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

Jul
8
Sat
Second Saturdays for Families: Power of Portraiture
Jul 8 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Second Saturdays for Families: Power of Portraiture

Tour the exhibition I Am Seen… and learn about the studio practices of the African American photographers of Frederick Douglass’s era. View a daguerreotype demonstration and observe how these one-of-a-kind images are created. Afterward, design a portrait and frame that captures your unique personality. Don’t forget to join our friends across the street at Center Church for additional family programming, including a performance by Nathan M. Richardson, renowned interpreter of Frederick Douglass. Find the Ice Cream for a Dream truck for free ice cream parked outside the museum while supplies last. Admission is free from noon–2pm.

Presented in collaboration with Center Church. 

Jul
23
Sun
Music in the Galleries: Birth of the Cool Ensemble led by Drake Smith
Jul 23 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Music in the Galleries: Birth of the Cool Ensemble led by Drake Smith

Join trumpet player and composer Haneef Nelson, the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s 2023 Jazz Activation Fellow, for an informal performance with the Birth of the Cool Ensemble led by Drake Smith. While you listen, view Bob Thompson’s monumental painting Garden of Music (1960), which features depictions of Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and other jazz legends that inspired Thompson’s work. Free.

Presented with support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Saunders Foundation Music Endowment at the Wadsworth Atheneum

Image: Bob Thompson, Garden of Music, 1960. Oil on canvas. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1987.4

Aug
12
Sat
Free Second Saturdays for Families: Booming Backdrops
Aug 12 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Free Second Saturdays for Families: Booming Backdrops

Discover how MATRIX artist Lisa Alvarado creates meditative, patterned works that echo non-Western traditions of abstraction. Use sand to design a colorful geometric configuration. Work alongside artist and graphic designer Lindaluz Carrillo to develop a large-scale background that emphasizes community. Enjoy a dance performance from Spectrum in Motion. Find the Ice Cream for a Dream truck, parked outside the museum from noon to 2pm, for free ice cream while supplies last.

Image courtesy of Lindaluz Carrillo.

Oct
14
Sat
Second Saturdays for Families: Latine Heritage Month
Oct 14 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Second Saturdays for Families: Latine Heritage Month

Celebrate Latine heritage and culture with art making, music, and performances. Work alongside teaching artists from Bomba De Aqui in a vejigante mask-making workshop. Watch Mexican folkloric dancer Tere Luna perform in collaboration with Mariachi Mexico Antiguo. Then participate in an interactive dance presentation by Movimiento Cultural Afro-Continental and learn the history of Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican style of music and dance. Admission is free noon–2pm.

Please note: The Hartford Marathon runs on October 14. Check hartfordmarathon.com for best access to downtown Hartford, parking bans, and road closures.

Oct
17
Tue
Day Art Tour: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Oct 17 all-day
Day Art Tour: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Visit the MET with us to see two major exhibitions exploring relationships between famed French painters Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas, and Henri Matisse and André Derain. Each exhibition examines how the artists’ methods defined modern French painting. $110; $100 members; includes transportation, admission, and gratuities. RSVP by September 26, 2023. For details and to download the registration form, visit thewadsworth.org/fwa.

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
11
Sat
Second Saturdays for Families: Fall Reflections
Nov 11 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Second Saturdays for Families: Fall Reflections
As autumn ends, take a moment to reflect on what you are thankful for and observe how artwork can connect us to places, ideas, and each other. Sign up for an Eyes on Art Family Tour at 12:15pm.
Film and Panel Discussion | Voices of Veterans: Buffalo Soldiers and Beyond
Nov 11 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Film and Panel Discussion | Voices of Veterans: Buffalo Soldiers and Beyond

2pm reception, 3–5pm film and panel

Join us for the premiere of Voices of Veterans: Buffalo Soldiers and Beyond, a film produced by The Amistad Center for Art & Culture that highlights the legacy of the US Army regiment comprised mainly of Black Americans. The film examines objects from The Amistad’s permanent collection and surveys the contributions of African American military members though guided interviews with veterans. A reception to celebrate veterans living in Hartford precedes the film and a panel discussion with speakers including oral historian Nild Sansone follows. Free.

Image: Still from Voices of Veterans during interview with Deacon Arthur Miller.

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.