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The Director

November Director’s Message


View of the recently restored "Nathan Hale"

Dear Friends,

It has been great to see many of you returning to the galleries–including on Friday nights–and even more of you engaging with us online. Our Main Street entrance recently reopened; whether you come in through that door or just drop by that side of the campus, have a look at the recently transformed sculpture on the Main Street lawn, Nathan Hale by Enoch Smith Woods, designed in 1889 and installed in 1893. The just-finished restoration has removed 127 years of environmental corrosion revealing the original sculpture which now has a surface color true to the original bronze. Thank you to the Avangrid Foundation for funding the project which will conclude with new lighting in early 2021–ensuring that Nathan Hale remains a focal point of the Wadsworth grounds and the Hartford cityscape into the future.

Takashi Murakami "Untitled"

There is a lot to explore inside the museum this month. From the recently installed painting by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, Untitled, 2019 (above) and a timely installation of contemporary art in Protest and Promise; to works that celebrate the beauty of our state on view in Made in Connecticut there is art to please every palate. Not to be missed is the current MATRIX exhibition by Ali Banisadr recently featured in the Wall Street Journal Icons column. The next Focus Exhibition opens this week: Chaim Gross’s wood sculpture, I Love My Baby (1948). A masterpiece done in the artist’s favored medium, the sculpture–a gift to the museum from his daughter–is an excellent example of direct carving from a single piece of hardwood.
Screenshot of the virtual tour of the Hudson River School galleries

A remarkable range of experiences are made possible by activating our collection through exhibitions and programs. Take a digital stroll through our American art galleries to see masterworks of the Hudson River School from home. Tune in to one of our free virtual programs to connect with the Wadsworth, and each other, from a distance. Ancient Greek and Roman cultures meet contemporary dance in The Odyssey – Hero, Host, God, or Goddess?, November 12 at 6pm; explore the history and collection of The Amistad Center, November 18 at 5pm; and hear from artist Ali Banisadr and critic Robert Hobbs, November 20 at 5pm.

And finally, as the holidays approach and the end of 2020 is in sight, we hope you will consider a gift to our Annual Fund. Many of you have shared the importance and benefit of having art in your lives. Your support will help us broaden our reach through our enriching, educational virtual programs and inspire the individuals and families who are able to come commune with art safely in our galleries. My heartfelt thanks to those who have already contributed and those who will do so in the coming weeks.

Thomas J. Loughman
Director and CEO

A statement from Kimberly Kersey and Tom Loughman

June 3, 2020

Charly Palmer, I Am A Man, 2006. Acrylic on wood with mixed media. Collection of the Amistad Center for Art & Culture

Charly Palmer, I Am A Man, 2006. Acrylic on wood with mixed media. Collection of the Amistad Center for Art & Culture


A simple yet poignant statement – “I Am A Man.”

We find ourselves searching for words to adequately convey the emotion we feel as yet another name is added to the list of Black lives unjustly taken. There simply are none.

It is our hope that the rightful outrage over George Floyd’s death becomes a catalyst for the uncomfortable conversations and realizations that must be had for real social change to occur. Our institutions thrive when we lean in to our collective humanity and stand together to honor our differences. Through the power of art, we encourage expression and generate mutual understanding. We renew our resolve to be a place for community support, growth, and healing.

With eyes and hearts and arms wide open, we know society can do better. We must do better.


Kimberly Kersey Signature

Kimberly Kersey
Executive Director
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture

Tom Loughman Signature

Tom Loughman
Director & CEO
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art