Winter 2018 Art Exhibitions
Hot Art in a Cold War: Intersections of Art and Science in the Soviet Era
January 27, 2018-May 20, 2018
The Bruce Museum’s provocative new exhibition Hot Art in a Cold War: Intersections of Art and Science in the Soviet Era examines one of the dominant concerns of Soviet unofficial artists—and citizens everywhere—during the Cold War: the consequences of innovation in science, technology, mathematics, communications, and design. Juxtaposing art made in opposition to state-sanctioned Socialist Realism with artifacts from the Soviet nuclear and space programs, Hot Art in a Cold War touches upon the triumphs and tragedies unleashed as humankind gained the power to both leave the Earth and to destroy it.
Patriotic Persuasion: American Posters of the First World War
January 20, 2018-June 10, 2018
Opening at the Bruce Museum on January 20, 2018, Patriotic Persuasion: American Posters of the First World War features a selection of works from the “Great War” donated to the museum by Beverly and John W. Watling III. The exhibition, which will be on view through June 10, 2018, commemorates the centennial of the entry of the United States into that epochal conflict.
The Holy Name—Art of the Gesù: Bernini and his Age
February 2 through May 19, 2018
The Fairfield University Art Museum is presenting a major international loan exhibition, The Holy Name—Art of the Gesù: Bernini and his Age, which will be on view in the museum’s Bellarmine Hall Galleries from February 2 through May 19, 2018. Its focus is the Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all’Argentina) in Rome. The principal or mother church of the Society of Jesus, which was founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1540 in the charged religious and political climate of the Counter-Reformation, the Gesù is a testament to the power and prestige of the new religious order, its edifice a formidable symbol of the militant Church reborn. The long and at times fraught campaign to erect the church and embellish its interior, the imperative to formulate an imagery celebrating the order and its newly canonized saints, the competing visions of the Jesuits and their strong-willed patrons, and the creative energies of the artists who realized the vastly ambitious project are all explored.
This landmark exhibition, organized to commemorate Fairfield University’s 75th anniversary, features artistic treasures from the Gesù itself, never before seen in America: Bernini’s bust of Roberto Bellarmino (patron saint of Fairfield University), Gaulli’s monumental painted wood model of the apse, a gilt bronze altar sculpture by the versatile painter, draftsman and sculptor Ciro Ferri, the sumptuous 3-piece jeweled cartegloria from the altar of St. Ignatius, and the magnificent embroidered chasuble of the church’s great benefactor, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. These masterpieces will be joined by more than fifty paintings, sculptures, rare books, precious objects, drawings, prints, and historical documents by Bernini, Domenichino, Gaulli, Ciro Ferri, Carlo Maratti, and Andrea Pozzo, among other Italian Baroque masters, generously lent by museums and private collections around the country including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Princeton University Art Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.
This landmark exhibition will give visitors to the museum an unparalleled window onto the extraordinary works of art found within the walls of the Gesù, the immensely talented artists who created them, and the powerful and strong-willed personalities whose -vision, ambitions—and financial means—made it all possible.
An American Odyssey: The Jewish Experience in Greenwich
November 15, 2017 – April 15, 2018
Exploring the history of the Jewish community in Greenwich, CT within the broader context of the history of the town and the nation, this exhibit will look at how Jewish families have contributed to the larger community for more than a century despite experiencing periods of discrimination and restrictions on worship, employment and housing. The stories of those who sought to build new lives here will be told through photographs, artifacts, archival documents, ephemera, and first-person accounts. The exhibition will also explore the little-known fact that there were Jewish property owners in Greenwich as far back as Colonial times. Although much of the growth of Greenwich’s Jewish community began in the 1960s (today about 11 percent of the population is Jewish), the tale begins with the mass exodus of Jews from Eastern Europe to America between 1880 and 1920.
Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era
Coming up April 12, 2018 – October 2018
On April 12, 2018, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum will open with a new exhibit on the Irish in the American Civil War.
In the mid-19th century, many Irish immigrants had fled an Ireland ravaged by the Great Hunger, hoping to find a better future in the US, but such hopes were dashed when war erupted in 1861. With the Civil War, Irish survivors of the Great Famine had to endure the second great trauma of their lives. Having survived the worst demographic catastrophe of 19th-century Europe, they fell on the battlefields of Virginia or Tennessee.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, America was home to approximately 1.6 million people of Irish birth, most refugees from the Famine. At least 150,000 Irishmen served in the Union forces, and 20,000 with the Confederates. More Civil War generals came out of Ireland than any other foreign country. Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era will highlight the significant role that the Irish played in America’s struggle to define itself as a nation.
Through April 29, 2018
Beginning in the early 1960s, mirrors and reflection dominated the art scene. Feeling at Abstract Expressionism with its rejection of representation was a dead end, a younger generation of artists responded by using common objects and industrial materials in their creative process, both as subject matter and as medium. By using mirrors, the artists inserted the viewer as a subject. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the museum’s permanent collection, presents mirrored works by Larry Bell, Sam Durant, Virgil Marti, Michalengelo Pistoletto, Lucas Samaras and James Seawright, exploring many of the themes associated with mirrors including the visual tensions between flatness and depth; movement and a fixed image; and reflected and translucency; as well as issues of identity, community and social engagement.
From Old Masters to Revolutionaries: Five Centuries of the Benton’s Best
An ongoing exhibition of works from the permanent collection
The Benton is pleased to present a changing selection of its most prized possessions that span five centuries. We begin with a sixteenth-century double portrait by the Spanish court painter Alonso Snchez Coello, whose unidentified subjects are a well-dressed noblewoman and child. Also featured is another image of maternal affection in the work Woman and Child by the American impressionist Mary Cassatt. More contemporaneously is Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother (Nipomo, California), an iconic photograph from America’s Dust Bowl era that captures the hardships of the time.
In addition to portraiture, the exhibition includes examples of landscape painting, religious imagery, and genre scenes. Of particular note is Gabrielle Münter’s Fabrik, an excellent example of German Exrpessionism, Rye Beach, New Hampshireby Martin Johnson Heade, as well more recent contributions by the twentieth-century American Ansel Adams.
No exhibition of the Benton’s best would be complete without the work of Reginald Marsh, an American painter, printmaker, and illustrator who graduated from Yale with his good friend William Benton. A large-scale oil painting, along with Marsh’s preparatory sketches, are featured in this exhibition.
The Paston Treasure: Microcosm of the Known World
Thursday, February 15 until Sunday, May 27, 2018
The seventeenth-century painting The Paston Treasure (ca. 1663) is an enigmatic masterpiece. Commissioned by either Sir William Paston, first Baronet (1610–1663), or his son Robert Paston, first Earl of Yarmouth (1631–1683), the identity of the painter, a Dutch itinerant artist working out of a makeshift studio at Oxnead Hall, remains unresolved, although candidates have been proposed. Adding to its mystique, the painting defies categorization because it combines several art historical genres: still life, portraiture, animal painting, and allegory. It has provided the opportunity to think anew about seventeenth-century studio practice and the painter-patron relationship. The painting makes its North American debut this year at the Yale Center for British Art in an exhibition organized in partnership with the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, UK. More information here.