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Archive for the ‘Meet the Collection’ Category

This post comes to us from Rena Tobey, Curatorial Intern.

Wedding Feast, 1953.  Frank di Gioia (1900-1981).  Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in. Gift of Mrs. Elisha Cooper, 1954.03.

Wedding Feast, 1953. Frank di Gioia (1900-1981). Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in. Gift of Mrs. Elisha Cooper, 1954.03.

Venture into our café and look for a painting that will take you to a whole new world of fun.  Wedding Feast by Frank di Gioia puts you right in the pulse of the party—the noise, the hilarity, the free-flowing wine.  Di Gioia painted what he knew, the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City where he grew up. (more…)

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Hopper’s Self Portrait (1925-30) is a typical example of Hopper’s self-representation, which was often moody, lonely, and somewhat unflattering.

This post comes to us from Emily Sesko, Curatorial Intern

I remember being nine years old, packed into the car for a trip to Boston to see an exhibit of Edward Hopper paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts. My dad was excited, always in search of an opportunity to see a few good Hoppers. We’ve been all over the place in search of Hoppers, sometimes on purpose, other times finding ourselves on an impromptu Hopper-hunt. The hunt brought us to NBMAA a few years ago, around Christmas time.  There was just one hanging upstairs in one of the galleries—Abbot’s House, from ca. 1926—and my dad was thrilled. A Hopper outpost, just twenty minutes away from home.

During his eighty-five-year lifetime, Hopper was not an especially prolific artist, producing fewer than 400 total works before his death. Nevertheless, he is one of America’s best-recognized painters, and was one of the bestselling artists at the height of his career between 1925 and 1945. What did it take to become one of America’s beloved realists? (more…)

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This post comes to us from Rena Tobey, Curatorial Intern.

Abundance of Fruit, 1860.  Severin Roesen (ca. 1815-ca. 1872).  Oil on panel.  Long-term loan from the Jack and Susan Warner Collection, 2011.115LTL.

Abundance of Fruit, 1860. Severin Roesen (ca. 1815-ca. 1872). Oil on panel. Long-term loan from the Jack and Susan Warner Collection, 2011.115LTL.

Severin Roesen gives us a wonderful July 4th holiday gift with Abundance of Fruit, as beautiful, succulent, and enticing today as it was in 1860 when it was painted.

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This post comes to us from Rena Tobey, Curatorial Intern.

Who wouldn’t want to know what the future holds?

Reading Tea Leaves, 1906.  Harry Herman Roseland (c.1867—1950).  Oil on canvas, 10 1/8 x 14 ¼ in.  Gift of Mrs. Valentine B. Chamberlain, 2000.87.

Reading Tea Leaves, 1906. Harry Herman Roseland (c.1867—1950). Oil on canvas, 10 1/8 x 14 ¼ in. Gift of Mrs. Valentine B. Chamberlain, 2000.87.

Over one hundred years ago, artist Harry Roseland tapped into that same yearning with a series of works he painted from 1890 to 1910 of tea leaf and palm readers.  Reading Tea Leaves from 1906, a gem in the NBMAA collection, represents this series perfectly.  You’ll find the painting in the Johnson gallery on the first floor.  Even though it’s a small work, we think you’ll be drawn right in to its story. (more…)

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The acquisition by the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Thomas Hart Benton’s groundbreaking mural America Today has aroused new interest in Benton’s murals.  America Today was commissioned by the New School for Social Research in 1930.  Two years later, Gertrude Vanderbilt, who had seen America Today commissioned Benton to create a similar mural for the Whitney Museum titled The Arts of Life in America.

The tale of those two murals offers a tragi-comic history of benign neglect and changes in critical perception that would affect the prestige and desirability of Benton’s work.  Both works passed from fame to disregard and back to fame.

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America Today: Changing West, 1930-31. Thomas Hart Benton (1889 – 1975). Egg tempera with oil glazing. Gift of AXA Equitable to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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This post comes to us from Gina Ciralli, Curatorial Intern.

Church at Old Lyme, 1905. Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935). Oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 32 1/4 in. Abright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

“What he loved best were the pastures of Southern New England in the later autumn after the deciduous trees had shed their leaves and great white oaks and graceful birches stood singly or in groups on gently rolling meadows or moorlands with here and there a glacial boulder or granite ledge out-cropping above the soil.” – Artist Nelson C. White about his father Henry C. White, 1954

Nelson Holbrook White’s (b. 1932) survey exhibition Scenic Spirit is currently on display at the New Britain Museum of American Art.  Nelson’s grandfather, Henry Cooke White (1861-1952) was an acclaimed American painter and member of one of America’s most distinguished art colonies in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  From Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935) to Willard L. Metcalf (1858-1925), the colony comprised upwards of 200 artists during its three decades of creating nature-based scenes in oils and pastels.  Inspired by French artists Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), the colony defined American Impressionism by commemorating the tranquil aspects of rural New England life through use of vibrant palettes and broken strokes on wood and canvas.

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This post comes to us from Chelsea Dickson, Curatorial Intern.

George Washington, ca. 1800-05. Attributed to Foeiqua (Chinese). Reverse painting on glass, 28 ¼” x 20 ¼”. New Britain Museum of American Art. Gift of Caroline N. Dealy, Frank P. Dealy, Darilyn H. Dealy and Wensley A. Dealy in honor of Caroline H.P. Dealy.

In honor of the anniversary of our nation’s independence, we would like to draw your attention to a particularly fascinating work from the permanent collection, currently on display in the Flora Humphrey Bentley Gallery.  In the corner, you will find a familiar portrait of our first president, George Washington.  While at first glance it looks like an image printed in virtually every U.S. History textbook, it is when looking closer that things get interesting.

This portrait is a copy of Gilbert Stuart’s (1755-1828) unfinished Atheneum portrait of Washington, so-called because it was purchased by the Boston Atheneum to support Stuart’s poverty stricken family after his death.  The original Atheneum portrait was commissioned by Mary Washington but Stuart liked the way he had captured Washington’s likeness so much that he kept it as a model, never delivering it to Mrs. Washington.

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