2020/2021 Exhibitions

Where are the Women? Rediscovering the Origins of Connecticut Women Artists

June 10 – August 21, 2021

The Society of Women Painters and Sculptors of Hartford (now Connecticut Women Artists) held its first, groundbreaking, exhibition in 1929. The Society had been organized to create opportunities for women to professionally display and sell their work at a time when they were routinely shut out of exhibitions by Hartford’s male-dominated arts community. WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? presents highlights from the work of 23 founding members and early exhibitors, rediscovering individual artists’ achievements and highlighting the significant role women artists played in early 20th century Connecticut.

Most works in the exhibition have never been seen by contemporary audiences. The exhibition draws from descendants of the artists as well as from other private and public collections, including that of the Art Museum, whose first donor, the Reverend Andrew J. Kelly, purchased a painting from the 1929 exhibition. Father Kelly’s advisor, artist and art critic James Britton, championed several of the artists, including Maud Monnier and Edith Briscoe Stevens, whose work was collected by Father Kelly. WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? celebrates the 90th anniversary of Connecticut Women Artists and highlights women whose social activism not only focused on professional opportunities for artists, but also contributed to women’s suffrage and other important early 20th century movements.

This exhibition is organized by the Art Museum at University of Saint Joseph with guest curator Nancy Noble, historian of American art and faculty member in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, UMass, Amherst. An Exhibition Advisory Committee consisting of amateur historian Gary Knoble and members of Connecticut Women Artists (President Linda diStefanis, Susan Hackett, Anne Sheffield, and Nancy Whitcher) contributed historical research and identification of potential lenders.

The American West: 19th and 20th Century Photographs from the Permanent Collection

March 25 – May 22, 2021

Following the Civil War, as the American West opened up for greater exploration, photographers were an integral part of expeditions recording the awe-inspiring views and indigenous peoples of this new frontier. This exhibition, featuring work by photographers such as Timothy O’Sullivan (1840-1882), Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), and Adam Clark Vroman (1856-1916), among others, presents a snapshot of how these images created a narrative that shaped the nation’s view of the American West.

Ansel Adams: Early Work

March 25 – May 22, 2021

This exhibition of 42 vintage photographs, is organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions, LLC. All photographs are from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. Local support has been provided by the Karen L. Chase’97 Fund.

Moko – Maori Tattoo: Photographs by Hans Neleman

Jan. 17 – March 15, 2020

Large-format portraits by Dutch-born artist Hans Neleman depict contemporary Maori men and women whose facial or body tattoos express individual, family, and tribal identity. The traditional art of Maori tattooing, once suppressed under colonial rule, has undergone a resurgence as New Zealand’s Maori reassert their cultural traditions. This exhibition of more than 20 images is drawn from Neleman’s 1999 book project of the same title.

Recent Acquisitions and Highlights from the Collection

Jan. 17 – March 15, 2020

This exhibition features a selection of the Art Museums newest acquisitions interspersed with some of our fan favorites. Over 50 works of art ranging from sculpture to photography and paintings to prints including artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keeffe, Russell Lee, and Carol Kreeger Davidson.