January Director’s Message
We are incredibly grateful for the generous contributions made to the Annual Fund in recent weeks and send thanks to those of you who will make a donation in this new year. Your support allows us to develop innovative exhibitions and programs for all visitors. Thank you for your loyal support of the Wadsworth!
Over the Martin Luther King weekend, three artists are visiting as the last days of Afrocosmologies approach. Stop in for one of these experiences. On January 18 MATRIX 183 artist Kahlil Joseph joins acclaimed curator Helen Molesworth in conversation about BLKNWS, the streaming experience on view in our video gallery. Joseph was just featured in the December issue of Surface magazine. On Monday, Afrocosmologies artists Ed Johnetta Miller and Carl Joe Williams lead family art making activities as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Day. These free programs offer an opportunity to get closer to the art and even get to know these artists–Joseph, a filmmaker whose project was a highlight of last year’s Venice Biennale; Miller, a Hartford-based quilt maker and former trustee of the Wadsworth; Williams, a contemporary painter who will be coming back to Hartford from his studio in New Orleans.
The reaction this summer and fall to our exciting new series of focus projects, beginning with Giorgione’s La Vecchia, was positive. The series continues with a close look at Isamu Noguchi’s monolithic aluminum sculpture Sesshū, on view here for the first time in fifty years. The newly-restored work draws on Japanese folded- and cut-paper traditions while embracing space-age materials. Created from a single sheet of manufactured aluminum–not considered a fine art material at the time–Sesshū exemplifies the Japanese American artist’s commitment to synthesizing disparate cultures through his work.
Finally, as we begin this new decade together, we look forward to all of the possibilities ahead. This moment–the start of 2020–begs the question–what can we do in the coming decade that will empower the next generation and inspire innovation? This month, two collaborations bring us closer to that goal–the arrival of the UConn Arts Management program to its newly outfitted home within the museum’s walls, and the participation of six high school seniors from Miss Porter’s who will serve as interns during winter session, helping us realize a number of future projects. Thoughtful opportunities like these sow the seeds of future success as we begin another great year together.
Thomas J. Loughman
Director & CEO