Calendar of Events
Participate in a mediated virtual discussion about public sculpture, World’s Fairs, and the City Beautiful movement in conjunction with the exhibition Paul Manship: Ancient Made Modern.
Encounters is a series of free virtual discussions fueled by short readings and timely subjects. Co-sponsored with the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, the Old State House, Akomawt Educational Initiative, and Dodd Human Rights Impact at the University of Connecticut.
Zeynep Çelik Alexander, professor of art history at Columbia University and Neelika Jayawardane, professor of English at State University of New York-Oswego present research on the transatlantic slave trade, imperial gardens, classification systems, and colonial photography. Following the presentation, artist Todd Gray leads a discussion about how he examines these themes in his work, on view in MATRIX 186. Co-sponsored with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture.
Image: Todd Gray, Fair Game (Keep Your Head to the Sky), 2020. Four archival pigment prints with UV laminate in artist’s frames. Courtesy the collection of Christopher Scott and Cody Fitzsimmons.
Unmasking the myths of African American cooking traditions, join culinary historian and Chef Michael Twitty for a virtual lecture detailing the historical legacy and interpretations of African American culinary traditions.
This program is presented in partnership with the Amistad Center for Art & Culture.
One of the most recognizable public sculptures in the United States, Paul Manship’s Prometheus has presided over Rockefeller Center since 1934. A popular backdrop to photographs of tourists, shoppers, and ice skaters, the recumbent Titan attracted a torrent of abuse when first unveiled. Join Vincent DiGirolamo, professor of history at Baruch College, for a discussion of Manship, art, and commerce. In conjunction with Paul Manship: Ancient Made Modern.
In 1969, five art students conspired to carry out the request that artist Shusaku Arakawa (1936-2010) stenciled into his painting Untitled (1969): “IF POSSIBLE STEAL ANY ONE OF THESE DRAWINGS INCLUDING THIS SENTENCE.” The performative art caper raised questions of ownership and artistic agency. In a conversation moderated by curator Patricia Hickson, hear the original thieves/artists discuss their plot to remove Arakawa’s work from the Dwan Gallery in New York and the story of its accession into the collection of the Wadsworth. Free.
Image: Installation view of Shusaku Arakawa, Untitled (Stolen), 1969. Oil on canvas. Gift of “The Thieves”.
In the 1930s, Pierre Matisse developed his art business, which included overseeing the works of his father, Henri, and the trade of African, Oceanic, and Indigenous art of the Americas. Megan O’Neil, curator and professor of art history at Emory University, explores the history of an Olmec figurine that Pierre Matisse sold to the Wadsworth in 1937, and the journeys of this ancient Mexican work in relation to the transatlantic art trade. Free.
Portrait: Megan O’Neil; Image: Seated Dwarf, 900–600 BCE, Mesoamerican, Mexico, Olmec. Hematite. The Henry D. Miller Fund, 1937.85
The War between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated, an 1851 account of the war featuring twelve detailed hand-colored prints, is one of the treasures in the Wadsworth’s Auerbach Art Library. With the generous support of the Auerbach Library Associates, conservator Laura O’Brien Miller has meticulously mended and cleaned the volume, considered a masterpiece of nineteenth-century publishing. Miller provides an overview of her treatment with librarian Amy Kilkenny and curator Erin Monroe, who outlines the volume’s fascinating production, its role as a record of the war, and its associations with Hartford. Co-sponsored by the Auerbach Library Associates. Free.
Eavesdrop on Christina Forrer in conversation with contemporary poet and fairy tale writer Sabrina Orah Mark, whose imaginative tales describe our fears, much like Forrer’s visual narratives in her tapestries. Free virtual program.
Image: Christina Forrer, Sepulcher, 2021. Wool, cotton and linen. 97 in. x 162 in. © Christina Forrer; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York, and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Photo: Joshua White
This program is postponed to Tuesday, April 19.
In advance of the Pennington Lecture, join poet and English professor Antoinette Brim-Bell and a panel of faculty and students from Capital Community College for an open discussion of Sarah Lewis’s book The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery. Free with admission.
5pm gallery viewing & reception
The American artist Tony Smith occupies an important place in the history of twentieth-century art and design. Best known for his large-scale sculptures—inventive polygonal forms made of steel, most painted black—Smith left behind a body of work that continues to defy easy classification and whose fertile breadth is yet to be fully explored.
The Wadsworth Atheneum’s decisive role in the development of Tony Smith’s artistic career serves as the historical context for a conversation between the art historian and curator James Voorhies and artists Tom Burr and Torkwase Dyson who, in separate bodies of work, have referenced Smith’s art and the modernist ideologies out of which it evolved. Matrix: On the Art of Tom Burr, Torkwase Dyson, and Tony Smith will inaugurate a new series of nomadic programs called “In Dialogue,” presented by the Tony Smith Foundation, which is committed to placing the legacy of the artist in context and in conversation with the contemporary arts.
Join us in the galleries before the event to view a selection of works by Tony Smith and the collection of abstract expressionist paintings donated to the Wadsworth by the artist in 1967. Free and open to the public with required registration. Learn more about our theater vaccination requirements.
Presented in partnership with the Tony Smith Foundation.