2019 Art Exhibitions
Danh Vo, We the People (detail)
Through May 15, 2019
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to present Danh Vo’s We the People (detail) as part of the Main Street Sculpture series, which offers an opportunity for artists to create site-specific work for The Aldrich’s most public site, the front lawn. Danh Vo’s sculpture We the People (detail) is one of 250 individual parts of the artist’s 1:1 replica of the Statue of Liberty. Vo’s segmented version, however, was never intended to be assembled; rather, the artist’s intent is to allow the viewer to experience the world-famous icon on a human scale and to reflect on the idea of liberty from multiple perspectives. Learn more.
How Art Changed the Prison – The Work of CPA’s Prison Arts Program
Through May 27, 2019
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to present an exhibition of visual art made in Connecticut’s correctional institutions over the past three decades, borrowed from current and former inmates, private collections, including that of the curator, and from the permanent collection of the Prison Arts Program, which is part of Community Partners in Action (CPA), a non-profit that focuses on behavioral change of both current and past inmates of Connecticut’s prison system, in addition to advocating for criminal justice reform. Organized by Jeffrey Greene, who has been with the program for twenty-seven years, the exhibition will include the work of approximately twenty-eight artists. Learn more.
JAMES DAUGHERTY: FAIRFIELD COURT MURALS AND THE PORTRAYAL OF FAMILY
Mar. 29-June 9, 2019
An examination of the way family life is depicted in studies for a lost WPA era mural cycle.
MATERIAL PLEASURES: STILL LIFE FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION
June 21 – Aug 26, 2019
COMO SE DICE BORICUA EN INGLES: LIBERATION AND LANGUAGE
Sept 13 – Dec 15, 2019
The Dawn of Modern Medicine: Selections from the Medical Artifact Collection of M. Donald Blaufox, MD, PhD
November 24, 2018 – April 7, 2019
The 19th century witnessed a remarkable transformation of the field of medical practice. At the beginning of the century, medical instruments were often beautifully crafted but could not be sterilized. As the era progressed, germ theory became accepted and aseptic tools replaced aesthetically pleasing instruments made of wood, ivory, and ebony. Advancing technology brought the world new ways to diagnose illness such as the stethoscope, x-rays, and sphygmomanometer (for blood pressure). Many of these innovative instruments are direct precursors of those used by present-day doctors, often with remarkably little modification.
This exhibition will showcase approximately 100 artifacts from the collection of M. Donald Blaufox, MD, PhD, ranging from surgical tools to quack patent medicines to early x-ray tubes, telling the story of how various branches of diagnostic and therapeutic medicine evolved. Dr. Blaufox is Professor and University Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as a former Chairman of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. Over the past four decades, Blaufox has assembled an unmatched collection of historic diagnostic instruments.
Your Place Squared: Community Art Project
Through June 2, 2019
The Bruce Museum presents a new community project of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. Your Place Squared opened in the Museum’s Bantle Lecture Gallery on March 9, 2019 with a dazzling assemblage of more than 500 artworks created by artists of all ages and abilities. Based on the popular 2012 Bruce Museum exhibition of self-portraits, Your Face Squared, the Bruce Museum asked participants to turn to the landscape for creative inspiration. And did they ever! Learn more.
Buried Treasures of the Silk Road
Through June 2, 2019
Buried Treasures of the Silk Road showcases the extraordinary collection of Chinese tomb sculpture in the Fred and Jane Brooks Collection of the Bruce Museum. Featuring dozens of rare and delicate terra cotta figurines, painted and glazed ceramics, and other antiquities, Buried Treasures of the Silk Road will be on view in the Museum’s Arcade Gallery through June 2, 2019. Learn more.
Requiem for Ashokan: Kate McGloughlin
Through May 19, 2019
Materialized over multiple residencies, this project tells the story of loss surrounding the devastation Kate McGloughlin’s ancestors endured during the creation of The Ashokan Reservoir. This exhibition illustrates the complete body of work which includes written text, a handmade artist’s book, and audio files narrating both sides of the story from both sides of my family-the settlers and the immigrants. Learn more.
The Artist Collects Highlights from the James Reed Collection
Through June 8, 2019
This exhibition celebrates the transformative gift of the James Reed Collection of Old Master, 19th-century, and modern prints to the Fairfield University Art Museum. Assembled over several decades by artist, collector and Master Printer James Reed, the collection comprises more than 1,500 prints spanning the 16th through the early 21st centuries. The exhibition presents highlights from the three great strengths of the Reed Collection: 19th-century French etching and lithography; German Expressionist woodcuts and lithographs; and modern and contemporary prints. Learn more.
THE GREAT AMERICANS: PORTRAITS BY JAC LAHAV
Through May 12, 2019
Who are our national heroes? Benjamin Franklin? Rosa Parks? Albert Einstein? Lahav’s nearly seven-foot-tall paintings of 30+ famous figures are a celebration of America layered with references to history, lore, and imagery that shape our understanding of these larger-than-life icons. Through his psychologically complex and cheeky treatment of iconic figures from politicians to celebrities, Lahav explores the nature of cultural identity. Learn more.
An American Place: The Art Colony at Old Lyme
Ongoing on the second-floor gallery
Centered in the boardinghouse of Miss Florence Griswold, the colony attracted many leading artists – Henry Ward Ranger, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf among them – who were in the vanguard of the Tonalist and Impressionist movements. Drawn to Old Lyme by its natural beauty, they discovered an “old” New England setting that was, as one observer noted, “expressive of the quiet dignity of other days.” Learn more.
A Natural Parterre: An Environmental Garden Art Installation by Bob Chaplin
A New Site-Specific Artwork at Hill-Stead. In the fall of 2018, landscape artist Bob Chaplin began the installation of A Natural Parterre on the grounds of Hill-Stead Museum. Through this unique, site-specific artwork, the artist hopes to initiate a dialogue between ‘nature’ and man’s involvement to try and ‘tame’ nature. The installation is situated in the large meadow below and to the north Hill-Stead’s historic 1901 Colonial Revival house. It can be viewed from the museum’s west lawn and as part of Hill-Stead’s established, mowed, walking-path system. The parterre is designed to be experienced up-close and visitors are encouraged to walk through it. Learn more.
The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art
February 22, 2019–June 2, 2019
Stitzer Family Gallery, Robert and Dorothy Vance Gallery, and Richard and Virginia McKernan Gallery.Enormous flowers, luscious colors, desert landscapes, feminine forms, and still lifes. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) pioneered revolutionary ways of visually interpreting the world through her early embrace of abstraction and effusive use of color and is recognized as one of the preeminent American painters of the twentieth century. Her art has intrigued viewers and artists alike for generations, and this spring, the New Britain Museum of American Art will present The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art, an innovative exhibition that celebrates her work and legacy. Drawn from important public and private collections across the country, The Beyond will bring together three dozen iconic works—spanning O’Keeffe’s long career and the full range of her output—as the centerpiece of a unique exploration. Grouped by theme—Flowers; Cities and Deserts; Still Lifes; The Intangible Thing; Finding the Figure; and The Beyond—O’Keeffe’s paintings and sculptures will appear alongside works by twenty contemporary artists that evoke, investigate, and elaborate upon the images and approaches that mark O’Keeffe’s career. Learn more.
January 21, 2019–February 25, 2020
The LeWitt Family Staircase. This January, Detroit-based artist Louise Jones will bring a vibrant array of floral imagery to the walls of the New Britain Museum of American Art’s LeWitt Family Staircase. Known for her large-scale botanical paintings, Jones creates site-specific murals whose compositions are often inspired by native plants and flowers and informed by a collaboration with regional horticulturists. Her wall paintings, bursting with vitality and saturated color, can be found on public buildings around the world. Learn more.
Line and Curve: The Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear Shaker Collection from Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon with Prints by Ellsworth Kelly
July 13, 2018–June 30, 2019
M. Stephen and Miriam R. Miller Shaker Gallery. When the American painter, sculptor, and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) first encountered Shaker objects in 1970, he was already an established artist with a recognizable body of work—work that drew the viewer’s eye to shapes, colors, surfaces, lines and curves, without the distraction of unnecessary details. Kelly found the furniture to be “simple and well-structured and in the same categories that I like to make paintings,” inspiring him to make his first of many Shaker purchases. Kelly and his partner, photographer Jack Shear, lived with and used these objects in their Columbia County, NY, home until 2015 when they were donated to the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon upon Kelly’s death. This July, the New Britain Museum of American Art presents an exhibition of this unique Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear Shaker Collection with a selection of iconic Kelly prints from the 1960s through the 1980s. Learn more.
In Bloom: The Botanical Paintings of T. Merrill Prentice
March 25, 2019–September 8, 2019
The Helen T. and Philip B. Stanley Gallery. This March, the New Britain Museum of America will present an array of botanical paintings by Connecticut native T. (Thurlow) Merrill Prentice (1898–1985). The most extensive exhibition of these paintings at the NBMAA since their gift by the artist in 1977, Prentice’s vibrant watercolors showcase lively wildflowers and plants found throughout the American Northeast. Learn more.
Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar
Through May 27, 2019
Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of The Guitar celebrates the artistic development of the guitar. Developed by The National GUITAR Museum in New York, New York, it features 40 objects, ranging from the rare and antique to the wildly popular and innovative.
The exhibition explores all facets of the world’s most popular instrument, from its history as an instrument of popular culture over the past four hundred years to modern efforts to reinvent the guitar with different materials, shapes, and approaches to design. Spanning centuries of design and craftsmanship, the exhibition takes visitors through the history of an object that is one of the most recognizable items on the planet. Learn more.
Portrait painter Ellen Emmet Rand’s ‘Business of Bodies’ at UConn
Ellen Emmet Rand (1875-1941) was ahead of her time. She started a career in illustration when she was a teenager, then went to Paris to study.
Upon returning, she married and got work as a portrait painter. She spent weekdays in New York as the breadwinner to support her mother, sisters, sons and her husband, who stayed in Salisbury living an easy country life. In her lifetime, she painted 800 portraits. Learn more.
Emily Mae Smith / MATRIX 181
Through May 5, 2019
With a nod to distinct painting movements in the history of art, such as Symbolism, Surrealism, and Pop art, Emily Mae Smith creates lively compositions that offer sly social and political commentary. Her lexicon of signs and symbols begins with her avatar, derived from the broomstick figure from Disney’s Fantasia (1940). Simultaneously referring to a painter’s brush, a domestic tool associated with women’s work, and the phallus, the figure continually transforms across Smith’s body of work. By adopting a variety of guises, the broom and other symbols speak to contemporary subjects, including gender, sexuality, capitalism, and violence. Learn more.
Sean Scully: Landline
February 23–May 19, 2019
Irish-born, American artist Sean Scully’s acclaimed “Landline” series represents a dramatic shift in the work of one of today’s most important abstract artists. Sean Scully: Landline will be on view at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden September 13, 2018–January 6, 2019 before traveling to the Wadsworth Atheneum. Sean Scully: Landline traces the series’ expression through a variety of media, with nearly 50 oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, and photographs, and two layered aluminum Stack sculptures. A large-scale, 30 layer sculpture will be installed on the museum’s Main Street lawn in advance of the exhibition, in June 2018. Learn more.
Nature Through Their Eyes: American Moderns on Paper
March 23 – June 23, 2019
Artists such as Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe and Charles Demuth translated natural forms into poetic studies of shape, color, and texture. Infused with a distinct emotional quality, their modern views of nature breathed new life into otherwise traditional subjects. Learn more.
Design in the American Home, 1650 to 1850
December 22 – Ongoing
The desire to surround ourselves with beauty is universal and timeless. We have an innate tendency to transform the shape and decoration of even mundane items in an effort to satisfy our aesthetic aspirations. As cultural values, trends, and technologies shift from one era to the next, so do the objects that we create for everyday use and enjoyment at home. Focusing on objects from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries—from costly furnishings and paintings to inexpensive household necessities—this exhibition shows how the quest for color, texture, and splendor propels artful design. Learn more.
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 Expressionism, Rye Beach, New Hampshire by 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.
Through April 21, 2019
From the 1860s, Frederick Walker (1840–1875) was at the heart of a group of like-minded artists with roots in periodical and book illustration. Known from early on as Idyllists, they frequently ventured beyond the idyllic in the sense of a pastoral paradise. While the Idyllists may have avoided the harsher realities of urban life and the mechanistic aspects of modern agriculture, they nevertheless struggled with subjects of poverty, homelessness, and labor unrest. This focused display also features the work of the highly successful Sir Hubert von Herkomer (1849–1914), who was deeply appreciative of Walker’s art and shared many of the Idyllists’ themes. Learn more.
William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum
Through May 20, 2019
When the Royal Academy of Arts in London was founded in 1768, Dr. William Hunter (1718–1783) became its first professor of anatomy. A physician and obstetrician to royalty, Hunter amassed an extensive collection of objects that ultimately became the foundation for one of the first public museums, The Hunterian in Glasgow, Scotland. The range and diversity of the collection illuminates the artistic, medical, and intellectual pursuits of the Age of Enlightenment. Learn more.
Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection
Through May 23, 2019
By the beginning of the eighteenth century in Britain, parents and teachers had begun to embrace wholeheartedly a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) that “Learning might be made a Play and Recreation to Children.” The material culture of this period and the subsequent generation, reveals a significant shift in thinking, as adults found fresh value in childhood and in play for its own sake. British publishers leapt at the chance to design books and games for both instruction and delight. This small display celebrates the recent gift of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century children’s games and books to the Center by Ellen and Arthur Liman, Yale JD 1957. Learn more.
Matthew Barney: Redoubt
March 1, 2019–June 16, 2019
In his first major exhibition at his alma mater, the renowned and provocative contemporary artist Matthew Barney, B.A. 1989, presents his latest work, including a new feature-length film titled Redoubt. Set in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountain range, the film layers classical, cosmological, and American myths about humanity’s place in the natural world, continuing Barney’s long-standing preoccupation with landscape as both a setting and subject. Redoubt loosely adapts the myth of Diana, goddess of the hunt, and Actaeon, a hunter who trespasses on her and is punished. Like most of Barney’s previous films, Redoubt contains no dialogue; instead, the characters communicate through choreography that echoes and foreshadows their encounters with wildlife. Learn more.
A Nation Reflected: Stories in American Glass
March 29, 2019 – September 29, 2019
For generations, glass—in its natural as well as manmade form—has been fashioned into objects of both beauty and utility. The development of glassmaking in America, beginning with the short-lived glasshouses in early 17th-century Jamestown, Virginia, has mirrored the expansion of colonial settlements into a thriving nation, and thus the medium offers captivating stories about many aspects of American history: flasks and bottles emblazoned with portraits of politicians and celebrities signal the personal beliefs of those who used them; light bulbs, laboratory glass, and patented innovations bring technological sophistication into the home; and contemporary artists and craftsmen continue to reinterpret the medium’s rich past. Featuring more than 100 objects drawn from the Yale University Art Gallery’s collection with select loans from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, A Nation Reflected: Stories in American Glass explores the myriad ways in which glass expresses the cultural, technological, and artistic aspirations of those who live and work in the United States. Learn more.