August Director’s Message
It has been great to see folks returning to the grounds of the museum in increasing numbers to explore Sculpture in the City or participate in the outdoor art talks and programs we’ve presented on the Main Street lawn. During your next visit, be sure to check out the newest addition to our outdoor display, Across the Limpopo, c. 1974 by Melvin Edwards, soon to be installed on the corner of Atheneum Square North and Prospect Street. You may recall seeing the sculpture inside the museum during Afrocosmologies last autumn. The bright orange sculpture was fully restored last summer and will be a striking addition to welcome all visitors when we reopen next month. Its installation expands the sculpture experience downtown, and is a return to the outdoors for it. Created a few years after Edwards’ time teaching at the University of Connecticut and his first visit to Africa, Across the Limpopo was first shown at the Wadsworth in a group exhibition of works by Edwards, Sam Gilliam, and William T. Williams in 1974 after which it was purchased for the collection and prominently displayed for many years not far from this new spot. More opportunities to engage with us outdoors and online are coming up this month–check our events calendar to sign up.
Installation view of Across the Limpopo during Afrocosmologies, 2019.
Indeed, so many of our efforts have gone virtual in recent months, in parallel with the digital happenings in every corner of our lives. What great news it was to learn in recent days of the plan to provide free citywide WiFi to all of Hartford now underway. Thanks to the partnership ofthe City of Hartford, the Dalio Foundation, and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. As the planned extensive network of wireless access points is installed across the city we will be working on digital-born content. The enhanced access the wireless project gives dovetails with our commitment to make the Wadsworth a place for everyone to experience great art. We are excited to see how virtual experiences are beginning new and meaningful conversations centered on the collection. This will only be amplified once our doors reopen Labor Day weekend.
Welcoming you back Labor Day weekend (open Saturday, September 5th; Sunday, September 6th; Monday, September 7th) is a major focus, and we are amid the reinstallation of five galleries. Capacity controls, enhanced cleaning, and timed entry (in line with the governor’s Reopen Connecticut guidelines) will help ensure a safe environment. Admission will be free, but online reservations are needed in advance to secure your entrance time and allow for contact tracing. Our new online ticketing system will go live later this month, so check our website to reserve your visit. Following the holiday weekend, the galleries will be open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays noon-5pm. Preregistration is encouraged for all visits and we will do our best to accommodate walk-ups based on availability. We look forward to having you back!
Thank you for your support as we work to make your experience at the Wadsworth a safe and enjoyable one.
Thomas J. Loughman
A statement from Kimberly Kersey and Tom Loughman
June 3, 2020
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.