Inside the Artists’ Studios: Small-Scale Views at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich CT

If you have ever wished you could observe artists engaged in the process of creation, Inside the Artists’ Studios presented by the Bruce Museum on One Museum Drive in Greenwich allows you to explore the individual investigations and analyses of four artists through their paintings, prints, photographs and three-dimensional miniature constructions. This exhibit runs through March 9 and features a Guide-by-Cell Audio Tour that is free of charge and may be accessed simply by using your cell phone.

The artists participating are well known and bring special skills to this exhibit.

Perspective Box Jimmy Sanders (American, b. 1963) Perspective Box, 2007 Wood, oil paint, 28 x 36 x 28 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT Photo courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York
Perspective Box
Jimmy Sanders (American, b. 1963) Perspective Box, 2007
Wood, oil paint, 28 x 36 x 28 in.
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT Photo courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York

Jimmy Sanders, for example has been influenced by the work of 17th-century Dutch painters, most notably in his Perspective Box, Studio in Florence, which he modeled after his own Florentine studio. Sanders traveled in Europe in the late ‘90s and, after seeing Hoogstraten’s A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House (c. 1655-60; The National Gallery, London), was inspired to create a contemporary version of this Old Master creation.

Lori Nix Studio Lori Nix (American, b. 1969) Lori Nix Studio, 2013 Chromogenic print, 42 x 69 in. Courtesy of the Artist © Lori Nix
Lori Nix Studio
Lori Nix (American, b. 1969) Lori Nix Studio, 2013 Chromogenic print, 42 x 69 in. Courtesy of the Artist
© Lori Nix

Describing herself as a “non-traditional photographer,” Lori Nix constructs her sets and then photographs them. After photographing the “scene” she has laboriously
constructed, Nix dismantles the diorama, leaving the photograph as the ultimate creative object. Her latest project is a self-reflective examination of her own crowded living/work space.

The Art of Painting Richard Haas (American, b. 1936) The Art of Painting a.k.a.The Allegory of Painting, 1968-69 Wood, cardboard, cloth, paper, acrylic, pencil, masonite, lights, 221/2 x221/2x221/2in. Courtesy of the Artist Art © Richard Haas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
The Art of Painting
Richard Haas (American, b. 1936)
The Art of Painting a.k.a.The Allegory of Painting, 1968-69 Wood, cardboard, cloth, paper, acrylic, pencil, masonite, lights, 221/2 x221/2×221/2in.
Courtesy of the Artist
Art © Richard Haas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Richard Haas began exploring the artist’s studio environment in the 1960s. He started with iconic masters, then moved into creating dioramic boxes of his contemporaries’ studios – including Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline – as well as views from his own 12-foot studio windows in New York’s then-gritty and industrial SoHo.

ack the Dripper Joe Fig (American, b. 1968) Jack the Dripper, 2006 Cibachrome print, Ed. of 10, 16 x 20 in. Courtesy of the Artist and the Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York
ack the Dripper
Joe Fig (American, b. 1968)
Jack the Dripper, 2006
Cibachrome print, Ed. of 10, 16 x 20 in.
Courtesy of the Artist and the Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York

Examinations of artists’ working lives also inform the pieces created by Joe Fig. Like Haas, Fig moved to the representation of contemporary artists’ spaces, interviewing artists before recreating their studios in miniature. Fig’s intimate views clearly appeal to the viewer’s desire to sneak a peek into the artistic process of artists such as Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Bill Jensen, Ryan McGinness, Philip Pearlstein, James Siena and Joan Snyder.

About the Bruce Museum: Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children under 5 years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at www.brucemuseum.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Get Real at the Bruce Museum

Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962) Above the Yards, Weehawken, 1918 Aquatint and etching, 17 ½ x 23 ¼” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly ©Estate of Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962)
Above the Yards, Weehawken, 1918
Aquatint and etching, 17 ½ x 23 ¼”
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
©Estate of Martin Lewis

Highlighting the work of nine American artists who at the beginning of the twentieth century were inspired by the world around them to realistically depict everyday scenes, the Bruce Museum presents the new exhibition Telling American History: Realism from the Print Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly from August 31 through December 1, 2013.

The show features more than 40 original fine art prints including lithographs and etchings that chronicle daily life – the bustle of urban streets, boisterous moments of leisure, modern modes of transportation, and bucolic rural images – by leading artists who approached their subject matter through the lens of realism: George Bellows (1882-1925), Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), John Sloan (1871-1951), Benton Murdoch Spruance (1904-1967), Stow Wengenroth (1906-1978), and Grant Wood (1891-1942).

The artworks present visitors with a snapshot of America from 1905 through 1967. Each print featured in the exhibition was chosen for its subject matter and artistic merit and placed together they present windows into scenes of America’s past. Set amid a backdrop of events such as World War I, the Great Depression, New Deal programs, and World War II, the country was experiencing changes in its cultural, geographic, and demographic nature. The nation experienced a great upheaval as citizens and immigrants alike flocked to urban areas in hopes of greater economic prospects. At the same time, advances in technology and transportation were transforming rural regions.

Wengenroth_Grand Central Stow Wengenroth (American, 1906-1978) Grand Central, 1949 Lithograph, 8 ½ x 15 ¾” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
Wengenroth_Grand Central
Stow Wengenroth (American, 1906-1978)
Grand Central, 1949
Lithograph, 8 ½ x 15 ¾”
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly

Drawn from different areas of the country, the artists shared a similar goal of creating artwork that was available to all. They embraced realism, using it to capture images of modern American society as it quickly changed around them. This distinguished their work from the traditional, idealized and romanticized work of European art. By illustrating everyday scenes, the artists featured in this show created connections for the average American and invited them to become part of the artistic dialog,because their images appealed through accessible subject matter and to the pocketbook of the everyday person.

A fully illustrated catalogue of the show will be available in the Bruce Museum Store. A series of public programs will be offered to complement the show, including Monday morning lectures, hands-on printmaking workshops for adults and students, a program for families with toddlers and one for seniors suffering from memory loss, as well as school tours.

Lewis_Misty Night Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962) Misty Night, Danbury, 1947 Lithograph,11 x 15 ¼” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly ©Estate of Martin Lewis
Lewis_Misty Night
Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962)
Misty Night, Danbury, 1947
Lithograph,11 x 15 ¼”
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
©Estate of Martin Lewis

About the Bruce Museum
Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children under 5 years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at www.brucemuseum.org.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Frolic at French Farm in Greenwich

French Farm courtesy Greenwich Historical Society
French Farm courtesy Greenwich Historical Society

French Farm on 516 Lake Ave. in Greenwich was the first property in the town to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975; and just recently it was designated as a Local Historic Property that will preserve it for future generations.

Originally, the house was designed by H. VanBuren Magonigle and was built in 1911-1915 for Mary Billings French. Today, this four-acre, 100 year old property has beautifully restored farm buildings and a rare plant collection that creates a series of distinctive gardens designed by late owner, David Wierdsma making this landscape a living work of art. Wierdsma inherited the property in 1972 and endeavored to preserve the original structures on the property and to create beautiful and whimsical gardens.

Cottage-lawn-w2running-kids

The farm is not always open to the public, however on Sunday, September 15, on behalf of the Greenwich Historical Society, the entire family is invited to visit French Farm for an afternoon of art and nature from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., rain or shine.

This is the perfect place to celebrate the final days of summer and explore this unique private landscape that is part gentleman’s farm and part living work of art. Kids will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the farm’s animal occupants, enjoy a scavenger hunt, press cider, climb the “pterodactyl nest” tower, explore the fossil garden and enjoy nature crafts and activities on the lawn.

Adults have the option of two tours–one led by Florence Boogaerts, focusing on the horticultural aspects of the property; the other by farm manager Jacek Nidzgorski who will talk about the property’s cultural landscape, its collections and its origins and development. Artists are invited to set up their easels during the event, and photographers will be free to snap.

Buffet refreshments, served on the main lawn, will include an artisanal cheese board, seasonal bites and sweet and savory pastries, all created by celebrity chef John Barricelli of Sono Baking Company and Martha Stewart Everyday Cooking fame. Advanced reservations are required no later than September 11 and made be made online at http://www.hstg.org/adult.php#frenchfarm or calling 203-869-6899 for additional information.

Admission to this event is $35 for adults, Children 4 to 12: $10. No charge for children 3 and under.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Bruce Museum features Durer, Rembrandt and Whistler

Joachim and the Angel ca. 1504 Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528) Joachim and the Angel, ca. 1504 Woodcut From The Life of the Virgin Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
Joachim and the Angel ca. 1504
Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528) Joachim and the Angel, ca. 1504 Woodcut From The Life of the Virgin Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly

Located in Fairfield County Connecticut, the Bruce Museum located on One Museum Dr. in Greenwich is featuring prints of old masters and works from the 19th century through August 18th. This is one of the most distinguished local collections of prints that have been painstakingly assembled by Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly. The works include prints of Durer, Rembrandt and Whistler among other notable artists.

While Dr. Kelly’s collection has been comprised primarily of American 20th-century prints and prints by John James Audubon, in recent years he has also collected Old Master and 19th-century works extensively.

The Triumph of Mordecai Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669) The Triumph of Mordecai, ca. 1641 Etching and drypoint Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
The Triumph of Mordecai
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669) The Triumph of Mordecai, ca. 1641 Etching and drypoint Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly

These encompass splendid sheets by the great German printmaker Albrecht Dürer, including a rare etching, woodcuts, and engravings of such iconic images as his Nemesis of 1502.

Dr. Kelly’s Dutch prints include several of the rare engravings after the influential Adam Elsheimer by Hendrik Goudt and no less than 28 images by the highly experimental printmaker Rembrandt van Rijn, ranging from early works of the 1630s to mature impressions from the 1650s.

Limehouse James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903) Limehouse, 1859 Etching, printed in black on laid paper From “The Thames Set” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
Limehouse
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903) Limehouse, 1859 Etching, printed in black on laid paper From “The Thames Set” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly

Dr. Kelly’s 18th-century holdings include sheets by the great Italian artists Canaletto and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo and several fine sheets from Los Caprichos by the renowned Spanish artist Francisco de Goya y Lucientes.

Completing the collection is a group of etched cityscapes and figure studies by the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Together the collection attests to the quality of some of the greatest printmakers in Western Art.

The exhibition – on view through August 18, 2013 and is accompanied by a scholarly catalog and a series of educational and public programs.

The Bruce Museum is grateful to Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly for sharing this extraordinary collection with the public.

About the Bruce Museum: Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children under 5 years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at www.brucemuseum.org. For area information on Fairfield County www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

Creating Habitat Oases for Migrating Songbirds

Join Audubon’s Patrick Comins and Michelle Frankelon April 28 at the Garden Education Center of Greenwich on 1 Bible Street in Cos Cob for a special presentation and walk through Greenwich’s Montgomery Pinetum to learn about simple ways to enhance backyards, school grounds and public parks to provide quality habitat for migrating songbirds. This event is co-sponsored by Audubon Connecticut, Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Bruce Museum and Garden Education Center. An RSVP is suggested to the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at 203- 869-1464. The program takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Garden Education Center of Greenwich
Garden Education Center of Greenwich

The Audubon’s Habitat Oases program identifies, improves and conserves important stop-over habitat for migrating songbirds all along the Atlantic migratory flyway, focusing on urban and suburban areas and other landscapes where there is limited quality habitat. The program, performed in collaboration with Audubon chapters, state and municipal parks departments, and other groups, engages volunteer birdwatchers – citizen scientists – in migratory songbird surveys of urban/suburban green spaces. The surveys help to determine the characteristics of high quality stop-over habitat and which species of plants are most beneficial as food sources for migrating songbirds.

Audubon and its partners are using the results of this study to promote the protection of critical stop-over habitats by helping government agencies, corporations, land trusts, and other landowners make informed land use and land protection decisions
They also work to improve the quality of public and private lands as stop-over habitat for migrating birds by guiding the management and landscaping practices of natural resource managers, private landowners and professional landscapers
and strive to develop regionally-specific lists of “bird-friendly” native plants that may be used to guide landscaping practices in parks, gardens and backyards.

Patrick Comins is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, and has worked in the bird conservation arena for the last 15 years. Patrick began his career with the Connecticut Audubon Society, doing bird surveys on the coast at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge and then worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a biological technician at the refuge. He has been with Audubon Connecticut as the Director of Bird Conservation for Connecticut since 2000, overseeing Connecticut’s Important Bird Areas and other conservation programs. He is the principal author of Protecting Connecticut’s Grassland Heritage. Patrick is a past resident of the Connecticut Ornithological Association and was the 2007 recipient of their Mabel Osgood Wright Award. He has written several articles on bird conservation and identification for the Connecticut Warbler and is currently chairman and vice president of the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

Michelle Frankel, Ph.D., is a Conservation Biologist with Audubon Connecticut and is coordinating the Habitat Oases program in CT, and facilitating the implementation of the program in a number of other states along the Atlantic migratory flyway. Michelle previously worked with Audubon of Florida, where she originally piloted the Habitat Oases program. Prior to her work with Audubon, she was Education Director for Earthspan, a nonprofit that develops and applies advanced technologies for wildlife conservation. Michelle received her Ph.D. in behavioral ecology from Boston University, focusing on forest fragmentation effects on migratory songbirds. She subsequently pursued a post-doctoral fellowship with Tel Aviv University and the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration in Israel, where she studied the impacts of urbanization on the globally-threatened Lesser Kestrel.

Structural Perspectives: Greenwich Community Artists Series at Historical Society through September

Structural Perspectives, an exhibition featuring artists Michael Chait, Lily McCarthy and Heather Sandifer, will be on view through September 5, 2012, at the Greenwich Historical Society’s Storehouse Gallery Museum Shop.

Fruits and Shadows

The exhibition features works that examine intricate forms and explores how visual themes occur and repeat in both organic and manmade contexts. From recurring natural forms, to the relationship of natural and manmade objects in the framework of a still life, to the juxtaposition of angles in architecture, each artist interprets and explores structure from a unique perspective.

The Community Artists series was established to support and encourage contemporary local artists by offering a welcoming venue for the exhibition of their work in a historic setting. All works on display will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Greenwich Historical Society.

The show may be viewed at the Historical Society’s Storehouse Museum Shop, Wednesday through Sunday, from noon to 4:00 pm. Admission to the Museum Shop is free. For more information and to read artists’ statements, visit www.greenwichhistory.org.

For Regional information visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com