced Porter and his work to influential circles both in the U.S. and abroad.

Curated by well-known scholar Hildegard Cummings, formerly on the staff of the Benton Museum at the University of Connecticut, the exhibition is the first major display of works by Porter since a 1987 exhibition at the Old State House in Hartford. It will travel to the Studio Museum in Harlem (April 1 - July 15, 2008) and to the North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Durham (Aug. 3 - Oct. 7, 2008).

Porter was born in the late 1840s in Rockville, Conn., a section of Vernon. In 1871, he was accepted into the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York, a school for exceptionally gifted artists. Porter taught art lessons to support himself through school. He then completed his studies in 1873 and opened a small studio in New York City. Living in the city was not easy, and like many African-Americans, Porter suffered the effects of prejudice; however, this did not deter his focus on his career in art, and he began to study with renowned artist Joseph Oriel Eaton.

fish
The EAT Collaboration, 48” x 72” installation pond (detail)

N/N EAT
Dec. 14, 2007-Feb. 24, 2008

The Museum will feature the EAT Collaboration in a NEW/NOW exhibition that opened on December 16, and will be on view through Feb. 24, 2008.

EAT, an artists collaborative, will be featured in an interactive NEW/NOW exhibition through Feb. 24, 2008.

The EAT collaborative came together to create a visual metaphor that explores how consumerism affects the collective aesthetic. The group consists of educators, animators, advertisers and technologists. The EAT collaborative members are from North Carolina; several of them have studied at the North Carolina State University College of Design. The project is an on-going collaboration that uses cutting edge technology and design to address contemporary issues in culture.

The EAT collaborative explains that the NEW/NOW piece will simulate a Japanese koi pond where fish emblazoned with advertising interact with the viewer. The animated fish change in appearance and behavior, engaging the viewer visually while delivering advertising messages.

The EAT collaborative includes Lee Cherry, Pat FitzGerald, Ted FitzGerald, David Millsaps,
and Amanda Robertson.

Peter Bosco

Peter Bosco
Dec. 14, 2007-Feb. 24, 2008

The Museum is featuring an exhibition of six black and white photographs by photographer Peter Bosco on view Dec. 14, 2007 - Feb. 24, 2008. This suite of images is taken from Bosco's larger body of work, entitled Fading Places.

Fading Places reflects the disappearing structures Bosco has encountered throughout his lifetime. Bosco believes nothing is permanent and creating a photograph, on some level, is acknowledgment that "loss is inevitable." He says many of his images represent a "desire to preserve cultural and socially referential vestiges unique during my lifetime." The black and white photographs best reflect the angst he sometimes feels for the isolated places he is drawn to photograph.

Bosco received his Masters in Fine Arts from Ohio University and has been a photographer for the past 25 years. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His images have been on view all over New England including exhibitions at Yale University and the Mount Washington Summit Museum in New Hampshire.

Wendell Minor
Wendell Minor, Ghost Ship, 2007, for Mary Higgins Clark, Ghost Ship: A Cape Cod Story,2007, gouache on strathmore bristol, collection of the artist

LIC Members Show
Nov. 9, 2007-Feb. 3, 2008

The art and collections of the Museum’s Low Illustration Committee (LIC) is presented in a special exhibition entitled Low Illustration Works, Past and Present in the Low Illustration Gallery, on view through Feb. 3, 2008.

Some 30 illustrations are presented in the exhibition.

The LIC has a long history at the Museum, dating back to the 1950s, following the death of the Museum’s first director, Sanford B.D. Low. An artist and illustrator himself, Low was friendly with many artists who contributed to the great hey-day of American magazine and book illustration in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. The LIC was formed in memory of Low following his sudden death, and many of the committee members have been faithful contributors to it for more than 50 years.

The exhibition features works by such well-known artist/illustrators as Walter Wick, Howard Munce, Vincent DiFate, Wendell Minor, Leonard Everett Fisher, John Witt, Murray Tinkelman, and Don Moss, as well as illustrations from private collections owned by Chairman Lindsley Wellman, Walt Reed, Billie Levy, and others.

Grorge Rozen
George Rozen, Dead Man’s Chest, The Shadow, Fall 1948, oil on canvas, collection of Robert Lesser

Pulp Art: The Robert Lesser Collection
Oct. 26 - Dec. 30, 2007

Robert Lesser began collecting pulp paintings, comic books, and comic-character toys in the 1950s. As a student at the University of Chicago, Lesser’s literature studies combined with his fascination with popular culture kindled his interest in studying and collecting pulp art and comic memorabilia. Lesser now owns 750 pulp paintings and an extensive collection of robots and space toys. In 1975 he wrote A Celebration of Comic Art and Memorabilia, an informational collectors guide; in 1997 he published Pulp Art: Original Cover Paintings for the Great American Pulp Magazines, a full-color collection of pulp paintings and history that includes expert interpretation. “Pulp Art” will be sold in the Museum Shop to accompany the exhibition.

The style of artwork created for pulp magazines is often compared to Norman Rockwell’s cover designs for the “Saturday Evening Post,” but the character of the paintings was quite disparate from Rockwell’s jovial depictions of everyday life. Pulp Art flaunted unsettling images of violence, racism, sex, and crime. The publishing houses that produced pulp fiction such as Popular Publications, Street & Smith, Condé Nast, and Frank A. Munsey Company destroyed much of the artwork produced for the magazines after printing. The offensive images weren’t suitable for display in homes or museums so artists and auctioneers deemed them worthless. Tens of thousands of pulp paintings were created, out of which only a survive today.

Tom Yost
Tom Yost of Roxbury and his oil painting, Fields on Toplands Farm

Donald Moss
Donald Moss of Farmington and his acrylic painting, My Resume

38th Annual Members Exhibition
Nov. 2 - Nov. 18, 2007

Seven accomplished artists have won awards for their work in the 38th Annual Juried Members Exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art, on view during November.

The award-winners were chosen from original works selected for the exhibition and executed in oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, mixed media, collage, graphics, photography and sculpture. More than 175 artists submitted entries for the annual show, which was juried by Debra Petke, president of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.
Winners of the awards for the 2007 competition were:

First Prize -- $1,000
Tom Yost of Roxbury for his oil painting, Fields on Toplands Farm
Donated by Dan Sherr & Margaret Ferguson

Second Prize -- $100, plus $100 gift certiticate
Donald Moss of Farmington for his acrylic painting, My Resume
Donated by Claudia and Robert Thesing and Art & Frame Options and Frame Connection (David and Edith Boisvert, owners)

Award for Oil/Acrylic- $200
Michael Bezrudczyk of Hartford for his oil painting, Dusk, East 17th St.
Donated by Kathy and Conrad J. Kronholm, Jr.

Award for Watercolor-$150
Julie Christime Phillips of West Hartford for Group of Koi
Donated by Terry Gianzinetti

Award for Photography- $100 gift certificate
Ann Hodgdon-Cyr of Windsor for From the Blue Man Series
Donated by Art & Frame Options and Frame Connection (David and Edith Boisvert, owners)

Juror’s Award-$100
Paul Beckman of Madison for his photograph, Can Man
Donated by Scranton & Johnson, Inc.

Award for Sculpture-$100
Danielle Langford of Southington for GraceDonated by Col. Carl R. Venditto

N/N David Hilliard
Sept. 28 - Dec. 9, 2007

The New Britain Museum of American Art featured genre photographer David Hilliard in a NEW/NOW exhibition that was on view until Dec. 29, 2007.

Hilliard documents his life and the life of those around him in panoramic photographs, which are displayed in a series of separate panels. He says, “This sequencing of photographs and shifting of focal planes allows me the luxury of guiding the viewer across the photograph, directing their eye; an effect which could not be achieved through a single image.”

Hilliard’s work has been shown at museums around the U.S., Spain, Italy, Ukraine, and Germany; and featured in a wide rage of reviews and publications. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art, and a Masters from Yale University School of Fine Arts. He is currently an assistant professor of Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and visiting faculty at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.

This is the 12th year for the NEW/NOW juried series of exhibitions. As many as six emerging artists are showcased annually. NEW/NOW provides diverse audiences the opportunity to view and learn about significant developments in contemporary art and to understand those developments in relation to other trends and issues of the past and present as represented in the context of the NBMAA’s collection of American art. There is no geographical limit for the selection of the artists and no limitation as to medium or subject.

SAMUEL COLE
Samuel Cole, Afternoon Visit, c1855-1857, oil on canvas, 9 1/8 x 14 1/16", collection of David and Laura Grey

Poetic Journey: American Paintings from the David and Laura Grey Collection
Sept. 14 - Nov. 25, 2007

American landscapes are the focus of Poetic Journey: American Paintings from the David and Laura Grey Collection, an exhibition of 28 works mainly by Hudson River School artists.

The exhibition was on view from Sept.14- Nov. 25, 2007. Laura and David Grey will conduct a tour of the exhibition at 2:30 p.m. during the opening reception.

Poetic Journey offers Museum visitors a view of paintings by artists who painted American landscapes from the 1830s to the turn of the 20th century. The works reflect the changing view of a young America during a time of war, industry, and change. The Grey Collection compliments the Museum’s permanent collection of Hudson River School paintings.

The collection includes works from Thomas Cole, Sanford R. Gifford, George Innes, Worthington Wittredge, Samuel Coleman, and many more prominent artists. The wide range of artists gives viewers a taste of the changing attitudes of Americans around the 20th century.

HUNG LIU
Hung Liu, Relic 12, 2005, oil on canvas and lacquered wood, 66 x 66", courtesy of Nancy Hoffmann Gallery, New York

Contemporary Combustion: Chinese Artists in America
July 18 - Oct. 14, 2007

The NBMAA’s special exhibition, Contemporary Combustion: Chinese Artists in America, included painting, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, photography, installation and video by 10 contemporary artists. The works range in date from 1978 to 2007, and explore the themes and techniques of traditional Chinese art and how they have been retained and transformed in the 20th-21st century.

On view through Oct. 14, the exhibition included works executed in the Western, avant-garde and traditional Chinese styles. It explores the themes of landscape, calligraphy/written word and the human figure. Scale, color and manipulation of form are distinctive contemporary components.
Of the 10 artists, seven of them live and work in New York. The others live in the Boston and San Francisco areas and Stevens, Penn. These impressive artists offer a sampling of the incredible range of art created by artists of Chinese descent active in the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States. Most of the work has been created within the last decade and offers a tempting glimpse of what lies ahead.

The exhibition was curated by Tita Hyland, who teaches the history of Asian art at Trinity College in Hartford.

SEYMOUR FRANKS
Seymour Franks (1916-1981)
Christopher Street Docks, 1945
Watercolor on paper 36 x 28 ½"

The Michael and Marilyn Gould Collection of American Modern Art: 1918-1949
July 13 - Nov. 4, 2007

Spanning 31 years of American modernism, this exhibition contains some 50 works on paper from the Michael and Marilyn Gould Collection. Major artists represented in the Gould Collection include Ilya Bolotowsky, Esphyr Slobodkina, Balcomb Greene, Emil Bisttram, James Daugherty, Jan Matulka, Burgoyne Diller, Werner Drewes, Charlotte Park, Irene Rice Pereira, John von Wicht, John Sennhauser, Lawrence Blazey, and Steve Wheeler. This exhibition, which will be on view from (dates), focuses on significant movements of this genre such as Futurism, Precisionism, and early Abstract Expressionism.

It highlights groups of artists including the American Abstract Artists, the Transcendental Painting Group, the WPA/FAP (Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project), and the Indian Space Painters. The examples featured in The Michael and Marilyn Gould Collection of American Modern Art: 1918-1949 include watercolors, pencil, crayon, chalk, and ink drawings, mixed media collages, and gouaches. Also on view in this exhibition are a selection of period books and catalogues that pertain directly to the artists represented in addition to several decorative Art Deco bronze, copper, and iron objects that relate to contemporary life in America during the 1920s and ‘30s.

Gail Boyajian
Gail Boyajian, Genoa Capricio, 2006, oil on aluminum, 18 x 60", courtesy of private collection


NEW/NOW Gail Boyajian
June 24 - Sept. 23, 2007

NEW/NOW artist Gail Boyajian says painting is a way for her to understand and investigate the beauty of nature around her. Boyajian derives narratives and imagery from Renaissance and Enlightenment era paintings, times in which classical mythology was revived. She says painting allows her the freedom to invent and revise landscapes, sometimes based on existing places. Boyajian’s work are on view in the NEW/NOW exhibition through Sept. 23, 2007.

Boyajian’s work has been shown at museums and galleries across New England and the United States including the Fuller Museum of Art in Brockton, Mass., Judy Goldman Fine Art Gallery in Boston, Mass., and the Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery in New York City. She studied at the Slade School of Art, London, and received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Tufts University and a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is currently an instructor in art and architecture at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. She lives in Cambridge, Mass.


Wendell Minor (b. 1944)
"...My father took me flying for the
first time, in a small, shiny white
plane painted to look like an eagle,"
2005, for Reaching for the Moon, by
Buzz Aldrin, Harper Collins Publishers,
New York, 2005, watercolor on paper,
11 1⁄2 x 17", gift of the artist, copyright 2005 by Wendell Minor

Children’s Illustrations from the Sanford B.D. Low Illustration Collection
April 27 - July 8, 2007

Drawing from the wealth of its permanent collection, the Museum will present an exhibition of Children’s Illustrations from the Sanford B.D. Low Illustration Collection from April 27-July 8.

The exhibition will feature some 30 works on view in the Don and Virginia Davis Gallery of the Museum.

Featuring original art created for children’s books, as well as science fiction and graphic art, the exhibition will include work by artists such as Vincent Di Fate, Leonard Everett Fisher, Austin Briggs, Howard Pyle, Wendell Minor, Murray Tinkelman, Betsy and Ted Lewin, Chester Gould, Hilary Knight, and Trina Schart Hyman. The media include acrylics, watercolors, pen and ink, gouache, and tempera. Much of the work was donated by the artists themselves.