ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Permanent Collection Installation: New Britain Art and Artists
The inaugural installation of artwork in the restored Landers House takes New Britain art and artists as its inspiration and focus.
A suite of four paintings in the Sylvia Bonney Halcyon Lounge pays homage to New Britain-based women artists, all of whom have deep ties to the NBMAA. Above the replace, visitors can view Passing Landmark, 1935, by Grace Vibberts (1878-1945), whose solo installation featuring 12 oil paintings marked the first exhibition ever presented in the NBMAA’s Landers House, in the summer of 1937. That same year, Marian Hungerford (1896- 2000), whose vibrant bucolic scene An Old Mill, 1954, hangs on an adjacent wall, was the subject of the third exhibition presented in Landers House, which featured impressionist landscapes of the New Britain area and beyond. Represented by a lively composition entitled Fishing Boats, Nova Scotia, Peggy’s Cove, 1929, Margaret Miller Cooper (1874-1965) exhibited in Landers House on at least five occasions from 1942 to 1962. Finally, New Britain-born Ann Dyson Grimm’s (b. 1929) striking Portrait of the New Britain Museum of American Art, ca. 1999 was recently gifted to the NBMAA in 2019 by Laurene Buckley, the first woman to lead the Museum as Director from 1994 to 1999.
In the adjacent room, internationally celebrated artist and pioneer of Conceptual and Minimal art Sol LeWitt (1928- 2007) is represented by two works, including Seascape, 1955. LeWitt spent a decade of his youth in New Britain, from age 6 to 16, and developed an affinity for art by taking Saturday morning art classes at the NBMAA, which was in walking distance from his family’s apartment at 51 Cedar Street. LeWitt was the subject of numerous exhibitions at the NBMAA, and his profound friendship with the NBMAA culminated into one of the world’s most extensive collections of the artist’s work within a single institution, as well as the largest collection of the artist’s prints in existence.
In Moser Library, Central Park, New Britain, ca. 1985 attests to the inspiration that artists and architects have long drawn from the city. This remarkable scene was rendered by Thomas Soyster (b. 1952), a trained architect whose firm operates out of Farmington to this day. A devoted and longstanding member of the NBMAA community, Soyster has served as a Museum trustee for 7 years and is presently the Chair of the Collections Committee.
These exquisite works—all drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection—reflect over 70 years of rich artistic output in and around New Britain, presented afresh in the familiar and yet altogether new Landers House of the NBMAA.
All Museum visitors are welcome to enter Landers House to view these wonderful works and to preview all Landers House spaces, including the all-new Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace and Sylvia Bonney Halcyon Lounge, the use of which is included in Membership benefits at the Artists Circle Level and above. Be sure to inquire about upgrading your Membership to include regular access to the Member’s lounge area and the very special events and programs to be offered in these spaces.