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American Masterpieces Tour
Sundays, 1-2 p.m.

Free with Museum Admission
This one-hour tour surveys three centuries of NBMAA’s masterpieces and provides a lively overview of the permanent collection from the Colonial period through today. Selections from special exhibitions may be included on the tour.

Take 20@12
Tuesdays, noon-12:20 p.m.
Free with Museum Admission

Join a NBMAA docent for a 20-minute smart experience and discover something new about works in the permanent collections and special exhibitions.

Wednesdays@1 | Art & Literature | Symposia | NBMAA Exclusives


Mar. 26
Click! Clack! Ding! The American Typewriter talk by Collector Greg Fudacz

Join Connecticut typewriter collector Greg Fudacz in the Davis Gallery as he discusses his rare and antique machines featured in Click! Clack! Ding! The American Typewriter. The exhibition includes over 20 machines and wartime badges that span nearly 100 years, dating from 1873 to 1966. All typewriters are American made with a focus on models built in Connecticut.

Apr. 16
Lecture: Robert Henri: Dark Shadows presented by Museum docent Fred Biamonte
Robert Henri, the leader of the “The Eight,” was not only a prolific painter but also a highly respected teacher. He taught his students to ignore prevailing styles such as Impressionism and Academism and explore their own creativity. Henri preached tonality rather than colorist styles and preferred a technique of painting quickly in a slashing manner in order to capture the strength of the moment. His personal life was filled with secrets that were not revealed until after his death. Psychobiographer Fred Biamonte will share with you some of his secrets during this captivating talk on a revolutionary artist whose radical work pioneered American realism.

Apr. 23
The Art of Appropriation presented by Museum docent Jackie Fastaia
Join educator Jackie Fastaia as she presents a visual lecture on the history of appropriating art. Beginning in the early twentieth century, artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque appropriated nontraditional objects and materials in their works by way of newspaper clippings, oilcloth, and papier collé. This practice has continued for over a century and spanned movements and ideas, from cubists to Dadaists to contemporary art today. The borrowing of objects and other people’s art is not without controversy. Even artists like Andy Warhol had to fight copyright battles and defend the legitimacy of his work.

This lecture coincides with the Museum-wide installation Appropriation & Inspiration, a juxtaposition of works from the 20th and 21st centuries providing examples of major American art trends that served as inspiration and sources of appropriation beside the new thought that has come from them.

May 14
Film and lecture: John Singer Sargent: Secrets of Composition and Design by filmmaker and lecturer Jason Alster

John Singer Sargent is one of America and Europe’s great portrait artists. He was well known for his unwavering devotion to the realist style in his early career and his later watercolor paintings. Sargent’s technique was to forego under paintings and drawings and use a loose brush technique to allow for spontaneity. His paintings The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit and Miss Cara Burch remain a mystery to many who question his technique and content. The short film will look at the design concepts Sargent used and attempt to uncover the secrets behind his style. Other paintings discussed in the video are Madame-X , El Jaleo, Lady Macbeth, Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife, Dinner Table at Night, Fumee’ de’ Ambre Gris, Miss Priestly, The Misses Vickers, and many more. A hint to the composition secrets behind everyone’s favorite—Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, is also discussed.

Jason Mark Alster M.Sc., the grandson of Polish/German artist Josef Alster, is a learning strategy specialist and has been teaching art creativity for 25 years. He will follow the film with a lecture that will discuss the ideas presented.

May 21
Gallery talk with New/Now artist Joe Fig

June 11
Lecture: From Portrait to Landscapes: The Evolution of John Singer Sargent by Museum docent Fred Biamonte

Time magazine said in 1925 after the death of John Singer Sargent, “there is a picture of his in every museum in the world that has been able to secure one.” Psychobiographer Fred Biamonte will present the story of Sargent’s life with an emphasis on his unique relationships with men and women. Sargent’s androgynous nature captured the essence of his personality in his portraits, and expressed his passion in his work.


The Old Man and the Sea written by Ernest Hemingway
Wednesday, May 28
1 p.m.
Discussion led by Heather Whitehouse, Associate Curator of Education and Docent Terry Gianzinetti
Free with General admission
The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring and famous works. Told in a language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman who is down on his luck. It describes his supreme ordeal—a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, and of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed Hemingway’s power and presence in the literary world and it played a large part in his 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature. Join both Heather Whitehouse and Terry Gianzinetti for a rich conversation on this timeless novel.



Evening of Learning: Labor & The Arts of Life in America by Mike Alewitz
Thursday, April 3, 2014
5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. lecture
Free with Museum admission

In conjunction with Connecticut Humanities' Connecticut at Work program, the NBMAA presents an Evening of Learning with Central Connecticut State University Professor Mike Alewitz, a well-known mural painter and labor activist. The program will focus on Thomas Hart Benton's mural series, The Arts of Life in America, which depicts the lives of everyday people not only at 'play' but also at work in the 1930s. At first glance, Benton’s murals depict the lives of everyday people in the 1930s. Upon further examination, especially in the Arts of the City panel, Benton depicts artists at work as dancers, musicians, and singers. Alewitz will examine the context and images of Benton's art and discuss how his murals relate to the lives and times of artists and workers today.

Labor & the Arts of Life in America is made possible by the Connecticut at Work initiative of Connecticut Humanities in partnership with Hartford Public Library and Greater Hartford Arts Council.

Naming Things in the Natural World
Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

9:30 a.m. Welcome reception with Coffee
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Program
$50 Members; $60 non-Members
Includes refreshments and lunch
Preregistration required

Update! The new date for the Symposium has been set to Monday, April 21, 9:30 to 2:30 p.m.

James Prosek, Artist
Naming Things in the Natural World

Carter Foster, Curator of Drawing, Whitney Museum of American Art
Edward Hopper: Drawing, Painting, Memory, Imagination

Explore questions of evolution, classification, and biology as we discuss Naming and Ordering Nature with James Prosek on Monday, March 3. Since graduating from Yale University, the artist has spent his life dealing with the unnatural force of ordering nature, which he depicts through his classifications of birds and fish. As a published author and active conservationist, James Prosek continues to expand his collections and inspire audiences with his artwork. James Prosek presents a talk on his life and work and his progression as an artist.

Following Prosek’s lecture will be a conversation with Carter Foster, Curator of Drawings at the Whitney Museum of American Art, who will discuss Edward Hopper: Drawing, Painting, Memory, and Imagination. Hopper’s works incorporate his own personality and imagination into scenes of natural landscape and typical American life. Hopper once wrote, " . . . my aim in painting has always been the most exact transcription possible of my most intimate impressions of nature." In Mr. Foster’s view it was in drawing that Hopper synthesized his vision, a synthesis of observed reality, memory and imagination. He speculates that Hopper could have eternized almost any undistinguished moment of introspection or inaction in anyone’s life, which is why his paintings can make us wonder about the opportunities for consciousness and the revelation to what we have been blind to in ourselves.

12:15 p.m. Break for a catered lunch and time for self–guided exploration of James Prosek: Wondrous Strange in the McKernan Gallery.

End the day with an open discussion and Q & A with the speakers and Waqas Wajahat, a collector, art dealer, and independent curator. The group will discuss collecting and curating today. Stay for an optional free screening of Prosek’s film The Mystery of Eels (60 min.) beginning at 2:15 p.m.

Discussions moderated by Waqas Wajahat, Art Dealer, Waqas Wajahat • New York


Saturday, Apr. 12
1 p.m. Art Viewing
2 p.m. Dessert and Discussion
$8 Members, $15 non-Members
Preregistration only
Slow Art Day is a global volunteer event with a simple mission: help more people discover for themselves the joy of viewing and loving art. Why Slow? When people look slowly at a piece of art they make discoveries. They can see and experience art without an expert (or expertise), relying solely on their creative mind and physical senses. This encounter unlocks passion and creativity and helps to create more art connoisseurs in the NBMAA with volunteer host Beverly Field Pierz.

For regisitration click here.
For more information visit

Afternoon Critiques with Terrence Regan
Sundays, Apr. 20, May 18, and June 15
1-3 p.m.
Free with Museum admission
Starting on Sunday, April 20 and continuing on the third Sunday of every month, the NBMAA invites fellow artists and Museum staff for an afternoon critique of some of your recent, and manageable sized artwork. The goal of this critique session is not only to discuss your own artwork and others, but also to learn how to properly engage in the critiquing process.
Please bring a piece of your recent and manageable sized artwork to this session.
If you would like more information about Afternoon Critiques please contact Terrance Regan at (860) 229-0257, ext. 247 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Return of "Skirmish in the Wilderness" 150 Years Ago Today
presented by David Davison, President & CEO, American Savings Foundation
Monday, May 5
1 p.m.
Free with General admission
Winslow Homer told stories. Through his painting, darkly, we will explore a brutal battle that had plenty of heroics, and a stirring moment that might have ended the war. But in the end there was no winner and no loser, only the wounded and the dead, and the survivors on both sides who had no choice but to pick themselves up and march on towards the next terrible battle.

Gallery Exploration of Bubbles & Blooms with Maria Nahom, Master Show Judge
Friday, May 9
1 p.m.
Free with General admission

Maria Nahom is a Region Director for the National Garden Club, the largest gardening organization in the world dedicated to the development of gardening, the betterment and beautification of the community and the exchange of ideas.

Turtles, Eels, and Birds of the Park Watershed with Mary Pelletier
Saturday, May 24
1-3 p.m.
Free with Museum admission
The NBMAA is located near the southwestern rim of the Park River regional watershed. Watershed conditions will be presented along with a summary of birds, beaver, coyote, snapping turtle, eels and other wildlife that have adapted to live in our city parks and the open spaces along stream corridors. A specialist will discuss spring bird migrations through local landscapes. A guide to wildlife "sightings" within the NBMAA collection will conclude the talk.