Art America–160 Years in the Making

Our new exhibit “Art America–160 Years in the Making” begins on Friday, April 28th and concludes on August 11th, with an opening reception at 6:00 pm.  The exhibit features 50 works of art representing major styles, subjects and art colonies in America from over nearly two centuries.  Scattered throughout the exhibit are mannequins viewing a particular piece of art dressed in the attire of that period of time.  The Historical Society’s extensive costume collection made this concept a reality.  It is interesting to see what a patron of the arts might look like back in the day.

The exhibit was made possible by the generosity of a town resident, Thomas Davies, who has been collecting these works of art for over 40 years.  Mr. Davies published a book describing his 400 paintings and the stories behind the artists and how the paintings came to his collection.  His book ” Collecting Stories” published in 2008 will be available at the opening.

The art ranges from our country’s earliest artists’ desire to find a distinctly American voice in both landscapes and portraits and activities of our people to the overwhelming influence exerted by French Impressionism.  In the late 1880s, young artists flocked to Europe to study this new form of expression.  A part of the exhibit reveals the impact these expatriates had upon returning home with new ideas and a desire to re-create the collegial atmosphere and Bohemian lifestyle they experienced in centers like Paris and art colonies like Giverny, Punt-Aven and Grez.

A total of 16 art colonies are represented and six of these were established in Connecticut, more than any other state.  Numerous nationally recognized artists and sculptors are represented in the exhibit, including  Frederick Waugh, Charles Hawthorne, and many others.  A renowned artist from our local  Silvermine colony, Addison T. Millar is represented.  A selection of  bronze sculptures are shown, including several of the American West.

Whether you are a serious student of art or simply “visually curious”, you will find this show a wonderful experience.  There are even revealing and often humorous anecdotes about many of the 50 painters and sculptors.

RSVP appreciated for the opening reception. Suggested donation for the reception is $5.00. The exhibit is open to the public Tuesday through Friday 9:30 am- 4:30 pm, and Saturday 9:30 am- 12:30 pm for a suggested donation of $5.00.


Photo featured above:  Fishing in Silvermine by Addison T. Millar.