Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann at the Bruce Museum

This spring and summer the Bruce Museum located on One Museum Drive in Greenwich will be awash in the vibrant hues of
Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann.

Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann, is the first ever exhibition to focus on the artist’s varied and under-appreciated public
mural projects that will be on view at the Bruce Museum through September 6. The show will then travel to The Patricia
and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, FL (October 10, 2015 to January 3, 2016), and to the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (January 22 to April 10, 2016).

Awakening Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) Awakening, 1947 Oil on canvas, 59 ¼  x 40 ¼ in. Private Collection Photograph by Paul Mutino  Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust
Awakening
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Awakening, 1947
Oil on canvas, 59 ¼ x 40 ¼ in.
Private Collection
Photograph by Paul Mutino
Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust

A towing figure among the New York School painters and one of the most important teachers and theoretician of the Abstract
Expressionist movement, Hans Hoffman is well known for his dynamic approach to color. The centerpiece of Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann will be nine oil studies by Hofmann,each seven feet tall, for the redesign of the Peruvian city of Chimbote. This was Hofmann’s extraordinary collaboration, in 1950, with Catalan architect José Luis Sert – the man who designed the
Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937, for which Picasso’s great mural Guernica was conceived. Although never realized, this visionary project was to include a huge mosaic wall – a freestanding bell tower in the town center – designed by Hofmann, which would incorporate not only his own highly evolved notions of Abstract Expressionist visual dynamics, but also forms symbolic of traditional Peruvian culture, religion and history.

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Although now nearly forgotten, Hofmann also created two huge public murals in Manhattan. In 1956, for the developer William Kaufman, and in collaboration with the noted pioneer modernist architect William Lescaze, Hofmann created an astonishing, brilliantly colored mosaic mural, wrapped around the elevator bank in the main entrance hall of the office building at 711 Third Avenue. Two years later, in 1958, commissioned by the New York City Board of Education, Hofmann created a 64-foot long and
11-foot tall mosaic-tile mural for the High School of Printing (now the High School of Graphic Arts Communication) on West 49th Street.
These large scale stunning works will be brought back to life at the Bruce Museum via varied painted studies, mosaic maquettes, photos, and ephemera – as well as studies for a mural for an unrealized New York apartment house of the same period – which will show Hofmann’s working methods.

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A scholarly catalogue has been created for the exhibition, with a foreword from the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, and essays by Curator Kenneth Silver and Mary McLeod, Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. Public programming planned for the exhibition includes the 2015 Bob and Pam Goergen Lecture Series, with lectures by Curator Kenneth E. Silver on Tuesday, May 5; Stacey Gershon, principal at Stacey Gershon Fine Art/MLG Art Advisory on Thursday, June 11; and Mary McLeod, Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Columbia University, on Thursday, June 25. All lectures will be held at the Museum and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a museum of art and science and is located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am 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 less than five 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 http://brucemuseum.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Greenwich Historical Society – Over Here and Over There: The Popular Music of WWI

On February 26, 2015, 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4:00 pm the Greenwich Historical Society is presenting a program on music during WWII. The Society is located on 39 Strickland Road in Cos Cob. The event will take place in the Vanderbilt Education Center on the grounds of the Society. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Purchase tickets at http://greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

warposters

Music played a key role in the development of popular opinion during WWI. Lyrics and sheet music art were often designed to influence public opinion As the political climate shifted from neutrality to support for the allies, so did mainstream music.

Prior to US involvement in 1917 many songs supported neutrality with more than one song invoking a mother’s love as a reason enough for a son to stay at home. After 1917, when the United States joined the conflict, patriotic themes became more popular.

Led by Stefanie Kies and Bea Crumbine, the program will juxtapose performances of period music with background information and slides. Also, performing are vocalist Dan Swartz and John Goldschmid on piano.

The Millionaires’ Unit Documentary Film Screening

On January 29, the Greenwich Historical Society is hosting the screening of The Millionaires’ Unit Documentary from 3 pm to 5 pm. at the Vanderbilt Education Center on the grounds of the Society. The tickets are Members: $10; nonmembers: $15 and can be purchased at http://greenwichhistory.org or by calling 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

Millionaires-Unit

The Millionaires’ Unit is the story of an elite group of college students from Yale who formed a private air militia in preparation for America’s entry into World War One. Known as the First Yale Unit and dubbed “the millionaires’ unit” by the New York press, they became the founding squadron of the U.S. Naval Air Reserve and were among the first to fight for the United States in the Great War. Using the squadron members’ letters and diaries, the documentary chronicles the coming of age of these young pioneers against the backdrop of an event that signaled America’s emergence as a world power.

The film focuses on their service and sacrifice and chronicles a great, untold story of early aviation in America. The documentary was inspired by the book The Millionaires’ Unit by Marc Wortman. After seven years in development and production by co-producers Ron King and Darroch Greer, the film is being presented to the public to commemorate the centennial of World War I.

Greenwich Reindeer Festival

It’s that magical time of year again when Santa and his LIVE reindeer, Dasher Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen, return to McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center, 48 Arch Street, in Greenwich, Conn, for the 4th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop, through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2014. Last year, over 800 photos with Santa were taken and many more are expected this year.

Reindeer_Photo

The reindeer will reside at McArdle’s, for one month. There, young and old can marvel at the reindeer and learn more about these special animals.

Inside, McArdle’s will be transformed into Santa’s Workshop, an unforgettable holiday wonderland where families, children, corporate groups and even pets can have their photo taken with Santa. Photo packages begin at $29.99 and include special coupons to shop at over 100 participating downtown Greenwich stores and restaurants. This year’s festival will feature a new component – Reindeer Fun Facts – educational information about the animals, the mystery of their antlers, eating and sleeping habits and more.

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New this year is the chance to win a Mercedes-Benz Peddle Car when you have your photo taken with Santa. One entry per purchase of every Photo with Santa Package. Two winners will be drawn December 24, 2013, 3pm. The two (2) winners will be notified immediately Christmas Eve. Compliments of Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich.

The 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and photos with Santa will take place Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reindeer feeding times will take place daily at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The reindeer will head to the North Pole around 1 p.m. on December 23, but Santa will remain until 4 p.m. Christmas Eve before beginning his busy night.

For more information and a list of the over 100 participating retail stores and restaurants, visit www.GreenwichReindeerFestival.com. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Holiday House Tours in Connecticut

It happens only once a year. For the first two weeks in December, some of the finest private homes in Fairfield County and the Litchfield Hills will invite visitors in for one-day only during house tours to benefit local organizations. Tours in the towns of Woodbury, Westport and Greenwich will offer a rare chance to see exceptional residences dressed in their holiday best.

A 20th ANNIVERSARY IN WOODBURY

One of the most popular tours will mark its 20th anniversary when the Woodbury Holiday House Tour takes place on December 13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Litchfield Hills to benefit the Woman’s Club of Woodbury. On the day of the tour, tickets will be available for $30 starting at 9 a.m. at the Senior and Community Center, 265 Main Street South.

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Six special homes chosen for this landmark year range from a 14-year-old contemporary with a fabulous kitchen to an antique-filled 250 year-old home including an artist’s studio. A restored 200-year-old schoolhouse will be seen on the spacious grounds of an elegant Colonial reproduction home, and a handsome mid-20th century Colonial features the studio of its sculptor-owner. See a complete list and details at www.womansclubofwoodbury.org

“ROOMS WITH A VIEW” IN WESTPORT

Interior designers, artists and architects are the owners of this year’s five homes in the annual Westport House Tour on December 7 to benefit the Westport Historical Society They include a Nantucket-style cottage at Compo Beach with a roof-top deck overlooking the water, and a hilltop chateau with sweeping vistas. Three of the houses are owned by interior designers, providing the chance to see how professionals decorate for the Christmas and Hanukkah seasons. A pianist will play at one of the homes, and several will be serving hot cider, hot chocolate, and holiday sweets.

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Following the tour a Twilight Soiree hosted by the Lillian August Store in Norwalk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature wine, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction for prizes such as an America’s Cup Cruise, getaways to a Cape Cod vacation home and a mountain ski house, and a painting by Weston artist Kerri Rosenthal, whose home and studio are part of the tour. For more information, see http://westporthistory.org.

SHOWPLACES OPEN DOORS IN GREENWICH

One tour that always attracts visitors is The Antiquarius House Tour in Greenwich, a Fairfield County town known for its lavish residences. This year’s tour on Wednesday, December 10 will showcase five spectacular homes ranging in location from the shores of Long Island Sound to estates in the wooded backcountry. What all have in common is their always-spectacular holiday finery.

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The tour is part of a weeklong Antiquarius event to benefit the Greenwich Historical Society that includes the annual Greenwich Winter Antiques Show on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7 at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center. For full schedules, see http://www.hstg.org/antiquarius.

For more information about house tours and a free copy of Unwind, a full-color, 152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in the Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitwesternct.com.

Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea at the Bruce Museum

Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich explores the vast and extraordinary deep sea. This show focuses on the highly adapted survival strategies utilized by creatures of the deep and the technology that enables researchers to record ground-breaking observations of what is often called the last frontier on this planet.

Sea butterfly (Thecosomata)  Photo by Larry Madin © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Sea butterfly (Thecosomata)
Photo by Larry Madin © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Museum visitors might feel like they are in a deep-sea submersible as they look through view ports to observe the mesopelagic – or twilight zone – of the sea with its bioluminescent inhabitants. The exhibit will show visitors the extremophiles that form the foundation of a hydrothermal vent as well as the bizarre appearances and adaptations of deep-sea species. One of the take aways from experiencing this exhibit is an understanding of the technology that makes deep-sea explorations possible.

Bloodbelly comb jelly (Lampocteis cruentiventer) almost 2000 meters  below the surface in Monterey Canyon.  Photo by MBARI ©2002 MBARI
Bloodbelly comb jelly (Lampocteis cruentiventer) almost 2000 meters
below the surface in Monterey Canyon.
Photo by MBARI ©2002 MBARI

The Bruce Museum has created highly accurate casts of deep-sea organisms such as the Pacific Viperfish, Cock-Eyed Squid, Bloodbelly Comb Jelly, Gulper Eel, Giant Tube Worms, and more, created from molds on loan from the American Museum of Natural History. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is lending preserved deep- sea specimens collected from various deep-sea explorations and dives around the globe. The University of Connecticut is assisting with interpretation of the New England seamounts, or underwater mountain ranges. Rare footage of creatures of the deep comes from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is sharing cutting edge information on the deep-sea submersible Alvin as well as their expertise on deep-sea ecosystems around the world.

_Display Background  Bruce Museum Exhibition Preparator Sean Murtha painting  hydrothermal vent display background.  Photo by Sean Murtha
_Display Background
Bruce Museum Exhibition Preparator Sean Murtha painting
hydrothermal vent display background.
Photo by Sean Murtha

The exhibition is the second in a series at the Bruce Museum looking at extreme biological, chemical and physical factors that affect different ecosystems around the world. Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea opens runs through November 9.

And when you go, don’t forget your cell phone: This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, will be accompanied by a compelling cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, generously underwritten by Nat and Lucy Day. Easy to follow Guide by Cell instructions will be available at the front admissions desk.

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a museum of art and science and is 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 less than five 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.