Calendar of Events

Programs take place in the museum unless otherwise specified. Click here for public tour registration.
Highlights Tours | Thursdays–Sundays, 12:30 & 2pm
Family Tour: Eyes on Art | Every Second Saturday, 12:15pm

Feb
9
Thu
The Pennington Lecture with Dr. Jelani Cobb | The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today
Feb 9 @ 5:00 pm
The Pennington Lecture with Dr. Jelani Cobb | The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today

In-person tickets have SOLD OUT. Register for the live stream to attend the lecture via Zoom.

5pm reception, 6pm lecture—In museum & virtual 
Jelani Cobb, PhD, is an expert on how race, politics, history, and popular culture intersect in America. Author of the highly acclaimed book The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, Cobb also writes about police brutality, voter access, racial discord, and partisan polarization and eloquently explores how the past looms in our contemporary societal landscape and how we can collectively push toward a more equitable America. Jelani Cobb discusses the complex dynamics of race and racism in America, to clarify them and inspire his audience to collective activism with the goal of achieving equity in the form of genuine democracy. He shows us that not only are the levers of justice in our hands, but we can move them in the direction we see fit. 

The Pennington Lecture is presented in honor of the Rev. Dr. James W. C. Pennington and is part of Capital Community College’s Black Heritage Project. The project aims to surface the remarkable history of the first Black church and school for Black children in Hartford through an exhibition on Hartford’s Black community formation (now on view at the college), curriculum in a variety of courses, and programs such as this.  

This lecture is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Capital Community College Foundation and presented as a collaboration between Capital Community College, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. 

Apr
12
Wed
Lecture | Small Wonders: Netherlandish Boxwood Carving of the Early 16th Century with Barbara Drake Boehm
Apr 12 @ 6:00 pm
Lecture | Small Wonders: Netherlandish Boxwood Carving of the Early 16th Century with Barbara Drake Boehm

In the early sixteenth century, artists in the Low Countries carved intricate miniatures from boxwood as symbols of religious devotion for their wealthy Christian patrons. Today, these carvings produce an uncanny effect on museum visitors—they stop people in their tracks and demand to be remembered.

Why do these tiny treasures from half a millennium ago have such an outsized impact today? Barbara Drake Boehm, The Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator of the Met Cloisters, Emerita, explores the world of these small wonders and ponders their mesmerizing effect. Free with required reservation. 

Presented in partnership with the Design and Decorative Arts Council with additional support provided by the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation Fund at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Image: Attributed to Adam Dircksz and workshop, Miniature coffin, c. 1500–1530. Boxwood, metal (possibly silver), ink or paint. Gift of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and The Evelyn Bonar Storrs Trust Fund

Oct
26
Thu
Wadsworth Atheneum’s First Century: Collections and Patrons with William Hosley
Oct 26 @ 5:45 pm

The final stop on the Hartford’s Hidden Treasures Public Lecture Series & Tour. Like no other museum its size in America, the Wadsworth’s collections and identity were shaped by fascinating donors and patrons whose tastes and interests reflect the needs and priorities of their time and place. 

Nov
1
Wed
Public Lecture | A Walk Through Dresden: Eighteenth-Century Meissen Porcelain with Vanessa Sigalas
Nov 1 @ 6:00 pm
Public Lecture | A Walk Through Dresden: Eighteenth-Century Meissen Porcelain with Vanessa Sigalas

5pm gallery viewing, 6pm lecture

Meissen, the oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe, has produced hard-paste porcelain in Germany since the early eighteenth century. Vanessa Sigalas, the Wadsworth’s David W. Dangremond Associate Curator for Collections Research and author of the book All Walks of Life: A Journey with The Alan Shimmerman Collection (Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt, 2023), shares how her recent research sheds light on the creation, production, and distribution of Meissen porcelain. Join us in the galleries before the lecture to view Meissen figures from the Wadsworth’s collection. Free with reservations encouraged.

Presented in partnership with the Design and Decorative Arts Council and the Auerbach Library Associates at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Nov
18
Sat
Performance | (Hartford) Memory Space
Nov 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Performance | (Hartford) Memory Space

Drop in as regional musicians create a sound map of our city throughout the galleries with a special recreation of the 1970 musical composition (Hartford) Memory Space by Alvin Lucier (1931–2021), one of the most influential American composers of the last hundred years, best known for his works that explore the properties of sound and how we perceive them. (Hartford) Memory Space premiered at Hartford Art School, inviting musicians to recreate the sounds they heard while out in the city. In conjunction with the exhibition Rules & Repetition. Free with admission.

Performances by Joan La Barbara, The Daxophone Consort (Daniel Fishkin, Cleek Schrey, and Ron Shalom), Tongue Depressor (Henry Birdsey and Zach Rowden), Trevor Saint, Ronald Kuivila, Emerson Jenisch, and Sam Boston.

Presented in partnership with Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Hartford Art School at University of Hartford with support from the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation Fund at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Image: Contact sheet from the Museum Archives Photograph Collection documenting Alvin Lucier’s performance of Music for Solo Performer (1965) at the Wadsworth Atheneum on April 23, 1996, part of an “Evening Lecture Series” on performance art.