Reflecting Time: June Ahrens

June Ahrens

Housatonic Museum of Art, located on the Housatonic Community College campus in Bridgeport, CT, proudly presents its newest exhibition, June Ahrens: Reflecting Time. A free, opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 8 from 5:30 to 7pm. The exhibit will be on view through October 22, 2022.

Stamford, CT artist June Ahrens has created an exciting exhibition exploring fragility and loss, as well as hope and renewal in two dynamic components: CHANGING and SURROUND (HIDING IN PLAIN SITE).

CHANGING is an immersive site-specific installation, offering the viewer an intense performance-based space of wonder and awe. An avenue of vining decayed flowers, tendrils and stems flank visitors entering the front gallery, urging them onto a colossal circle crafted of thousands of flower petals. Hundreds of fresh roses, added for the opening of the exhibition, creates elements of renewal and hope, and a metaphor for our personal experiences and memories. Free hand drawings of flowers line the walls, reflecting the artist’s own experiences and anxieties.

SURROUND is an adaptation of a previous site dependent installation: HIDING IN PLAIN SITE. Broken mirror and shards of broken glass are repeated in the exhibition, offering distorted likenesses and images. Amid the global devastation of Covid, the reflections reveal opportunities for closely examining one’s self-concept and our larger societal well-being. The peaceful scene offers a space for meditation, healing, and challenge.

Barbara O’Brien, an independent curator, and critic based in Milwaukee, WI, curated the exhibition and will contribute a catalog essay for the exhibition. A conversation with the artist program is planned for Wednesday, September 28 at 11am in the gallery. This event is free, and public is cordially invited to attend.

June Ahrens, age 83, was born in New York City and is an acclaimed sculptor and installation artist. She graduated from SUNY Purchase, NY and attended advanced seminars at Yale University. A resident of Stamford, CT, her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally with solo shows at venues including The University of Connecticut at Stamford; The Museum of Outdoor Art, Denver; and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO.

Her work is in the permanent collections of many universities and museums, and she is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Individual Artists Award; a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Distinguished Advocates for the Arts Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts, Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT) Media Residency.


  • Reflecting Time 1
  • Reflecting Time 2
  • Reflecting Time 3
  • Reflecting Time 1
  • Reflecting Time 2
  • Reflecting Time 3

Making Your Mark: Prints and Drawings from the Hechinger Collection

Making Your Mark brings together a rich array of works on paper, breaking down the various methods and materials used in modern artistic practice. Showcasing 50 superb prints and drawings, this exhibition samples the breadth and beauty of International Arts & Artists’ own Hechinger Collection, which has the unique theme of hand tools and hardware. Focusing on the creative process, the featured works represent a variety of media and disciplines at an artist’s disposal. Audiences will learn about the intricacies of these assorted techniques, and directly see how an artist makes a statement through the graphic arts. Making Your Mark’s celebration of the visual and conceptual aspects of drawing and printmaking educates and inspires in the best way, leaving viewers engaged, and rapt with curiosity.,/p>

Some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century are featured in the exhibition, including Berenice Abbott, Jim Dine, Richard Estes, Walker Evans, Howard Finster, Ke Francis, Jacob Lawrence, Hans Namuth, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Lucas Samaras, Aaron Siskind, and Wayne Thiebaud.

Making Your Mark begins by establishing drawing as its foundation, then moves through five distinct printing styles, then shifts to the contemporary method of screen printing. The final technique, photography — whose name unites the Greek words for light (photos) and drawing (graphé)—brings the exhibition full circle, returning the viewer to the inception of mark-making. Each section highlights the complexities of the unique artistic process, and a timeless affinity for the beauty of lines and the bewitching utility of tools as instruments of craft.


IA and A Logo

Making Your Mark: Prints and Drawings from the Hechinger Collection is organized and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.


Image credit: Jacob Lawrence, The Builders, 1974, Color screenprint on wove paper, Photograph by IA&A, © Jacob Lawrence/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


  • Wrench by Judith Cowan
  • Cyclops by Ke Francis
  • The Builders by Jacob Lawrence
  • Everett’s Barn by Nancy McIntyre
  • Hot Water Heater by Clayton Pond
  • Saag ja Kirves by Kaisa Puustak
  • The Kiss by Edgar Soberón
  • Hammerhead III by Jeff Spaulding
  • Eerie Grotto? Okini (Eerie Grotto? Please) by William T. Wiley
  • Knife Ship Superimposed on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by Claes Oldenburg
  • Collector's Chair III by Georgia Deal
  • Broken Saw by Oleg Kudryashov
  • Fatal Metal Mark #1 by Bayat “Beat” Keerl
  • Wrench by Judith Cowan

    Judith Cowan

    British, born 1954

    Wrench, 1984

    Color oil stick on wove paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Judith Cowan

  • Cyclops by Ke Francis

    Ke Francis

    American, born 1945

    Cyclops, from the “Tornado” series, 1991

    Woodcut on pigmented handmade paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Ke Francis

  • The Builders by Jacob Lawrence

    Jacob Lawrence

    American, 1917-2000

    The Builders, 1974

    Color screenprint on wove paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Jacob Lawrence / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • Everett’s Barn by Nancy McIntyre

    Nancy McIntyre

    American, born 1950

    Everett’s Barn, 1991

    Color screenprint on wove paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Nancy McIntyre

  • Hot Water Heater by Clayton Pond

    Clayton Pond

    American, born 1941

    Hot Water Heater, 1981

    Color screenprint on wove paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © layton Pond, 1973/Clayton Pond, Artist

  • Saag ja Kirves by Kaisa Puustak

    Kaisa Puustak

    Estonian, born 1945

    Saag ja Kirves (Saw and Axe), 1983

    Aquatint and drypoint on wove paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Kaisa Puustak

  • The Kiss by Edgar Soberón

    Edgar Soberón

    Cuban-American, born 1962

    The Kiss, 1989

    Color pastel on wove paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Edgar Soberón

  • Hammerhead III by Jeff Spaulding

    Jeff Spaulding

    American, born 1947

    Hammerhead III, 1983

    Graphite and charcoal on wove paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Jeff Spaulding and Curator’s Office

  • Eerie Grotto? Okini (Eerie Grotto? Please) by William T. Wiley

    William T. Wiley

    American, 1937-2021

    Eerie Grotto? Okini (Eerie Grotto? Please), 1982

    Color woodcut on handmade paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © William T. Wiley

  • Knife Ship Superimposed on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by Claes Oldenburg

    Claes Oldenburg

    Swedish-American, born 1929

    Knife Ship Superimposed on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1986

    Silkscreen, 66/75

    © 1986 Claes Oldenburg

  • Collector's Chair III by Georgia Deal

    Georgia Deal

    American, born 1953

    Collector's Chair III, 1985

    Color linocut with collage on handmade paper

    Photograph by IA&A, © Georgia Deal

  • Broken Saw by Oleg Kudryashov

    Oleg Kudryashov

    Russian, born 1932

    Broken Saw, 1987

    Paper construction with drypoint and watercolor

    Photograph by IA&A, © Oleg Kudryashov/Sergei Reviakin

  • Fatal Metal Mark #1 by Bayat “Beat” Keerl

    Bayat “Beat” Keerl

    Swiss, born 1948

    Fatal Metal Mark #1, 1979

    Oil on photograph

    Photograph by IA&A, © Bayat Keerl, beatkeerl.com

Vincent Baldassano: To Be Continued….

Vincent Baldassano developed his Banner series beginning in 2012 after visiting the Castello Chiaramontano in the small Sicilian town of Racalmuto. On view were a series of church standards made by members of the congregation for religious processions. This display brought back strong memories of similar banners that he saw during his childhood on Staten Island growing up in a predominantly Italian neighborhood.

Later that year, he returned to Italy as a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, where he also had a studio. At the end of his residency, Baldassano held a studio exhibition of these new works on cloth. The banners, made of Italian linen, were tacked directly to the wall. Equally appealing to the artist, an avid traveler, was the ease of transporting these banners which were light, sturdy and could be rolled up and carried in a suitcase. He continued to produce these banners on subsequent trips to Rome and Portugal.

In 2019, at the start of the pandemic, when staying home replaced traveling abroad, Baldassano returned to painting landscapes inspired by the natural beauty of his immediate surroundings. Concurrently, he started to incorporate his collages, photos and drawings to create monotypes on the cloth.

These banners are created through a dye-sublimation process, that is, a computer printing method that uses heat to transfer dye) to create monotypes. He installed these banners in the woods near his studio, making note of the transparency of the material, the effects of natural light, and the way they moved.

Earlier works showcase his progression from figuration to abstraction, invigorated by expressive and seductive color. Shaped canvases, sculptures, and paintings on canvas chronicle his life experiences, punctuated by mysterious symbols and invented ancient places that map his visual journey.

Vincent Baldassano lives and works in Oxford, Connecticut. Recently retired art professor at Gateway Community College, he holds a B.F.A. from Wagner College, and an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. His work has been exhibited throughout the New England, New York, Italy, and Portugal.

This exhibit will be on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT, from June 16 through July 22, 2022 with an opening reception on Thursday, June 16 from 5:30-7:30 pm.


  • Mist on Zoar
  • Wrench by Judith Cowan
  • Mist on Zoar

    Vincent Baldassano

    American, born 1943

    Mist on Zoar, 2021

    Monotype, dye sublimation on polyester fabric

    80 x 60 inches

  • Wrench by Judith Cowan

    Vincent Baldassano

    American, born 1943

    IMM, 1974

    Acrylic on cutout canvas

    48 x 84 inches.

Drip-Drop Opening Reception Thursday, October 28, 2021

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Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler - Art and War

Jon Schueler: A Life in Painting

1999
Taking inspiration from Schueler’s autobiography, The Sound of Sleat: A Painter’s Life, this award-winning documentary follows pivotal life moments including the impact of his mother’s death, his wrenching experience as a B-17 navigator in WWII, and his love of the Northwestern Highlands of Scotland. The film will be available online through October 8, 2021.

Click Here For Film beginning on Sept. 9th at 7:30PM
Art in the Face of War Poster

Art in the Face of War, a documentary by David Baugnon

2006, 1 hr 15 min
A one-night-only screening presents this multiple award-winning documentary featuring eight WWII veteran-artists from Connecticut. The gifted and engaging artists share their extraordinary personal recollections of art from the front lines, as they not only created a historical record, but also a path to put their horrifying memories to rest.

Click Here For Film beginning on Sept. 16th at 7:30PM

Jon Schueler: An Artist and His Vision

1971, 29 min
When Jon Schueler set up studio in an old schoolhouse in the Western Highlands of Scotland, he was forever moved by the landscape. With spectacular footage, and incorporating Schueler’s penetrating observations, this film provides a depth of context for his paintings from the early 1970s. The film will be available online through October 8, 2021.

Click Here For Film beginning on Sept. 23rd at 7:30PM

Jon Schueler: Painting

1981, 42 min
While watching a recorded creation of his memorable painting, Edinburgh Blues, and as the camera unveils the proregression from blank canvas to finished painting, Schueler is interviewed by his dear friend, Scottish artist, Kenneth Dingwall. The conversation reveals Schueler’s artistic process and vision, but also shares other experiences, such as flying in a sky filled with beauty and destruction. The film will be available online through October 8, 2021.

Click Here For Film beginning on Sept. 30th at 7:30PM

Jongil Ma Is Drawing In Space at the Housatonic Museum of Art

A new, dynamic interlacing sculpture by South Korean artist, Jongil Ma floats above the entrance to the Burt Chernow Galleries. The major piece, presented by the Housatonic Museum of Art, is an intricate arrangement of stained wood, offering a lesson in balance and flow.

Named ‘Be There When You Return’, the artwork’s design alludes to the history of Bridgeport. Prior to planning the piece, Ma spent time learning about the city, including its early prosperity, decline and steps toward redevelopment. The hopeful piece refers to Bridgeport’s journey and optimistically forecasts a return to residents’ pride and passion for local architecture.

“I could see some similarity between what happened in China and what happened in this city, and it is time to revisit how we go forward. Learning about the rich development and beautiful architectural detail here, I was really shocked that we’re forgetting about this valuable perspective. I can’t bring all that back, but I want to reflect that aspect,” said Ma.

Ma grew up in rural South Korea where as a young boy he carved natural materials to make playthings. Yearning for a greater cultural experience, at age 14 he moved to Seoul and then later to New York to study fine art at the School of Visual Arts. One day, to alleviate stress, he carved a slingshot from a wood branch for a relative, and found a familiar comfort and joy. Nearing graduation, he contemplated those feelings and began playing with wood; he hasn’t stopped since.

The enormous piece, which measures 23 feet high and 22 feet wide, consists of nearly 300 painted boards of Connecticut pine, maple and some exotic woods to create a three-dimensional drawing in space. Primary colors of red, yellow and blue were chosen to symbolically suggest the most foundational things needed in life, but also reflect Ma’s own Korean heritage, creating a connection to the artist himself.

“I’m leaning on the basics of color, trying to create a more perfect way of life through connection to ancient ideals,” said Ma.

Finding balance is a major theme of the piece as well. Ma sees it as his destiny to be working here at this moment in history, balancing the realistic present, early Chinese philosophy and a vision for an ideal future. That sense of balance is also quite literally depicted in the work’s structure; the boards, all milled, sanded, and shaped by Ma himself, are standing without additional supports.

“Each piece depends upon the other in order to remain standing. Connectedness and

interdependence are the ideas behind the visual structure. For all our cultural differences, life between people are somehow very similar,” said Ma.

“This dramatic and striking piece is aptly named as it will be here when our students eventually return to on-campus classes,” said Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art. “There is a sense of motion in the piece and I think of ribbons dancing on a gentle breeze; after months of enforced isolation due to the pandemic, our community is in for a nice surprise.”

‘Be There When You Return’ was made possible through the generosity of longtime Housatonic Museum of Art donors Elizabeth Fray and the Werth Family Foundation with additional support from Housatonic Community College. To see the new artwork, an appointment is needed, and visitors must comply with social distancing rules and wear protective face masks.

To learn more about the Housatonic Museum of Art visit, www.HousatonicMuseum.org or call 203-332-5052. To learn more about Jongil Ma, visit www.majongil.com.

Housatonic Museum of Art is located on the Housatonic Community College campus, located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport. It is home to one of the premier college art collections in the country, spanning the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary, and is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. The museum also hosts changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries, and engaging lectures, workshops, films, special events and programs throughout the year, both in-person and online. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org to learn more.

Eric Chiang: Are We Born Connected?

Artist and musical composer Eric Chiang’s large-scale compositions engage our understanding of harmonia universalis, the classical Greek “fitting together” of the universe. Chiang’s canvases explore harmos, a builder’s term used to describe connectedness. The classical Greek curriculum of philosophy, mathematics, music, and astronomy was designed to inscribe students with inter-disciplinary connectedness, a tradition which continues in today’s liberal arts education.

Incorporating visual elements of astronomy and music, Chiang’s paintings evoke the mathematical observations of 5th century BCE Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who observed the frequency, or audible vibration of a string when plucked, as inversely proportional to the length of the string. Extrapolating on these effects, Pythagoras reasoned that the motion of the planets also produced resonance. “There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres” (attributed to Pythagoras, 569-490 BCE).

As a metaphor, the “music of the spheres,” the hidden harmos of planetary motions, provided inspiration for generations of musicians, philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists. Most significantly, in 1619, astronomer Johannes Kepler formalized the calculation of distances, orbits, and velocities of known planets. Kepler’s Harmonices Mundi mathematically confirmed the heliocentric model of the universe and transformed our approach to modern science.

We are a generation born connected. Our innovations in instruments and technology have extended sensory perception, asked new questions, and refined our explanations of the natural world. Eric Chiang’s paintings, however, offer a sober meditation on harmos. As stand-ins for the human figure, Chiang’s musical instruments drift alone, dis-connected, and silent in the vacuum of space and geologic record of the past. Yet, they all speak with the same “voice.” Discovering our stellar origins demands that we recover harmos: our relationship and responsibility to our species, our planet, and our universe.


  • Are We Born Connected
  • Are We Asteroids
  • Moonlight Sonata
  • In Heaven, Reaching Back
  • Transcending
  • My Inner Voice
  • Summer Dreams
  • Sonata Appassionata
  • Are We Born Connected

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    Are We Born Connected?, 2012

    Triptych, overall 48 x 184”

    Acrylic on canvas

  • Are We Asteroids

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    Are We Asteroids?, 2010

    Diptych, overall 48 x 72”

    Acrylic on canvas

  • Moonlight Sonata

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    Moonlight Sonata, 2015

    36 x 36”

    Oil on canvas

  • In Heaven, Reaching Back

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    In Heaven, Reaching Back, 2014

    40 x 30”

    Oil on canvas

  • Transcending

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    Transcending, 2013

    36 x 30”

    Oil on canvas

  • My Inner Voice

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    My Inner Voice, 2009

    36 x 48”

    Acrylic on canvas

  • Summer Dreams

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    Summer Dreams, 2014

    30 x 60”

    Oil on canvas

  • Sonata Appassionata

    Eric Chiang

    Taiwanese / American, 1957

    Sonata Appassionata, 2014

    30 x 60”

    Oil on canvas

Jong-il Ma: Be There When You Return

A new, dynamic interlacing sculpture by South Korean artist, Jong-il Ma floats above the entrance to the Burt Chernow Galleries. The major piece, presented by the Housatonic Museum of Art, is an intricate arrangement of stained wood, offering a lesson in balance and flow.

Named ‘Be There When You Return’, the artwork’s design alludes to the history of Bridgeport. Prior to planning the piece, Ma spent time learning about the city, including its early prosperity, decline and steps toward redevelopment. The hopeful piece refers to Bridgeport’s journey and optimistically forecasts a return to residents’ pride and passion for local architecture.


  • Be There When You Return-1
  • Be There When You Return-2
  • Be There When You Return-3
  • Be There When You Return-1

    Jong-il Ma

    South Korean / American, 1961

    Be There When You Return, 2021

    24’7” x 23’3” x 22’7”

    Varieties of natural and stained woods with metal and plastic fasteners

    2021.05.01

    Commissioned by the Housatonic Museum of Art Funded by Elizabeth Fray and the Werth Family Foundation

  • Be There When You Return-2

    Jong-il Ma

    South Korean / American, 1961

    Be There When You Return, 2021

    24’7” x 23’3” x 22’7”

    Varieties of natural and stained woods with metal and plastic fasteners

    2021.05.01

    Commissioned by the Housatonic Museum of Art Funded by Elizabeth Fray and the Werth Family Foundation

  • Be There When You Return-3

    Jong-il Ma

    South Korean / American, 1961

    Be There When You Return, 2021

    24’7” x 23’3” x 22’7”

    Varieties of natural and stained woods with metal and plastic fasteners

    2021.05.01

    Commissioned by the Housatonic Museum of Art Funded by Elizabeth Fray and the Werth Family Foundation

Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, Here + Now

Joseph Fucigna’s one-person exhibition, Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, Here + Now has had a few bumps on its journey to the Burt Chernow Galleries. The original show, Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, was scheduled to open at the Housatonic Museum of Art in September 2018. Due to water damage from a fire above the gallery, the exhibition was canceled a week before the opening. The show was rescheduled for September 2020 and was postponed a second time due to the COVID virus. It is ironic how the original title, Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, seems to have anticipated the circumstances of the show cancellations. Drip-Drop for the water damage and Tick-Tock the ticking time bomb of COVID.

With a three-year gap between the original 2018 show and the October 2021 opening, the exhibition can be considered a brief survey of sculptures and paintings starting from 2010 to the present, with emphasis on new works created since 2019. Throughout his career, Fucigna has enjoyed taking modest industrial materials and transforming them into elegant yet provocative abstractions. His sculptures, paintings and drawings are rooted in process, play, and the innate qualities of the materials. Through experimentation, and innovation, Fucigna creates works that are known for their power to transform materials, ingenuity, and odd but compelling subject matter. The ultimate goal is to create an artwork that is a perfect balance between suggestive content and the formal qualities of the materials that allow both to be active participants.


  • Brainstorm
  • Dirty Laundry
  • Yellow_Orange_White Drip
  • Yellow_Black_White Drip
  • Red_White Drape Drip
  • Kryptonite Drape Drip
  • Veiled Threat
  • Black Hose 2_Orange_White
  • Black Hose 4_Silver_White_Purple
  • Cubist Drapery_White_Blue_Black
  • Swirling ‘Scape 1
  • Swirling ‘Scape 2
  • Swirling ‘Scape 3
  • Blocks 4_Black and Turquoise
  • Blocks 6_Turquoise_Black_White
  • Blocks 7_Lime Green_Turquoise_Silver_Black
  • Blocks 8_Circles
  • Pink_Lime Green Drip
  • Turquoise Drip
  • Brainstorm

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Brainstorm, 2010

    96 x 96 x 48”

    Plastic and metal fencing, lead

  • Dirty Laundry

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Dirty Laundry, 2015

    69 x 39 x 43”

    Plastic and metal fencing, chair

  • Yellow_Orange_White Drip

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Yellow_Orange_White Drip, 2016

    57 x 64 x 27”

    Plastic and metal fencing

  • Yellow_Black_White Drip

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Yellow_Black_White Drip, 2017

    70 x 55 x 22”

    Plastic and metal fencing

  • Red_White Drape Drip

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Red_White Drape Drip, 2018

    88 x 58 x 24”

    Plastic and metal fencing

  • Kryptonite Drape Drip

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Kryptonite Drape Drip, 2019

    70 x 70 x 10”

    Plastic and metal fencing

  • Veiled Threat

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Veiled Threat, 2020

    65 x 55 x 16”

    Plastic and metal fencing

  • Black Hose 2_Orange_White

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Black Hose #2_Orange_White, 2020

    60 x 55 x 20”

    Plastic and metal fencing, rubber hose

  • Black Hose 4_Silver_White_Purple

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Black Hose #4_Silver_White_Purple, 2020

    72 x 42 x 21”

    Plastic and metal fencing, rubber hose

  • Cubist Drapery_White_Blue_Black

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Cubist Drapery_White_Blue_Black, 2021

    60 x 52 x 27”

    Plastic and metal fencing

  • Swirling ‘Scape 1

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Swirling ‘Scape 1, 2017

    20 x 16”

    Acrylic

  • Swirling ‘Scape 2

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Swirling ‘Scape 2, 2017

    20 x 16”

    Acrylic

  • Swirling ‘Scape 3

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Swirling ‘Scape 3, 2017

    20 x 16”

    Acrylic

  • Blocks 4_Black and Turquoise

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Blocks 4_Black and Turquoise, 2020

    24 x 24”

    Wood, acrylic, clay

  • Blocks 6_Turquoise_Black_White

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Blocks 6_Turquoise_Black_White, 2020

    24 x 24”

    Wood, acrylic, clay

  • Blocks 7_Lime Green_Turquoise_Silver_Black

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Blocks 7_Lime Green_Turquoise_Silver_Black, 2020

    24 x 24”

    Wood, acrylic, clay

  • Blocks 8_Circles

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Blocks 8_Circles, 2020

    24 x 24”

    Wood, acrylic, clay

  • Pink_Lime Green Drip

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Pink_Lime Green Drip, 2015

    40 x 30”

    Acrylic

  • Turquoise Drip

    Joseph Fucigna

    American, 1956

    Turquoise Drip, 2015

    20 x 16”

    Acrylic

Houstaonic Museum of Art to Open Jon Schueler Abstract Expressionism Show

The Housatonic Museum of Art is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit, Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War, curated by Marissa Roth The show will feature twenty-six paintings and selected writings by the esteemed prolific American abstract expressionist that reflect his war experiences. The exhibition, which takes its title from a piece commemorating the disappearance of a plane belongs to his squadron, will open on September 2 and be on view through October 8, 2021. Curator Marissa Roth will offer a talk bout the artist’s work on Thursday, September 2 at 6pm.

Celebrated for his colorful, large-scale abstract paintings and pastoral compositions of nature, Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War is a landmark exhibition that encompasses one of the persistent motifs that Schueler infused into his paintings and writings – his experiences during World War II. His memories as a navigator in the U.S. Army Air Corps and undiagnosed PTSD haunted him and found expression in his post-war work.

These oils, painted in New York from 1979-1989, form a powerful and cohesive visual testament to his post-war struggles, battle for memory, and creative expression. Additionally, the exhibition will feature a collection of paintings to serve as a visual counterpart – emotionally charged responses to nature and his memories of the changeable sky and seascape of his beloved Scotland.

A masterful writer, the exhibition will also feature a selection of passages from Schueler’s memoir, “The Sound of Sleat: A Painter’s Life”. The pieces reflect both his harrowing war recollections and ruminations of his creative process.

“With his work included in collections throughout the world, we are thrilled to bring a remarkable showing of Jon Schueler’s work to our region. These paintings and writings illustrate the impacts of his war experiences and contrasting atmospheric reverence of the force of nature,” said Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Schueler’s work is included in international collections such as the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Edinburgh), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra).


About The Curator

Marissa Roth is a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer. She was part of the Los Angeles Times staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for Best Spot News, for its coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. She is the author of Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet, with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Burning Heart: A Portrait of the Philippines. One Person Crying: Women and War, her 35-year personal photo essay that addresses the immediate and lingering impact of war on women in different cultures and countries around the world, is a traveling exhibition with a forthcoming book. She is also a curator and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Visitors must be prepared to comply with social distancing rules and wear protective face masks. To plan a visit, please call 203-332-5052.

Housatonic Museum of Art is located on the Housatonic Community College campus, located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport. It is home to one of the premier college art collections in the country, spanning the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary, and is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. The museum also hosts changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries, and engaging lectures, workshops, films, special events and programs throughout the year, both in person and online. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org to learn more.

Virtual Tour


Native American Art - Virtual Tour


  • Inupiaq Cribbage Board
  • Two Little Braves, Sac and Fox
  • Seal Hunter
  • Untitled
  • Mukluks
  • Labrador Inuit Dolls (male and female)
  • Edge of the Encampment
  • Native American Scenes
  • Child’s Shirt
  • Glengarry Cap with Niagara Floral Design
  • Chatelaine Bag
  • Storyteller: Grandmother with Three Children
  • Mosquito Headdress
  • Storyteller: Evening Song
  • Navajo “Eyedazzler” Germantown Weaving
  • Inupiaq Cribbage Board

    Cribbage Boards

    Due to its rugged landscape and harsh climate, Alaska was considered the last frontier, attracting Euro-American seaman in search of seals, otters, and whales, hunting them almost to extinction. As the nomadic lifestyle of the Inuit was slowly destroyed, many turned to the whaling ships for wage work until, in 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, and the whaling industry was finally restricted.

    Gold, discovered in Nome in 1899, brought over 40,000 prospectors to Alaska, further changing the culture and ecology but also creating a market for Inuit ivory carvings. Skilled craftsman, the Inuit combined scrimshaw techniques learned from sailors, with their traditional images of hunting scenes or wildlife to create cribbage boards, seen here, butter knife sets, toothpicks, and baskets that catered to Victorian taste.

    Inuit Peoples/h3>

    Canada, Cape Dorset, Nunavut

    Inupiaq Cribbage Board, ca 1900-1910

    Walrus ivory tusk decorated with walrus and caribou, Etched and inked

    2013.09.10

    Gift of Dr. Jonathan Klarsfeld

  • Two Little Braves, Sac and Fox

    Frank A. Rinehart

    American, 1861-1928

    Two Little Braves, Sac and Fox, Omaha, 1898

    (Tribal affiliation: Sauk and Fox Nations)

    Platinum Print

    2021.12.01

    Gift of Dr. Donald Dworken

    Beginning in the 1840s, showmen like P.T. Barnum and William “Wild Bill” Cody developed traveling shows that toured both America and Europe, providing popular forms of entertainment for the public. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Circus* marketed artful deceptions, humbugs, and curiosities while Cody’s Wild West Show reinforced the myth of the American frontier as it reinscribed the tenets of Manifest Destiny.

     

    By 1898, business and political leaders in Omaha, Nebraska developed the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, a world’s fair designed to showcase the agricultural success and economic development of the West. Included in the plan was an Indian Congress, hailed as a “serious ethnographic exhibition,” originally conceived by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in partnership with the Smithsonian, to educate people about the culture and traditions of Native Americans simultaneously advancing the national policy of assimilation. Unfortunately, to the ire of the organizers, the exhibit ultimately buttressed familiar stereotypes when, with arrival of Cody, it was renamed Cowboys vs Indians Wild West Show. These so-called "living exhibitions," replete with mock Indian villages, war dances, and sham battles, whet the public’s appetite for sensation and spectacle while reinforcing “the commonly held understanding that Indians were an inherently violent and inferior people, and that their culture was incompatible with white progress.[1]

    Commissioned by the Bureau of Ethnology, Frank A. Rinehart (ca. 1862-1928), with his assistant Adolph F. Muhr (ca. 1858-1913), documented over five hundred delegates from thirty-five tribes, however, it is important to note that these portraits, sold as postcards, also marketed and commodified ethnic identities. Nevertheless, Rinehart earned a reputation as one of America’s great chroniclers of indigenous cultures. As former photographic curator at the University of Kansas’ Spencer Art Museum, Tom Southall, observes:

     

    The dramatic beauty of these portraits is especially impressive as a departure from earlier, less sensitive photographs of Native Americans. Instead of being detached, ethnographic records, the Rinehart photographs are portraits of individuals with an emphasis on strength of expression. [Although] not the first photographer to portray Indian subjects with such dignity, this large body of work which was widely seen and distributed, may have had an important influence in changing subsequent portrayals of Native Americans.[2]

     

    [1] Omaha Daily Bee, September 1, 1898.

    [2] https://dangerousminds.net/comments/beautiful_portraits_of_native_american

    *To learn more about the history of Fairs, Carnivals and Circuses visit the exhibition on 3rd floor.


    [1] Omaha Daily Bee, September 1, 1898.

    [1] https://dangerousminds.net/comments/beautiful_portraits_of_native_american

    *To learn more about the history of Fairs, Carnivals and Circuses visit the exhibition on 3rd floor.

  • Seal Hunter

    INUIT ART

    Inuit carvings from the prehistoric period are generally small and delicate; made of ivory, bone, antlers, or stone, and designed to be carried on a belt or worn as an amulet. The nomadic lifestyle of Native Alaskans limit ownership of larger objects, which are difficult to carry over long distances.

    The historic period, beginning in the 1770s through 1949, reflects increased social interaction between indigenous peoples, whalers, missionaries, and traders from the south. These new groups exerted influence on the kinds of art that would be produced for trade and sale by the Inuit. Although traditional

    subject matter continued to inform the content of works, the size and scale of works increased, indicating that work was made to satisfy market demands. Objects like toys, dolls, dice, and cribbage boards, seen here, were popular Items produced specifically to appeal to tourists.

    Native Alaskan and Inuit artist collectives began to emerge during the contemporary period, post-1949. By the late 1950s and 60s, Native Alaskan and Inuit artist collectives secured recognition and financial support from the Canadian government to develop initiatives for marketing their art internationally. Traditional materials, such as ivory and bone, now seen as rare and expensive materials, were supplanted by soapstone, a cheap and plentiful material. Later, Hydrocal—a blend of gypsum and cement--was also used to make cast sculptures like Whale Rider. In addition, Inuit artists adopted such art-making processes as engraving, lithography, and silk-screening to satisfy the growing appetite of collectors.

    Inuit Peoples/h3>

    Canada, Cape Dorset, Nunavut

    Left Image:

    Seal Hunter

    1977.01.04

    Gift of Dr. Leonard Laskow

    Right Image:

    Carved Hydrocal

    2013.09.01

    Gift of Dr. Jonathan Klarsfeld

  • Untitled

    Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

    Native American (Flathead Nation), b 1940

    Untitled, 1979

    Lithograph on buff Arches wove paper

    1988.16.03

    Gift of Burt and Anne Chernow

    Internationally renowned painter, printmaker and artist, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith was born in Montana on the Flathead Reservation but grew up in California. Her middle name, "Quick-to-See," was given to her by her Shoshone grandmother as a sign of her ability to perceive and understand swiftly.

    Smith’s imagery combines representational and abstract imagery blending her Native American culture with Western art practice to address tribal and U.S. politics, human rights, and environmental issues.

    She received an Associate of Arts Degree at Olympic College in Bremerton Washington in 1960. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, received her BA in Art Education at Framingham State College in Massachusetts in 1976 and a Master’s degree in art at the University of New Mexico in 1980.

    Smith’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Quito, Ecuador; the Museum of Mankind, Vienna, Austria; The Walker, Minneapolis, MN; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; the Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum, both of NY.

  • Mukluks

    Mukluks, 1900-1910

    Sealskin, caribou fur, thread-sewn, White and brown fur cutouts and pompoms

    2012.12.19

    Gift of Dr. Jonathan Klarsfeld

    Mukluks or kamiit boots are made from either reindeer skin, sealskin or caribou and form the outer layer of boots worn by the Inuit. These boots are worn over an inner boot liner to keep the feet warm. This design allows air to circulate and prevents foot sweat which could lead to frostbite, a major cause of morbidity.

  • Labrador Inuit Dolls (male and female)

    Labrador Inuit Dolls (male and female), ca. 1920s

    Carved wood with traditional costume
    Wood, sealskin, deerskin, and cotton

    2013.08.13.01
    2013.08.13.01

    Gift of S. Herman and Wendy Klarsfeld

    The dolls seen here were most likely produced for the tourist trade. Both dolls are in excellent condition and show no sign of personal use as a child’s toy. Historically, Inuit girls would create dolls to develop their sewing techniques and to learn to make clothes. The traditional attire on these carved wooden figures is realistic, replete with hooded sealskin parkas (anorak), pants (qarliik), deerskin mittens (pualuuk) and boots (kamiit or mukluk).

    Depleted Caribou herds and opposition to seal hunting by animal rights groups brought change to the indigenous lifestyle whereby hunting was no longer a primary occupation. And, with the adoption of manufactured European clothing, demand for skin garments diminished. Consequently, other skills, like making clothing, were no longer practiced, or taught. Although traditional garments are no longer used for daily wear, they may be worn on special occasions.

  • Edge of the Encampment

    John Hauser

    American, 1858-1913

    Edge of the Encampment

    Watercolor on paper

    2018.23.01

    Gift of S. Herman and Wendy Klarsfeld

    Artist John Hauser was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to German immigrant parents in either 1858 or 1859. He began his formal training at the Art Academy of Cincinnati thereafter continuing his art studies with Thomas Noble at the McMicken School. Hauser enrolled at the Munich Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1881 and then travelled on to Paris. Upon his return in 1891, Hauser was offered a teaching position in the Cincinnati public schools but spent his summers in Arizona and New Mexico travelling with two other notable painters of Native Americans, Joseph Henry Sharp and Henry Farny. Hauser’s work offers viewers a glimpse into the traditions, clothing, and culture of the people he befriended and lived amongst. His sensitive portraits of Sitting Bull, Bald Face, Lone Bear and Red Cloud, among many others, radiate the deep admiration and empathy that he held for the people he chronicled all his life.

    His respect and appreciation for the Sioux was reciprocated when both Hauser and his wife became honorary members of the Lakota Sioux in Pine Ridge, South Dakota in 1901. Today, Hauser’s work is valued not only for the historical portraits of important tribal chiefs, but also for capturing the vanishing lifestyle of Native Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Native American Scenes

    John Hauser

    American, 1858-1913

    Native American Scenes

    Watercolor on paper

    2018.26.02

    Gift of Dr. Jonathan Klarsfeld

    Artist John Hauser was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to German immigrant parents in either 1858 or 1859. He began his formal training at the Art Academy of Cincinnati thereafter continuing his art studies with Thomas Noble at the McMicken School. Hauser enrolled at the Munich Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1881 and then travelled on to Paris. Upon his return in 1891, Hauser was offered a teaching position in the Cincinnati public schools but spent his summers in Arizona and New Mexico travelling with two other notable painters of Native Americans, Joseph Henry Sharp and Henry Farny. Hauser’s work offers viewers a glimpse into the traditions, clothing, and culture of the people he befriended and lived amongst. His sensitive portraits of Sitting Bull, Bald Face, Lone Bear and Red Cloud, among many others, radiate the deep admiration and empathy that he held for the people he chronicled all his life.

    His respect and appreciation for the Sioux was reciprocated when both Hauser and his wife became honorary members of the Lakota Sioux in Pine Ridge, South Dakota in 1901. Today, Hauser’s work is valued not only for the historical portraits of important tribal chiefs, but also for capturing the vanishing lifestyle of Native Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Child’s Shirt

    Comanche, Southern Great Plains, North America

    Child’s Shirt, 1900-1925

    Buckskin, fringe, and beads

    2018.26.08

    The Comanche* people, which means enemy, were originally part of the Wyoming Shoshone tribe. Introduced to horses by the Spanish, they learned to ride, break, and trade horses and were renowned for their expertise, earning the title Lords of the Plains.

    Skilled bison hunters, the Comanche followed the herds into new territory including parts of southeastern Kansas, Oklahoma, central Texas, southeastern Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, displacing through combat the tribes that had lived there. Bison sustained the Comanche, providing meat, tipis (tepees), thread (sinew), and robes. Deerhide, called buckskin, was used for clothing including moccasins, breechcloths, tunics, jackets, and shirts, like this one. Clothes, made by the women, were decorated with paint, porcupine quills, fringe, and beads.


    The name Comanche was first used by the Spanish and then adopted by Euro-American soldiers and settlers. The Comanche called themselves Numinu or Nemene meaning true people.

  • Glengarry Cap with Niagara Floral Design

    Seneca People

    Haudenosaunee Confederacy

    Glengarry Cap with Niagara Floral Design, ca. 1830

    Dyed moose hair, fabric, and beads in various colors

    2020.20.05

    Gift of S. Herman and Wendy Klarsfeld

    The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, referred to by the colonists as the Iroquois League, included the Onondaga, the Seneca, the Cayuga, the Oneida, the Mohawks and later, the Tuscarora. Their tribal lands included Montreal, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and parts of the Ohio Valley. The Confederacy had a long history of trading with the Dutch, French, and British as well as the settlers especially for beaver fur, which was in high demand in Europe. Over the ensuing years, through a combination of warfare, broken treaties, eminent domain, and continuous encroachment by new colonizers, the member tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy were forced to either assimilate or move ever westward.

    Beadwork was a rich tradition practiced by the Haudenosaunee for centuries. Materials included bones, shells, and polished stones until the 15th century when, through trade, glass beads, needles and velvet became available. By the nineteenth century, Niagara Falls, which straddles Canada and New York, became a popular travel destination for both Europeans and Americans, providing the Haudenosaunee with a tourist market eager for handmade items unique to the location. The raised beadwork styles, especially those created by the Seneca and Tuscarora, used to decorate the Glengarry bonnets and beaded bags, like those on view here, were highly valued by fashion-forward ladies of the Victorian era. According to art historian Ruth Phillips, this cap style was derived from the traditional Scottish Highland dress…reminiscent of the military uniforms worn by British soldiers in Canada and popularized, both here and in Britain, when Queen Victoria began dressing her sons in these styles. * Raised Haudenosaunee beadwork, created for the market, is recognized as one of the most distinctive types of embroidered beadwork ever made and continues to be prized by contemporary collectors.


    * Ruth Phillips, Trading Identities: The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700–1900 (Seattle: University of Washington Press / Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998).

  • Chatelaine Bag

    Tonawanda Seneca

    Haudenosaunee Confederacy

    Chatelaine Bag, 1840-1860

    Fabric, glass beads in various colors, and clasp

    2020.21.04

    Gift of Dr. Jonathan Klarsfeld

    The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, referred to by the colonists as the Iroquois League, included the Onondaga, the Seneca, the Cayuga, the Oneida, the Mohawks and later, the Tuscarora. Their tribal lands included Montreal, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and parts of the Ohio Valley. The Confederacy had a long history of trading with the Dutch, French, and British as well as the settlers especially for beaver fur, which was in high demand in Europe. Over the ensuing years, through a combination of warfare, broken treaties, eminent domain, and continuous encroachment by new colonizers, the member tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy were forced to either assimilate or move ever westward.

    Beadwork was a rich tradition practiced by the Haudenosaunee for centuries. Materials included bones, shells, and polished stones until the 15th century when, through trade, glass beads, needles and velvet became available. By the nineteenth century, Niagara Falls, which straddles Canada and New York, became a popular travel destination for both Europeans and Americans, providing the Haudenosaunee with a tourist market eager for handmade items unique to the location. The raised beadwork styles, especially those created by the Seneca and Tuscarora, used to decorate the Glengarry bonnets and beaded bags, like those on view here, were highly valued by fashion-forward ladies of the Victorian era. According to art historian Ruth Phillips, this cap style was derived from the traditional Scottish Highland dress…reminiscent of the military uniforms worn by British soldiers in Canada and popularized, both here and in Britain, when Queen Victoria began dressing her sons in these styles. * Raised Haudenosaunee beadwork, created for the market, is recognized as one of the most distinctive types of embroidered beadwork ever made and continues to be prized by contemporary collectors.


    * Ruth Phillips, Trading Identities: The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700–1900 (Seattle: University of Washington Press / Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998).

  • Storyteller: Grandmother with Three Children

    Telling Stories

    The Cochiti Pueblo’s rich tradition of making figurative pottery, called Storytellers, can be traced back to 400 CE. In the 16th century, the Spanish invaded this territory and outlawed the practice of making these sculptures, which were considered “false idols,” and they sought to convert the indigenous population to Christianity. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s opened up vast areas of the West, bringing with it White tourists which, in turn, stimulated the resurgence of these small, easily portable souvenirs. And, by the early 1900s, the production of these clay figurines by the Cochiti spread to other Southwest pueblos reinvigorating both an art and an industry. The most popular sculpture, known as Singing Grandmother, seen here, depicts a woman telling a new generation the stories of their shared history and culture.

    Judy Toya

    Water Clan, Jemez Pueblo, 1953

    Storyteller: Grandmother with Three Children, 1990

    Black and red pigment on tan clay

    2021.13.01

    Gift of Robbin Zella

  • Mosquito Headdress

    Tlingit Peoples

    British Columbia and Alaska

    Mosquito Headdress, ca 1890

    Carved wood with whitewashed head with pigment in black, yellow, and red; articulated wings attached to side of head with wood pegs

    2021.23.17

    Gift of S. Herman and Wendy Klarsfeld

    The beliefs and myths of Tlingit people are drawn from living creatures observed in nature and are part of their storytelling tradition. The Mosquito Headdress, on view here, would have been worn by the leaders of the Tlingit people during dance rituals, funerary rites, and festive events or to reenact the creation myth of this blood-sucking insect.

    According to Tlingit folklore, there lived a giant cannibal on the mountain nearest their village, and periodically he would invade, eating as many people as he could capture. Terrified all the time, especially for the safety of their children, the villagers held a meeting and devised a plan to rid themselves of this menace. They decided to trap and kill the giant cannibal. A deep pit was dug and filled with wood. To disguise the pit, a net made of sinew was stretched across the opening and covered with leaves and branches to blend with the forest floor. The most agile and quickest hunter drew the giant cannibal into the woods, luring him towards the trap. Hungry and ready to eat, the giant cannibal soon gave chase and plunged into the deep hole from which he could not escape. The villagers, carrying torches, gathered round the pit and tossed the fire onto the dried wood. They kept the fire burning for four days and four nights. The villagers stirred the ashes to assure themselves that the giant cannibal was completely gone, but as the fire died down, they heard his voice: You can never kill me, I will always feed on you! Ashes and sparks began to fly up from the pit transforming into mosquitoes that immediately began to attack the villagers. And so, it seems, the Giant kept his vow.

  • Storyteller: Evening Song

    Telling Stories

    The Cochiti Pueblo’s rich tradition of making figurative pottery, called Storytellers, can be traced back to 400 CE. In the 16th century, the Spanish invaded this territory and outlawed the practice of making these sculptures, which were considered “false idols,” and they sought to convert the indigenous population to Christianity. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s opened up vast areas of the West, bringing with it White tourists which, in turn, stimulated the resurgence of these small, easily portable souvenirs. And, by the early 1900s, the production of these clay figurines by the Cochiti spread to other Southwest pueblos reinvigorating both an art and an industry. The most popular sculpture, known as Singing Grandmother, seen here, depicts a woman telling a new generation the stories of their shared history and culture.

    Barbara Scavotto-Earley

    American, 1951

    Storyteller: Evening Song, 1989

    Ceramic with gray and white glaze

    2022.07.01

    Gift of Robbin Zella

  • Navajo “Eyedazzler” Germantown Weaving

    Navajo “Eyedazzler” Germantown Weaving, 1880-1910

    Aniline dyes, yarn, and wool warp

    2018.26.02

    Gift of Dr. Jonathan Klarsfeld

    Traditionally, Navajo blankets were originally produced using handspun Churro wool colored with natural dyes. By 1868, machine woven yarn produced in Germantown, Pennsylvania soon became available to the Navajo through the trading posts that sprung up along the railway stations. These weavings, known as Eyedazzlers, refer to the bright colors and zig-zag designs with serrated edges, seen here. Produced specifically for trade and for sale, affordable small squares or rectangles were sold to tourists. The larger, and more expensive, blankets, rugs, and serapes, created by master weavers, were reserved for collectors such as the renowned publishing magnate, William Randolph Hearst.

New Exhibit at the Housatonic Museum of Art Explores Male Dominance Of Women Throughout The Ages


Housatonic Museum of Art is pleased to present its newest exhibition, Of Woman Born, now on view through June 1, 2022. It features a selection of paintings, photographs and sculpture that explores the ways in which male dominance has manifested itself in familial, social, legal, political, religious and economic systems—patriarchal structures that, over the centuries, have continually been used to dominate, oppress and exploit women.

The exhibit traces the history of women from the Paleolithic Age to present day and explores the various methods, philosophies, policies and practices, as well as legal strategies employed by patriarchal power to exert maximum control over women’s bodies.

“There is nothing revolutionary whatsoever about the control of women’s bodies by men,” said author, poet and feminist, Adrienne Rich. “The woman’s body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.”

Artists in this exhibit look at a range of topics including infanticide, abortion, the institution of motherhood, domestic violence, prostitution, pornography, gendercide, plastic surgery and ageism. The exhibition includes works by Nicholas Africano, Lynne Augeri, Suzanne Benton, Aidan Boyle, Antonio Canova, Albrecht Durer, Donna Ferrato, Paul Georges, Sante Graziane, Lori Petchers/Faith Baum, Michael Stone, and Francisco Zuniga.

“Of Woman Born champions the great strides made by women, such as the right to vote and equal access to education, but there is still more work to be done,” said Robbin Zella, Director of the museum. “Women’s rights are human rights and that includes freedom from discrimination, freedom from violence, and freedom from gender inequality.”

Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org to view the exhibit online. The Housatonic Museum of Art is located on the Housatonic Community College campus, 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport, CT. It is home to one of the premier college art collections in the United States. The museum’s collection offers the opportunity to view works that span the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary and is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org to learn more.

Bated Breath, 1987 by Lynne Augeri


Isis and Horus (sculpture) 664–30 B.C. by Anonymous

Isis and Horus (sculpture) 664–30 B.C. by Anonymous.

Forever 21, 2012  (from The Old Bag series) by Lori Petchers and Faith Baum

Forever 21, 2012 (from The Old Bag series) by Lori Petchers and Faith Baum

Bated Breath, 1987  by Lynne Augeri

Bated Breath, 1987 by Lynne Augeri

Choice Aint No Joke, Union Square, N.Y.C., 1989 by Donna Ferrato

Choice Aint No Joke, Union Square, N.Y.C., 1989 by Donna Ferrato

Housatonic Museum of Art Reopens With Big Art Bash 2021


On Thursday, September 2, the Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) will reopen the Burt Chernow Galleries and the Museum with a grand collective exhibition: Big Art Bash 2021.

The wide-ranging group show will feature FOUR exhibits of work by Jon Schueler, Jongil Ma, Eric Chiang and an exhibition that explores male dominance of women. The public is invited to attend this exciting, FREE opening event from 5:30pm - 7pm, which will include live music by the Joe Mennonna Trio and light refreshments. HMA is located on the Housatonic Community College (HCC) campus, located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport, CT.

The landmark exhibition ‘Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War’, curated by Marissa Roth, will feature twenty-six paintings and selected writings by the esteemed, prolific American abstract expressionist that reflect his war experiences. This exhibition, which takes its title from a piece commemorating the disappearance of a plane belonging to his squadron, will be on view through October 8, 2021.

South Korean sculptor and Brooklyn resident, Jongil Ma will celebrate the completion of his commissioned work, ‘Be There When You Return’, which was funded by Elizabeth Fray, the Werth Family Foundation and HCC. Created during the pandemic, the piece will greet students and visitors alike when they come back to campus. The work is an intricate arrangement of raw and painted cut wood strips fastened with metal rods, nuts and bolts, colored screws, cable zip ties, and stained ropes. A tumult of red, purple, yellow and green colors spiral, bend and intertwine to create a lively and welcoming sculpture that speaks of joy and the spirit of resilience. This piece is part of the museum’s permanent collection and will be on continuous view in the Lafayette Hall atrium.

Taiwanese artist and Westport resident, Eric Chiang, will exhibit a series of works that are visual depictions of quantum mechanics, mathematics and music. Chiang’s large-scale triptych, ‘Are We Born Connected?’, which is also the title of the show, features cellos floating amongst the moon and stars. Chiang’s work launches HCC’s upcoming 2021/22 STEAM: Space Initiative, which will include a guest speaker program to explore the relationship between music and modern physics. The exhibit will be on view in the lobby gallery of the Performing Arts Center in Lafayette Hall through May 18, 2022.

Suzanne Benton of Ridgefield, Sherry Wolfgang of Westport, Faith Baum and Lori Petchers of Fairfield and Aidan Boyle of New Rochelle, NY are featured artists in the exhibit ‘Of Woman Born’ that explores the patriarchal structures that, over the centuries, have been used to oppress, exploit, and dominate women. Also included in the show are Paul Georges, Nicholas Africano, Lynne Augeri, Francisco Zuniga, Antonio Canova, Albrecht Durer, Michael Stone and Donna Ferrato. This exhibit, located on the second floor of the atrium in Lafayette Hall, will remain on view until June 30, 2022.

“The Big Art Bash 2021 will celebrate the first time the museum has opened its doors to the public since the start of the pandemic. We’re thrilled to mark this special occasion with four spectacular exhibits that are sure to engage our collective sense of wonder, compassion, and intellect,” said Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Please check https://www.housatonic.edu/ for COVID-19 updates regarding campus accessibility. An appointment to visit the museum may be necessary, and visitors must be prepared to comply with social distancing rules and wear protective face masks. For additional information please call 203-332-5052.

Housatonic Museum of Art is home to one of the premier college art collections in the country, spanning the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary, and is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. The museum also hosts changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries, and engaging lectures, workshops, films, special events and programs throughout the year, both in person and online. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org to learn more.

Powerful Film Series Promises Emotion and Nostalgia
in connection with HMA’s New Jon Schueler Abstract Expressionism Show

The Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) announces a powerful film series in connection with its new landmark exhibition, ‘Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War’. In this dramatic line-up, the exploration of combat art and art in the aftermath of war delivers a heaping portion of emotion and nostalgia. All films are available on the museum’s website, www.HousatonicMuseum.org and screenings take place at 7:30pm.

“Three films provide a deeper understanding of one of America’s most esteemed, Post Abstract Expressionist artists. His inspiration by the landscapes and cloudscapes of Mallaig Vaig in the Scottish Highlands allowed him to process his traumatic war experiences through his paintings. The film ‘Art in the Face of War’ recounts the stories of eight WWII veterans from their pre-war lives to the aftermath,” Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

September 9: Jon Schueler: A Life in Painting 1916-1992

Taking inspiration from Schueler’s autobiography, The Sound of Sleat: A Painter’s Life, this award-winning documentary follows pivotal life moments including the impact of his mother’s death, his wrenching experience as a B-17 navigator in WWII, and his love of the Northwestern Highlands of Scotland. The film will be available online through October 8, 2021.

Art in the Face of War

September 16: Art in the Face of War

A one-night-only screening presents this multiple award-winning documentary featuring eight WWII veteran-artists from Connecticut. The gifted and engaging artists share their extraordinary personal recollections of art from the front lines, as they not only created a historical record, but also a path to put their horrifying memories to rest.

September 23: An Artist and His Vision

When Jon Schueler set up studio in an old schoolhouse in the Western Highlands of Scotland, he was forever moved by the landscape. With spectacular footage, and incorporating Schueler’s penetrating observations, this film provides a depth of context for his paintings from the early 1970s. The film will be available online through October 8, 2021.

September 30: Jon Schueler Painting

While watching the artist as he paints his memorable work, Edinburgh Blues, and as the camera unveils the proregression from blank canvas to finished painting, Schueler is interviewed by his dear friend, Scottish artist, Kenneth Dingwall. The conversation reveals Schueler’s artistic process and vision, but also shares other experiences, such as flying in a sky filled with beauty and destruction. The film will be available online through October 8, 2021.

HMA’s exhibit, Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War, was curated by Marissa Roth, and features twenty-six paintings and selected writings by the esteemed prolific American abstract expressionist that reflect his war experiences. The exhibition, which takes its title from a piece commemorating the disappearance of a plane belongs to his squadron, opened on September 2 on the Housatonic Community College campus, and be on view through October 8, 2021. A virtual gallery talk conducted by Roth is available on the museum’s website, www.HousatonicMuseum.org.

Celebrated for his colorful, large-scale abstract paintings and pastoral compositions of nature, Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War is a landmark exhibition that encompasses one of the persistent motifs that Schueler infused into his paintings and writings – his experiences during World War II. His memories as a navigator in the U.S. Army Air Corps and undiagnosed PTSD haunted him and found expression in his post-war work.

Schueler’s work is included in international collections such as the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Edinburgh), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra).

Housatonic Museum of Art is located on the Housatonic Community College campus, located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport. It is home to one of the premier college art collections in the country, spanning the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary, and is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. The museum also hosts changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries, and engaging lectures, workshops, films, special events and programs throughout the year, both in person and online. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org to learn more.

Of Woman Born

“There is nothing revolutionary whatsoever about the control of women’s bodies by men,” to quote author, poet and feminist, Adrienne Rich. “The woman’s body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.” Of Woman Born explores the ways in which male dominance has manifested itself in familial, social, legal, political, religious and economic systems—patriarchal structures that, over the centuries, have continually been used to dominate, oppress and exploit women.

Although women have made great strides, such as the right to vote and equal access to education, there is still more work to be done. Women’s rights are human rights and include freedom from discrimination, freedom from violence, and freedom from gender inequality.


  • The Three Graces
  • Untitled
  • Eve (Standing Nude)
  • Isis and Horus
  • Madonna and Child
  • Maternity, II/III
  • Mothers and Sons
  • Three Identical Women, Three Identical Children
  • Antoinette Brown Blackwell (from the Votes for Women series)
  • Florence Hope Luscomb (from the Votes for Women series)
  • Ironing Board (Battered Woman Series)
  • Choice Aint No Joke, Union Square, N.Y.C.
  • Operation Rescue, Wash., D.C.
  • Bated Breath
  • Be the Ideal
  • Achieve Perfection Through Dissection
  • Is This God’s Plan
  • Forever 21, 2012 (from the Old Bag series)
  • The Three Graces

    Antonio Canova

    Italian, 1757-1822

    The Three Graces, 19th century

    10 x 4.5 x 3”

    Cast alabaster

    2009.23.132

    Gift of Jud and Barrie Ebersma

    The nudes of ancient Greece and Rome came to influence later Western art, and to define what was considered beautiful. The values and ideals of the Greco-Roman culture were defined by perfection in form: unity, harmony and symmetry. Art historian, Kenneth Clark, considered “idealization to be the hallmark of true nudes, as opposed to more descriptive and less artful figures that he considered merely naked. His emphasis on idealization points to an essential issue: seductive and appealing as nudes in art may be, they are meant to stir the mind as well as the passions.” 1

    The Three Graces, seen here, is a reproduction of one of the most famous Neoclassical masterpieces by the renowned Italian sculptor, Antonio Canova. Inspired by the sculptures of Ancient Greece and Rome, he revived their aesthetic ideals of symmetry, proportion and balance of form. This work depicts the daughters of Zeus, from left to right, Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia, who represent radiance, joy, and youth and beauty, respectively.

    These goddesses of nature formed the original mythology of the early Greeks and, over time, evolved into The Three Graces. As companions of Aphrodite: Goddess of Love and Beauty, they confer beauty and enjoyment in all its forms, from physical to intellectual, to artistic and moral and, as attendants to the Muses, they are associated with the most perfect works of art.


    1 https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/nuan/hd_nuan.htm

  • Untitled

    Albrecht Dürer

    German, 1471-1528

    Untitled (The Four Witches or The Judgement of Paris), 1497

    20.25 x 16.25”

    Engraving

    1976.02.01

    Gift of Stanley Manasevit

    Regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist, Albrecht Dürer’s immense body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and engravings. Here we see his depiction of four nude females along with a skull and long bone on the floor of the chamber while Satan peers through an opening, surreptitiously observing them. Like Canova, Dürer may have been inspired by the famous sculpture, The Three Graces, adopting the composition but instead depicting the Greek goddess Hecate: Guardian of the Household and Patroness of Witchcraft. Often represented with three faces or bodies, it suggests that she is able see into the future, the past and the present. Once revered as a “virgin” goddess, Hecate eschewed marriage, valuing her solitude and independence and, over time, was transformed into a wizened hag or witch.

    Perhaps this subject appealed to Dürer when, in fifteenth-century Germany, women were singled out as witches for the first time in history. Witch-hunts swept across the Holy Roman Empire from 1435 to 1750 fueled by the publication of the manual, Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of Witches in 1487 inciting mass hysteria in Germany and across Europe. Authored by the priest, Heinrich Kramer, the text was so flawed that the Catholic Church rejected it, stating it did not reflect its teachings. Nevertheless, the publication soon gained in popularity, providing methods for identifying witches as well as providing the Biblical and legal grounds for persecution. The Protestant Reformation of 1517 sparked a religious war with the Holy Roman Empire resulting in tens of thousands of victims who were tried, tortured, and executed, three-quarters of whom were women, resulting in what can rightly be called gendercide.*

    * Gendercide is the killing of a specific gender group. Through most of history, girls and women have been the most common victims. Gendercide has three forms: feticide, infanticide, and gender-based violence.

  • Eve (Standing Nude)

    Paul Georges

    American, 1948

    Eve (Standing Nude), 1978

    83 x 49”

    Oil canvas

    2004.11.01

    Gift of Dr. Arthur Ashma

    Patriarchy, from the ancient Greek patriarches, is a society where power and privilege are wielded by one gender: Male. The human construct of absolute authority over women is reinforced through religious myths that illustrate that female subservience to man is a God-given condition—and of her own making!

    The Greek writer Hesiod, offers an account of the origin of the world in his poem, Theogony, informing us that Zeus created the first woman in order to torment men. She is described as a “beautiful evil and a…deception, which men cannot manage; from her come generations of women, a great pain for mortal men on earth … an evil for mortals, companions in harsh suffering."1 The Greek philosopher Aristotle, in Politics, continues this line of reasoning when he asserts that perfection in spirit and form are realized in the male body, while women are conceived by defective seed. Women, he thought, were foolish, mentally weak, unintelligent and captive to their passions.2

    Greek texts and thought appear to be reflected in the Biblical story of the “fall of man” that similarly places the blame for all human suffering squarely at the feet of the first woman, Eve. At the moment God creates her from Adam’s rib, Eve is positioned as less than, inferior, the ‘second sex’ as it were, perennially justifying her subordinate role within both marriage and society. The notion that Eve is deficient and imperfect, incapable of knowing right from wrong, and easily led astray is revealed by her encounter with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. Disobeying God’s command to eat from any tree except the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, both Adam and Eve incur his wrath:

    To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

    Eve’s enduring reputation as a temptress and thus, a treacherous woman, ensures her everlasting purpose as a symbol of women’s long struggle to overcome patriarchal ideology as expressed through its social, sexual, religious, political and economic power structures.


    1 Lefkowitz, Mary. Greek Gods, Human Lives. Yale University Press, 2003 pp. 580-602.

    2 https://iep.utm.edu/aris-pol/#SH7e

  • Isis and Horus

    Isis and Horus

    664–30 B.C.

    Late Period–Ptolemaic Period

    8.25 x 1.75 x 2.5”

    Bronze

    1993.24.07

    Gift of Herman Klarsfeld

    At the dawn of religion God was a woman,1 according to sculptor and art historian, Merlin Stone. Fetish objects, dating from the Upper Paleolithic era through to the Neolithic period, were symbols of fertility that emphasized female attributes—breasts and buttocks—and were carried as a totem or worshipped as a mother goddess, the creator and sustainer of life.2 Proto-Indo-European invaders, it is theorized, supplanted these matriarchal and more egalitarian societies with patriarchal religions and laws.

    After the Neolithic Revolution, when humans transitioned from nomadic hunter/gatherers to farming settlements, more complex beliefs, rituals and cult worship emerged. In Egypt, the Goddess Isis, seen here, was often represented as a beautiful woman wearing a sheath dress, seated on a throne and wearing a solar disk and cow horns on her head. She had limitless powers: separating the heavens from earth, healing the sick, and resurrecting the dead. Eventually her attributes and abilities were absorbed into both Greek and Roman mythologies. In Italy, by the end of the 2nd BCE, Isis was worshipped as a “supreme goddess” revered for her omnipotence—she was light and dark, night and day, fire and water, life and death, beginning and end.3 Throughout the Holy Roman Empire, which stretched from England to Egypt, Isis was championed as a symbol of equality between the sexes, conferring to women as much authority and respect as that held by men.

    Although paganism was eventually banned in Rome, through laws and persecution, Isis remained too popular to suppress. Eventually, Christians incorporated the attributes belonging to Isis-- suffering, mercy and protection—into Mother Mary, along with the traditional Roman ideals of virginity, devotion and marriage. The concept of death and resurrection had long been established through the myth of Osiris, murdered husband of Isis, and was now made manifest in the figure of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In time, epithets reserved for Isis such as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven were also ascribed to the Virgin Mary. The image of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived child-god, Horus, likely inspired the conventional Christian iconography of the Madonna with Christ child, also seen here.4


    1 Stone, Merlin. When God Was A Woman. New York: The Dial Press, 1975

    2 Feminist scholars assert that the Mother Goddess hypothesis remains highly debated and controversial.

    3 Pomeroy, Sara B. Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. New York: Schocken Books, 1976, p. 218.

    4 “During the persecutions of the Christians it became relatively commonplace for statues of the Madonna and Child to be disguised as Isis mothering Horus. Many Christians would even publicly follow the cult of Isis as a convenient alibi for their hidden faith. When Christianity eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire the cult of Isis had already become synonymous with the cult of the Virgin Mary. As pagan worship gradually became outlawed the cult of Isis managed to survive by providing the template for the cult of the Virgin.” https://thedailybeagle.net/2013/04/05/373/

  • Madonna and Child

    Madonna and Child

    n.d.

    Anonymous

    18.5 x 14.5”

    Oil on leather

    1973.23.14

    Gift of Herman Klarsfeld

    At the dawn of religion God was a woman,1 according to sculptor and art historian, Merlin Stone. Fetish objects, dating from the Upper Paleolithic era through to the Neolithic period, were symbols of fertility that emphasized female attributes—breasts and buttocks—and were carried as a totem or worshipped as a mother goddess, the creator and sustainer of life.2 Proto-Indo-European invaders, it is theorized, supplanted these matriarchal and more egalitarian societies with patriarchal religions and laws.

    After the Neolithic Revolution, when humans transitioned from nomadic hunter/gatherers to farming settlements, more complex beliefs, rituals and cult worship emerged. In Egypt, the Goddess Isis, seen here, was often represented as a beautiful woman wearing a sheath dress, seated on a throne and wearing a solar disk and cow horns on her head. She had limitless powers: separating the heavens from earth, healing the sick, and resurrecting the dead. Eventually her attributes and abilities were absorbed into both Greek and Roman mythologies. In Italy, by the end of the 2nd BCE, Isis was worshipped as a “supreme goddess” revered for her omnipotence—she was light and dark, night and day, fire and water, life and death, beginning and end.3 Throughout the Holy Roman Empire, which stretched from England to Egypt, Isis was championed as a symbol of equality between the sexes, conferring to women as much authority and respect as that held by men.

    Although paganism was eventually banned in Rome, through laws and persecution, Isis remained too popular to suppress. Eventually, Christians incorporated the attributes belonging to Isis-- suffering, mercy and protection—into Mother Mary, along with the traditional Roman ideals of virginity, devotion and marriage. The concept of death and resurrection had long been established through the myth of Osiris, murdered husband of Isis, and was now made manifest in the figure of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In time, epithets reserved for Isis such as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven were also ascribed to the Virgin Mary. The image of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived child-god, Horus, likely inspired the conventional Christian iconography of the Madonna with Christ child, also seen here.4


    1 Stone, Merlin. When God Was A Woman. New York: The Dial Press, 1975

    2 Feminist scholars assert that the Mother Goddess hypothesis remains highly debated and controversial.

    3 Pomeroy, Sara B. Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. New York: Schocken Books, 1976, p. 218.

    4 “During the persecutions of the Christians it became relatively commonplace for statues of the Madonna and Child to be disguised as Isis mothering Horus. Many Christians would even publicly follow the cult of Isis as a convenient alibi for their hidden faith. When Christianity eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire the cult of Isis had already become synonymous with the cult of the Virgin Mary. As pagan worship gradually became outlawed the cult of Isis managed to survive by providing the template for the cult of the Virgin.” https://thedailybeagle.net/2013/04/05/373/

  • Maternity, II/III

    Francisco Zuniga

    Mexican, 1912-1998

    Maternity, II/III, 1960

    66 x 20 x 20”

    Bronze

    1982.11.01

    From the Paleolithic age through to the Neolithic era, infanticide was widely practiced with anthropologists estimating that anywhere from fifteen to fifty percent of newborns were killed to limit the population. A Nomadic lifestyle meant that women could not manage, feed or travel with several small children at once. After the Agricultural Revolution, women’s lives were more rooted, with food supplies steady and more predictable, which led to a “Neolithic baby boom”1 where children were necessary and would eventually provide much needed labor.

    Motherhood was the primary occupation of Greco-Roman women regardless of their social class. Children produced in these marriages were the property of the father with male children valued above female children. These warrior cultures required future soldiers to maintain the Empire, and in Greece, generally one female child per family was often all that was needed. Frail, sickly or deformed male babies as well as unwelcome female newborns were abandoned and often succumbed to exposure unless they were adopted into brothels or sold into slavery.2 In Rome, newborns were placed in clay pots and left outside the home to either suffocate, starve or be collected and sold. During the Greco-Roman period, Egyptians, whose culture forbade infanticide and valued both sexes equally, rescued these babies and kept them as household slaves.

    Wealthy women had long outsourced the work of nursing and caring for newborns to the working-class. In 1834, England enacted the New Poor Laws, which included the Bastardy Clause, that barred unwed mothers and their illegitimate children from receiving public assistance. Under this new system, men were no longer required to marry the mothers of their children or to provide financial support. These “fallen women” were often turned out of their family homes and, if they were lucky enough to find work, were immediately discharged as soon as their condition became obvious. The shame and sin, as well as the cost to support herself and her child, were borne by the woman alone. For these stigmatized women, leaving their children in the care of foster mothers was often the only option. This practice, called “baby-farming,” was a euphemism for infanticide, an industry that delivered desperate mothers from a life of misery.

    Maternity is both a biological state and a cultural construct, and consequently the ideas and expectations surrounding it are often naturalized, making the politics involved in this social role obscure. Feminist poet Adrienne Rich points out the hypocrisy underpinning the notion of absolute respect for human life. She says, “Women know firsthand about the violence of the warrior...[and] the institutional violence of political and social systems in which we have little part, but which affects our bodies and our children… the violence over which we have been told is the way of the world…”3

  • Mothers and Sons

    Michael Stone

    American, 1945

    Mothers and Sons, 4/25, 2008

    12 x 16”

    Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
    308 gsm Epson 7800 printer

    2017.15.37

    Gift of The Museum Project

    From the Paleolithic age through to the Neolithic era, infanticide was widely practiced with anthropologists estimating that anywhere from fifteen to fifty percent of newborns were killed to limit the population. A Nomadic lifestyle meant that women could not manage, feed or travel with several small children at once. After the Agricultural Revolution, women’s lives were more rooted, with food supplies steady and more predictable, which led to a “Neolithic baby boom”1 where children were necessary and would eventually provide much needed labor.

    Motherhood was the primary occupation of Greco-Roman women regardless of their social class. Children produced in these marriages were the property of the father with male children valued above female children. These warrior cultures required future soldiers to maintain the Empire, and in Greece, generally one female child per family was often all that was needed. Frail, sickly or deformed male babies as well as unwelcome female newborns were abandoned and often succumbed to exposure unless they were adopted into brothels or sold into slavery.2 In Rome, newborns were placed in clay pots and left outside the home to either suffocate, starve or be collected and sold. During the Greco-Roman period, Egyptians, whose culture forbade infanticide and valued both sexes equally, rescued these babies and kept them as household slaves.

    Wealthy women had long outsourced the work of nursing and caring for newborns to the working-class. In 1834, England enacted the New Poor Laws, which included the Bastardy Clause, that barred unwed mothers and their illegitimate children from receiving public assistance. Under this new system, men were no longer required to marry the mothers of their children or to provide financial support. These “fallen women” were often turned out of their family homes and, if they were lucky enough to find work, were immediately discharged as soon as their condition became obvious. The shame and sin, as well as the cost to support herself and her child, were borne by the woman alone. For these stigmatized women, leaving their children in the care of foster mothers was often the only option. This practice, called “baby-farming,” was a euphemism for infanticide, an industry that delivered desperate mothers from a life of misery.

    Maternity is both a biological state and a cultural construct, and consequently the ideas and expectations surrounding it are often naturalized, making the politics involved in this social role obscure. Feminist poet Adrienne Rich points out the hypocrisy underpinning the notion of absolute respect for human life. She says, “Women know firsthand about the violence of the warrior...[and] the institutional violence of political and social systems in which we have little part, but which affects our bodies and our children… the violence over which we have been told is the way of the world…”3

  • Three Identical Women, Three Identical Children

    Sante Graziani

    American, 1920-2005

    Three Identical Women, Three Identical Children, 58/90

    46 x 51”

    Lithograph on cream paper

    1994.05.01

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Burt Chernow

    A woman’s place is in the home, a well-worn phrase that can be traced back to the Greek playwright Aeschylus in 467 BCE, was popularized in 19th century books, church sermons and magazines, like Godey’s Lady’s Book and Ladies’ Companion, that espoused the Victorian ideals of the “The Cult of Domesticity.” The “angel in the house” was the embodiment of Purity, Piety, Submissiveness and Domesticity, a set of beliefs that essentially confined a woman to the private sphere of home and hearth.

    The “true woman,” as she was also called, was charged with the care of the home, overseeing the formal and religious education of the children, and above all, provided a haven for her harried husband from the rough and tumble world. Upper and middle-class women were not permitted to work outside the home, according to historian Barbara Welter, as they were seen as too delicate of mind and body to withstand the demands of the public sphere.

    The high-status female, barred from the labor market, also communicated to Victorian society that her husband was successful and wealthy, thus able to keep her. Of course, these privileges did not extend to the working class, poor, or women of color who, without a private income or a man, were not only employed outside the home but were seen by Victorian society as immoral, unworthy and contemptible.

    Although the Cult of Domesticity restricted women’s options for work, for education, and participation in the arenas of politics, business, and public service, it nevertheless provided women with the leisure time to network, organize and advocate for reform from within the home. Wealthy, well-educated and well-connected women like Catherine Beecher, who spear-headed the first protest led by women against the Indian Removal Act, and her sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, a world-renowned author who used her notoriety and influence to advocate on behalf of the anti-slavery movement are such examples.

    In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the writers and philosophers Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, and Harriet Martineau were criticized by clergy and the press for advocating for women’s rights and calling for social equality which was seen as undermining the feminine virtues of passivity and submission promoted by the Cult of Domesticity. After voting rights were expanded to include almost all white males between 1812 to 1850, many women took encouragement believing that they, too, might win the right to vote. In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention, held in New York, which was the the first women’s rights movement focusing on women's suffrage, political activism, and legal independence. Modeled on the Declaration of Independence, Stanton read from her own document, the Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…

    On that July day, Stanton’s call to action sparked the beginning of the fight for equal rights for women in America.


    i Welter, Barbara (1966). “The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860.” American Quarterly, p. 151-174

  • Antoinette Brown Blackwell (from the Votes for Women series)

    Suzanne Benton

    American, 1936

    Antoinette Brown Blackwell (from the Votes for Women series), 1996

    36 x 28”

    Monoprint with Chine Colle on Cream paper

    2006.09.01

    Housatonic Museum of Art Purchase

    The women’s movement included a decades long fight for the right to vote that began in the mid-19th century. The Seneca Falls convention in July of 1848, brought together two hundred women and forty men, including feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, to fight for the right to vote. The delegates believed women to be full citizens and not restricted to their roles as wives or mothers. The claustrophobia of the cult of domesticity gave way to activism when intrepid, outspoken women campaigned to reform societal ills as diverse as prostitution, alcohol and, most significantly, slavery. 1

    Feminist artist Suzanne Benton, of Ridgefield, dedicated herself to researching and documenting influential suffragettes in her print series Votes for Women. The top print is of Antoinette Brown Blackwell who graduated Oberlin College in Ohio in 1847 and was the first ordained Protestant minister in the United States. Blackwell joined the women’s rights movement giving her first speech at the 1850 National Women’s Rights Convention. Also active in the abolitionist and temperance movements she wrote for Frederick Douglass’ newspaper, The North Star. In 1873, Blackwell founded the Association for the Advancement of Women and, in 1920 at age 95, she witnessed the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote.


    1 https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/seneca-falls-convention-begins

  • Florence Hope Luscomb (from the Votes for Women series)

    Suzanne Benton

    American, 1936

    Florence Hope Luscomb (from the Votes for Women series), 1991

    36 x 28”

    Monoprint with Chine Colle on Cream paper

    2005.02.01

    Gift of Vivien Leone

    The second print features Florence Hope Luscomb, one of the first women to graduate MIT and receive her degree in Architecture in 1909. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1887, Luscomb’s mother, Hannah Knox Luscomb, was a feminist and active in the women’s suffrage movement. When she was only five, her mother brought her to hear Susan B. Anthony, the social reformer and women’s rights activist speak, igniting within her a life-long passion for advocacy work. After nine years as an architect, Luscomb left the field to work full-time on behalf of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association. And while women’s history remembers the names of Blackwell and Luscomb, let us not forget the countless extraordinary women, Black and White, whose contributions remain anonymous.

  • Ironing Board (Battered Woman Series)

    Nicolas Africano

    American, 1948

    Ironing Board (Battered Woman Series), 1978

    85 x 65”

    Oil Acrylic and wax crayons on canvas

    2001.01.01

    Gift of Dr. Donald Dworken

    Ironing her shirt, a woman is preparing to face the day. As we look more closely at the tiny isolated figure floating in a sea of pink, we spot bruises on her face and back. The notion of home as a safe haven is upended, instead it becomes a private space in which to exercise gender-based violence.

    In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark piece of legislation designed to support and protect survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Issues, such as domestic abuse, moved out of the familial, private sphere to become a community issue. In 2019, the reauthorization of VAWA passed the House of Representatives before stopping at the Republican controlled Senate. Although Congress has continued to provide funding grants for programs to address domestic violence and the Office of Violence Against Women remains active in the U.S. Justice Department, the future of safety and equality for women once again hangs in the balance.

  • Choice Aint No Joke, Union Square, N.Y.C.

    Donna Ferrato

    American, 1949

    Choice Aint No Joke, Union Square, N.Y.C., 1989

    24 x 30”

    Archival pigment print

    2019.15.08

    Gift of Chris Campbell

    Abortion has been practiced since ancient times including techniques such as binding, use of abortifacients and, of course, the use of instruments. The Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dated 1550 BCE, offers the first written documentation of an induced abortion. In Ancient Greece and Rome it is hard to imagine that a culture that practiced infanticide would outlaw abortion, and there was one exception: A wife was obligated to carry a child to term if her husband died in order that the male child could inherit his estate.1

    For most of history, women were able to terminate a pregnancy prior to the moment of quickening, that is, when she could feel the movement of her child. In Colonial America, the same laws existed for both married and unmarried women, allowing them to determine when, if and how many children to bear. By the 19th century, as Victorian women began to limit the number of children they bore, waves of immigrants began arriving on the shores of America threatening the status quo of the ruling class: white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males. The response to family planning was swift, according to Carroll Smith-Rosenberg in her book Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America, with the Victorian anti-abortion movement portraying women who terminated their pregnancies as unnatural and selfish, undermining the expected, patriotic, and godly role of the American woman—that of wife and mother. 2

    By the 1960s during the civil rights and women’s liberation movement, women once again sought to manage their own bodies. In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down the landmark decision of Roe v Wade stating that abortion is a woman’s constitutional right, along with control of her own reproductive health. Forty-eight years later, as the white population recedes in number, efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade are gaining momentum through Republican controlled State legislatures that are seeking to restrict access to abortion clinics or to ban it altogether.


    1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion

    2 https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2013/08/08/71893/scarlet-letters-getting-the-history-of-abortion-and-contraception-right/

  • Operation Rescue, Wash., D.C.

    Donna Ferrato

    American, 1949

    Operation Rescue, Wash., D.C., 1992 (Pro Birth Activist at Pro Choice Rally)

    24 x 30”

    Archival pigment print

    2019.15.07

    Gift of Chris Campbell

    Abortion has been practiced since ancient times including techniques such as binding, use of abortifacients and, of course, the use of instruments. The Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dated 1550 BCE, offers the first written documentation of an induced abortion. In Ancient Greece and Rome it is hard to imagine that a culture that practiced infanticide would outlaw abortion, and there was one exception: A wife was obligated to carry a child to term if her husband died in order that the male child could inherit his estate.1

    For most of history, women were able to terminate a pregnancy prior to the moment of quickening, that is, when she could feel the movement of her child. In Colonial America, the same laws existed for both married and unmarried women, allowing them to determine when, if and how many children to bear. By the 19th century, as Victorian women began to limit the number of children they bore, waves of immigrants began arriving on the shores of America threatening the status quo of the ruling class: white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males. The response to family planning was swift, according to Carroll Smith-Rosenberg in her book Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America, with the Victorian anti-abortion movement portraying women who terminated their pregnancies as unnatural and selfish, undermining the expected, patriotic, and godly role of the American woman—that of wife and mother. 2

    By the 1960s during the civil rights and women’s liberation movement, women once again sought to manage their own bodies. In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down the landmark decision of Roe v Wade stating that abortion is a woman’s constitutional right, along with control of her own reproductive health. Forty-eight years later, as the white population recedes in number, efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade are gaining momentum through Republican controlled State legislatures that are seeking to restrict access to abortion clinics or to ban it altogether.


    1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion

    2 https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2013/08/08/71893/scarlet-letters-getting-the-history-of-abortion-and-contraception-right/

  • Bated Breath

    Lynne Augeri

    American, 1956

    Bated Breath, 1987

    55 x 25”

    Monotype and photograph

    1996.05.02

    Gift of Lee Goldstein

    Erotica is a genre of art that spans thousands of years and can be found across many cultures. For women in the Victorian Age, domestic purity and feminine virtue were the ideals that informed “true womanhood,” with sex strictly reserved for procreation. Yet, for all their rigid morality codes and high-minded principles, the literature and theater of the day revealed their obsession with sex. In 1839, the invention of photography was quickly put to use creating illicit images for both the hetero and homosexual “underground market” that catered to the upper and lower classes alike.

    Lynne Augeri’s photographic self-portraits take the genre of Victorian daguerreotypes as inspiration, blurring the line between the “artistic and the pornographic, so Augeri’s self-portraits occupy an ambiguous zone between “positive” sexual bravado and “perverse” exhibitionism, confidently laying out the contradictions between the two.” 1 She employs the visual rhetoric of both the ‘erotic’ and the ‘pornographic’ and toys with the traditions of artistic conventions that inform the viewer as to what is and what isn’t an acceptable image. These visual cues, however, are mutable as social mores change across time and what was once unacceptable becomes mainstream. Augeri’s photographs deal specifically with sexist representations of women in art and in popular culture to reveal the “systemic quality of objectification and fetishism in the representation of women … [to show] the complex network of relations that meshes power, patriarchy and representation.” 2


    1 John Howell, “Lynne Augeri,” ArtForum, December 1984, page 90.

    2 A. Solomon-Godeau, ‘Reconsidering Erotic Photography: Notes for a Project of Historical Salvage’, in A. Solomon-Godeau, Photography at the Dock: Essays on Photography – History, Institutions and Practices, Minneapolis, 1991, pp. 236.

  • Be the Ideal

    Aidan Boyle

    American, 1993

    Be the Ideal, 2016

    214.5 x 10.5”

    Cyanotype

    On loan courtesy of the artist

    Here, we see an average looking mother and daughter, smiling for the camera against a billboard backdrop featuring a young, hypersexualized, ultra-thin model, completely nude but for the shoes and a strategically placed handbag. Advertising images, like this one, have co-opted the conventions of pornography, a practice that is referred to by several different labels including pornographication, porno chic and pornification. The commodification of the female body performs a normative role culturally and socially as women are sold the aesthetics of porno chic, integrating style elements into the everyday presentation of themselves. Fashion designers, like Tom Ford, claim that these images are empowering, however, they may simply be the latest iteration of the objectification of women..

  • Achieve Perfection Through Dissection

    Aidan Boyle

    American, 1993

    Achieve Perfection Through Dissection, 2016

    214.5 x 10.5”

    Cyanotype

    On loan courtesy of the artist

    The media habitually depicts a narrow and often unattainable standard of an ideal physical beauty and links this standard to women’s own attractiveness and value. Repeated exposure to messages that equate beauty and appearance with a female’s self-worth leads to the internalization of impossible cultural standards of beauty which, in turn, may lead to body dissatisfaction, social anxiety, depression, and eating disorders especially in adolescents.

    In this work, the artist has employed an advertising technique that uses a fragmented female face presented as a collection of problematic parts in search of a solution while the accompanying text reinforces the same message: perfection can be procured through cosmetics or cosmetic surgery. Boyle’s artwork invites us to examine a media environment that continually objectifies the female body, to question traditional gender norms and to think critically about the relationship between representation and power.

  • Is This God’s Plan

    Sherri Wolfgang

    American, 1958

    Is This God’s Plan, 2012

    72 x 48” (diptych)

    Oil on canvas

    2017.14.01

    Using herself as a model, Westport artist Sherri Wolfgang is marked and mapped for a plethora of surgical procedures to tighten and tweak her body and face. Enslaved to the male gaze, a term coined by feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey in her seminal 1975 essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, women are often viewed as objects of male desire. Our culture’s emphasis on a woman’s beauty supersedes all her other attributes, credentials and accomplishments. Wolfgang illustrates for the viewer the extreme measures that women will take to slow the aging process in an effort to preserve their status, worth, and security.

  • Forever 21, 2012 (from the Old Bag series)

    Lori Petchers

    American, 1959

    Faith Baum

    American, 1952

    Forever 21, 2012 (from the Old Bag series), 2014-2015

    70 x 35”

    Photograph

    2015.04.01

    The Old Bags Project began in 2011 as a collaboration between two older Fairfield artists in response to a consumer culture that privileges youth. Co-opting the term old bag, a phrase often used to diminish an aging woman’s value, they invited older women to participate in this portrait project which has had a variety of iterations including photographs, as seen here, video and audio installations, outdoor projections and a book. Having understood advertising’s messages-- that growing old is not only unacceptable, it’s offensive-- Petchers and Baum ask us to examine the ways in which advertising coerces women to participate in and internalize the pressure to be forever twenty-one.

Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler - Art and War

"I found every passion in the sky -- as encompassing and as certain and as fleeting as the intimacy of a night mist. ..."
— Jon Schueler, 8 January 1960, New York City, New York

HMA’s exhibit, Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War, was curated by Marissa Roth, and features twenty-six paintings and selected writings by the esteemed prolific American abstract expressionist that reflect his war experiences. The exhibition, which takes its title from a piece commemorating the disappearance of a plane belongs to his squadron, opened on September 2 on the Housatonic Community College campus, and be on view through October 8, 2021.


  • Lost Man Blues
  • St. Nazaire: Red Sky Blues
  • Sadness In My Dreams
  • To Advance Against
  • Dawn Patrol
  • Wing Shadow Over Grey Sea
  • Sleat Shadow Over Skye
  • New Shadow Blues
  • Fantasy - Red Snow Cloud
  • Snow Cloud
  • Black, Red and Blues
  • Lost Man Blues

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Lost Man Blues, Romasig, Scotland, September 1988

    18 x 16”

    Oil on canvas

  • St. Nazaire: Red Sky Blues

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    St. Nazaire: Red Sky Blues, New York, November 1982

    70 x 63”

    Oil on canvas

  • Sadness In My Dreams

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Sadness In My Dreams, New York, May 1982

    21 x 36”

    Oil on canvas

  • To Advance Against

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    To Advance Against, New York, February 1988

    36 x 60”

    Oil on canvas

  • Dawn Patrol

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Dawn Patrol, New York, December 1983

    24 x 36”

    Oil on canvas

  • Wing Shadow Over Grey Sea

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Wing Shadow Over Grey Sea, New York, April 1982

    72 x 65”

    Oil on canvas

  • Sleat Shadow Over Skye

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Sleat Shadow Over Skye, New York, June–October 1976

    40 x 48”

    Oil on canvas

  • New Shadow Blues

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    New Shadow Blues,New York, March 1981

    44 x 65”

    Oil on canvas

  • Fantasy - Red Snow Cloud

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Fantasy: Red Snow Cloud, Chester, CT 1968

    48 x 54”

    Oil on canvas

  • Snow Cloud

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Snow Cloud, New York, November 1983

    36 x 30”

    Oil on canvas

  • Black, Red and Blues

    Jon Schueler

    American, 1916-1992

    Black, Red and Blues, New York, April 1985

    50 x 79”

    Oil on canvas

Be There When You Return

by Jongil Ma

A new, dynamic interlacing sculpture by South Korean artist, Jongil Ma floats above the entrance to the Burt Chernow Galleries. The major piece, presented by the Housatonic Museum of Art, is an intricate arrangement of stained wood, offering a lesson in balance and flow.

Named ‘Be There When You Return’, the artwork’s design alludes to the history of Bridgeport. Prior to planning the piece, Ma spent time learning about the city, including its early prosperity, decline and steps toward redevelopment. The hopeful piece refers to Bridgeport’s journey and optimistically forecasts a return to residents’ pride and passion for local architecture.

To read further, please click here.

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Jong-il Ma: Be There When You Return

A new, dynamic interlacing sculpture by South Korean artist, Jong-il Ma floats above the entrance to the Burt Chernow Galleries. The major piece, presented by the Housatonic Museum of Art, is an intricate arrangement of stained wood, offering a lesson in balance and flow.

Named ‘Be There When You Return’, the artwork’s design alludes to the history of Bridgeport. Prior to planning the piece, Ma spent time learning about the city, including its early prosperity, decline and steps toward redevelopment. The hopeful piece refers to Bridgeport’s journey and optimistically forecasts a return to residents’ pride and passion for local architecture.

Photos by Tom Brenner.

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The Hypogean Tip features new work by sculptor Rachel Owens in the Burt Chernow Galleries


Opening Reception: February 6, 2020 from 5:30 to 7:30pm


Click Here To Download The Hypogean Tip Publication!
Click Here To View Press Release
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Installation Photos


The Hypogean Tip Opening Reception

Click Here To View Photos From The Opening Reception!

The Roots of Abstraction a virtual exhibition


Roots of Abstraction Cover
Download Roots of Abstraction Catalog Here

Click Here To Download The Faculty Guide to Abstract Expressionism!

Click Here To Download The Formal Analysis Chart For Students

Curated by Robbin Zella, Director, Housatonic Museum of Art
Essay by Sarah Churchill, Art Instructor, Housatonic Community College


  • Robert Beauchamp
    Robert Beauchamp
    American, 1923-1995
    Untitled (animal), 1956
    Oil on board
    Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Kahn

    1981.12.01
  • Jimmy Ernst
    Jimmy Ernst
    American, 1920-1984
    Untitled, 1958

    Oil on canvas
    Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Gilbert Rose

    1985.06.01
  • William Baziotes
    William Baziotes
    American, 1912-1963
    Untitled, n.d.
    Oil on masonite
    Gift of Dr. Barry Musikant

    1984.22.01
  • Jimmy Ernst-2
    Jimmy Ernst
    American, 1920-1984
    Disc, 1967
    Oil on masonite
    Gift of the artist

    1968.41.01
  • Norio Azuma
    Norio Azuma
    Japanese/American, 1928-2004
    Waterfront, 27/50, ca 1970s
    Serigraph on canvas
    Gift of the artist

    1968.42.01
  • Curt Barnes
    Curt Barnes
    American, 1943
    Construction, 1974
Collage and mixed media on paper
    Gift of Jud and Barrie Ebersman

    2000.18.12
  • Stephen Greene
    Stephen Greene
    American, 1917-1999
    Blue Light, 1966
    Oil on canvas
    Gift of Justin and Vivian Ebersman

    2012.11.02
  • Herbert Ferber
    Herbert Ferber
    American, 1906-1991
    Peace, (from the Peace Portfolio), 1970, AP
Silkscreen on cream wove paper
    Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Kahn
    1984.24.05
  • Theodoros Stamos
    Theodoros Stamos
    Greek-American, 1922-1997
    The Ship of Odysseus, n.d.
    Oil on masonite
    Gift of Benjamin Weiss
    
 1967.43.01
  • Hale Woodruff
    Hale Woodruff
    American, 1900-1980
    Two Figures: Abstraction, ca. 1958
Oil on canvas
    Gift of the artist

    1968.16.01
  • Alfonso Ossorio
    Filipino-American, 1916-1990
    Blow in the Face, 1963
    Mixed media assemblage
    Gift of Fred Ossorio

    1977.34.01
  • Seymour Lipton
    Seymour Lipton
    American, 1903-1986
    Oracle: Study for Clairvoyant, 1969
Lithograph on cream wove paper
    Gift of Burt and Ann Chernow

    1989.04.14
  • Richard Hunt
    Richard Hunt
    American, 1935
    Untitled, ca. 1970s
    Lithograph on wove paper
    Gift of Samuel Dorsky

    1978.61.02
  • Richard Hunt
    Richard Hunt
    American, 1935
    Untitled, ca. 1970s
    Lithograph on Wove paper
    Gift of Samuel Dorsky

    1978.61.01
  • Conrad Marca-Relli
    Conrad Marca-Relli
    American, 1913-2000
    Ville Neuve, 1982
    Lithograph on cream wove paper
    Gift of Bruce Cappels

    1991.19.69
  • Romare Bearden
    Romare Bearden
    American, 1911-1988
    The Conversation, 11/175, 1979
Lithograph on cream paper
    Gift of Bruce Cappels

    1991.19.07
  • Theodoros Stamos
    Theodoros Stamos
    Greek/American, 1922-1997
    IFLS, 15/100, 1979
    Lithograph on wove paper
    Gift of Aaron Miller

    1995.27.09
  • Willem de Kooning
    Willem de Kooning
    Danish, 1904-1997
    Seated Woman, 1987
    Bronze
    Gift of Herman Klarsfeld
    1996.29.02
  • Louise Nevelson
    Louise Nevelson
    American, 1899-1988
    Lullaby for Jumbo, 72/150, 1966
    Photographic screen print with collage on yellow paper
    Gift of Hugh Levin
    1993 23. 02

    Masters of Op Art


    Masters of Op Art Cover
    Download Masters of Op Art Catalog Here

    Click Here To Download The Faculty Guide to Abstract Expressionism!

    Click Here To Download The Formal Analysis Chart For Students

    How Color Tricks the Eye and Brain

    Optical Illusions

    Nathan Jacobs/Optical Illusions

    Curated by Robbin Zella, Director, Housatonic Museum of Art



    • Henry Charles Pearson
      Henry Charles Pearson
      American, 1914-2006
      Expanding Yellow #10, 1959
      Oil on canvas
      Gift of the artist
      1969.08.01
    • Henry Charles Pearson-2
      Henry Charles Pearson
      American, 1914-2006
      Untitled, 19/30, 1995
      Screen-print on off-white wove paper
      Gift of Mark Greenstein
      2001.02.08
    • Richard Anuszkiewicz
      Richard Anuszkiewicz
      American, 1930
      Splendor of Orange, 82/100, 1978
      Serigraph on paper
      Gift of Hugh Levin
      1993.23.10
    • Richard Anuszkiewicz-2
      Richard Anuszkiewicz
      American, 1930
      Sequential X, 124/200, 1972
      Silkscreen on cream paper
      1982.46.01
    • Stanley William Hayter
      Stanley William Hayter
      American, 1901-1988
      Desiree, 5/10, 1966
      Screen-print on off-white wove paper
      Gift of Herbert Lust
      1991.17.13
    • Josef Albers
      Josef Albers
      German/American, 1888-1976
      I.S.E. Homage to a Square,
      Variant II from Ten Variants, 52/200, 1966
      Serigraph on cream paper
      Student Government Purchase
      1975.15.01
    • Josef Levi
      Josef Levi
      American, 1938
      XWZCB, 1968
      Screen-print on cream paper
      Gift of Mark Greenstein
      2001.02.06
    • Richard Anuszkiewicz
      Richard Anuszkiewicz
      American, 1930
      Tiles/Coasters, 182/250, 1964
      Porcelain enameled tiles/coasters
      Gift of Mark Greenstein
      2007.04.06
    • Josef Levi-2
      Josef Levi
      American, 1938
      Nyotitrobic II, 1965
      Perforated metal and Liquitex
      Gift of the artist
      1967.09.01
    • Victor Vasarely
      Victor Vasarely
      French/Hungarian, 1906-1997
      Kass-MC-“Rhythm,”183/250, 1970
      Serigraph on cream paper
      Gift of Bernard Manuel
      1980.47.02
    • Victor Vasarely-2
      Victor Vasarely
      French/Hungarian, 1906-1997
      Izzo Rouge (from the Gestalt Album), 1970
      Serigraph on paper
      Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Woods
      1988.03.12.02
    • Victor Vasarely-3
      Victor Vasarely
      French/Hungarian, 1906-1997
      Uran II, 60/250, 1979
      Serigraph in colors
      Gift of Bernard Manuel
      1980.47.03
    • Victor Vasarely-4
      Victor Vasarely
      French/Hungarian, 1906-1997
      Opale-3 from “Clarities” in the Amiel Album, 182/250,
      1970
      Serigraph in colors
      Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Woods
      1988.03.10
    • Victor Vasarely-5
      Victor Vasarely
      French/Hungarian, 1906-1997
      Omega V, 84/250, 1979
      Serigraph on paper
      Gift of Mr. Bernard Manuel
      1980.47.04

      Photorealism: Fixing the Fleeting Moment

      Photorealism Cover
      Download Photorealism Catalog Here



      • Baeder
        John Baeder
        American, 1938
        Market Diner, 31/250, 1979
        Screen-print on off-white Somerset wove paper
        Gift of Bruce Cappels
        1991.19.106
      • Bechtle
        Robert Bechtle
        American, 1932
        ‘68 Nova, 1972
        (from the suite Documenta: The Super Realists)
        Six color lithograph on Arches paper (Printers Proof)
        Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Kahn
        1984.24.08
      • Bell
        Charles Bell
        American, 1935-1995
        Little Italy, 31/250, 1979
        (from the City-Scapes Portfolio)
        Screen-print on off-white Somerset wove paper
        Gift of Bruce Cappels
        1991.19.107
      • Besser
        Arne Besser
        American, 1935-2012
        Bridgehampton, 32/250, 1979
        (from the City-Scapes Portfolio)
        Screen-print on Somerset white satin paper
        Gift of Bruce Cappels
        1991.19.09
      • Bull
        Fran Bull
        American, 1938
        Lincoln Center/Dusk, 31/250, 1979
        (from the City-Scapes Portfolio)
        Screen-print on Somerset white satin paper
        Gift of Bruce Cappels
        1991.19.110
      • Han
        H.N. Han
        Chinese/American, 1939
        New York Skyline, 31/250, 1980
        (from the City-Scapes Portfolio)
        Screen-print on Somerset white satin paper
        Gift of Bruce Cappels
        1991.19.112
      • Mahaffey
        Noel Mahaffey
        American, 1944
        Night, Times Square, 32/250, 1979
        (from the City-Scapes Portfolio)
        Screen-print on Somerset white satin paper
        Gift of Bruce Cappels
        1991.19.67
      • Yao
        C.J. Yao
        Chinese/American, 1941-2000
        Entex Building, Houston, 224/250, 1981
        Screen-print on off-white Somerset wove paper
        Gift of Bruce Cappels
        1991.19.99

        Of Woman Born

        “There is nothing revolutionary whatsoever about the control of women’s bodies by men,” to quote author, poet and feminist, Adrienne Rich. “The woman’s body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.” Of Woman Born explores the ways in which male dominance has manifested itself in familial, social, legal, political, religious and economic systems—patriarchal structures that, over the centuries, have continually been used to dominate, oppress and exploit women.

        Although women have made great strides, such as the right to vote and equal access to education, there is still more work to be done. Women’s rights are human rights and include freedom from discrimination, freedom from violence, and freedom from gender inequality.

        Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler - Art and War

        "I found every passion in the sky -- as encompassing and as certain and as fleeting as the intimacy of a night mist. ..."
        — Jon Schueler, 8 January 1960, New York City, New York

        HMA’s exhibit, Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War, was curated by Marissa Roth, and features twenty-six paintings and selected writings by the esteemed prolific American abstract expressionist that reflect his war experiences. The exhibition, which takes its title from a piece commemorating the disappearance of a plane belongs to his squadron, opened on September 2 on the Housatonic Community College campus, and be on view through October 8, 2021.

        Eric Chiang: Are We Born Connected?

        Artist and musical composer Eric Chiang’s large-scale compositions engage our understanding of harmonia universalis, the classical Greek “fitting together” of the universe. Chiang’s canvases explore harmos, a builder’s term used to describe connectedness. The classical Greek curriculum of philosophy, mathematics, music, and astronomy was designed to inscribe students with inter-disciplinary connectedness, a tradition which continues in today’s liberal arts education.

        Incorporating visual elements of astronomy and music, Chiang’s paintings evoke the mathematical observations of 5th century BCE Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who observed the frequency, or audible vibration of a string when plucked, as inversely proportional to the length of the string. Extrapolating on these effects, Pythagoras reasoned that the motion of the planets also produced resonance. “There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres” (attributed to Pythagoras, 569-490 BCE).

        As a metaphor, the “music of the spheres,” the hidden harmos of planetary motions, provided inspiration for generations of musicians, philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists. Most significantly, in 1619, astronomer Johannes Kepler formalized the calculation of distances, orbits, and velocities of known planets. Kepler’s Harmonices Mundi mathematically confirmed the heliocentric model of the universe and transformed our approach to modern science.

        We are a generation born connected. Our innovations in instruments and technology have extended sensory perception, asked new questions, and refined our explanations of the natural world. Eric Chiang’s paintings, however, offer a sober meditation on harmos. As stand-ins for the human figure, Chiang’s musical instruments drift alone, dis-connected, and silent in the vacuum of space and geologic record of the past. Yet, they all speak with the same “voice.” Discovering our stellar origins demands that we recover harmos: our relationship and responsibility to our species, our planet, and our universe.

        Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, Here + Now

        Joseph Fucigna’s one-person exhibition, Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, Here + Now has had a few bumps on its journey to the Burt Chernow Galleries. The original show, Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, was scheduled to open at the Housatonic Museum of Art in September 2018. Due to water damage from a fire above the gallery, the exhibition was canceled a week before the opening. The show was rescheduled for September 2020 and was postponed a second time due to the COVID virus. It is ironic how the original title, Drip-Drop, Tick-Tock, seems to have anticipated the circumstances of the show cancellations. Drip-Drop for the water damage and Tick-Tock the ticking time bomb of COVID.

        With a three-year gap between the original 2018 show and the October 2021 opening, the exhibition can be considered a brief survey of sculptures and paintings starting from 2010 to the present, with emphasis on new works created since 2019. Throughout his career, Fucigna has enjoyed taking modest industrial materials and transforming them into elegant yet provocative abstractions. His sculptures, paintings and drawings are rooted in process, play, and the innate qualities of the materials. Through experimentation, and innovation, Fucigna creates works that are known for their power to transform materials, ingenuity, and odd but compelling subject matter. The ultimate goal is to create an artwork that is a perfect balance between suggestive content and the formal qualities of the materials that allow both to be active participants.

        In A Dark Wood, Wandering
        Opening Reception

        A Survey Exhibition of Sculptures by Joe Saccio

        Opening Reception: Thursday, Nov. 7th from 5:30PM-7:00PM

        Photos by Tom Brenner.

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        Close to the Line

        Opening September 5, 2019 At Housatonic Museum of Art

        The Housatonic Museum is pleased to present Close to the Line: Mari Rantanen and Kirsten Reynolds, an investigation of geometric abstraction through a performative lens. Curated by Barbara O’Brien, the exhibition will be on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries at the Housatonic Museum Art September 5 – October 12, 2019. A reception with the artists and curator will be held on Thursday, September 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. This event is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

        According to curator O’Brien, “Close to the Line will reconsider the history of 20th century geometric abstraction, its evolution and place in the 21st century. The expression and intention of the artist will be in active dialogue with the experience of the viewer. Large-scale works will tread lightly between painting, sculpture, architecture and the performative.”

        For the exhibit “Close to the Line” Reynolds will exhibit two new architectural installations. In the main gallery, viewers can walk through “Switchback,” 2019, a tall cluster of trestle-style architectural frames connected to large fragments of decorative arcs. The arcs seem to spin or fall around a brightly painted platform, creating a theatrical “stage” of frozen movement that playfully frames the viewers’ physical engagement with the space. In the second gallery, “post” 2019 is an arrangement of faux architectural forms that interchangeably suggests an ordinary structural support, remnant of an unknown intention or an ambiguous point in a narrative of construction and demolition.

        Poised between perpetual creation and imminent collapse, Reynold’s large-scale, site-specific architectural installations activate the agency of uncertainty. Her work explores the inter-relationships between language, architecture and the body as theoretical constructions that become fluid and emergent through humor, curiosity and wonder. Colorful printed patterns and faux wood grain used throughout the installations present a surface façade that complicates materiality, rendering her architectural constructions as unstable and performative. Reynold’s absurd tableaus create a space between fact and fiction that the viewer can enter, becoming a participant in an irresolvable narrative.

        Reynolds has exhibited widely, most recently at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, the McIninch Gallery at Southern New Hampshire University; the Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire; the Blue Star Contemporary Museum, San Antonio, Texas; the Currier Museum, Manchester New Hampshire, and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln Massachusetts. She holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from Maine College of Art. Reynolds is the recipient of numerous awards including the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, New Hampshire State Council for the Arts Artist Grant. She lives and works in Newmarket, New Hampshire with her husband and two children.

        Born in Espoo, Finland, Mari Rantanen has had a distinguished, international career including a professorship at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from 1996-2005. Commissions to design large-scale architectural public art works include the Niittykumpu Subway Station in Espoo, Finland and the Citybanan Odenplan Metro Station in Stockholm Sweden, both 2017. For more than 20 years, Rantanen has maintained a studio practice in Stockholm, Sweden, Tammela, Finland, and New York City. She studied at the School of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Finland. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied at Pratt Institute in New York City. In the past few years alone, Rantanen has had solo exhibitions in France, Finland, Sweden, Germany and the United States.

        For "Close to the Line," Rantanen will premiere a large-scale triptych which will create an enveloping experience of vivid color and glowing light. A few paintings from the 2017 series "There is a Crack in Everything. That is How the Light Comes In" - will also be shown. The series title is borrowed from the song "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen. The sets of paintings, mural-like in scale, will fill the peripheral vision of the viewer and create an evolving experience as the visitor moves through the gallery, suggesting looking at an idea or subject matter from different points of departure.

        Rantanen’s signature palette of glowing, bright oranges, reds, pinks and greens create a near op-art experience of vibrating geometric forms. The palette is given a classical counterpoint with the addition of gold and silver created from German pigments mixed with acrylic. A marvelous, light filled space is created through the placement of side-by-side geometric forms; ovoid, triangles, stripes, dots, and hatch marks. In her paintings, color bears the emotional quality and feelings, while the geometric forms bring a narrative quality.

        “My work,” says Rantanen, “reflects life via culture. I am especially interested in architecture and painting - places people have made. The history and presence of visual culture, the different systems and patterns that make life visible both as it is seen in the everyday life as well as in the high culture are of great importance to me. I want to combine element of different cultures through my own experiences as well as interpret the experiences of others as I them understand. With my work I hope to make good places and spaces for emotions.

        Barbara O’Brien is an independent curator and critic based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was Executive Director of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri from 2012-2017, after serving as chief curator and director of exhibitions since 2009. O’Brien is an elected member of AICA-USA, International Association of Art Critics. “I am delighted to be working with the Housatonic Museum and director Robbin Zella. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring together the art of Mari Rantanen and Kirsten Reynolds to create a dialogue around the art and artists of our time.”

        Prior to her time at the Kemper Museum, O’Brien was an assistant professor in the Art & Music department at Simmons College in Boston (2006-08), editor-in-chief of Art New England magazine (2003-06) and Director of the Gallery and Visiting Artist Program at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA (1990-2001). O’Brien earned an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and in 2006 was awarded the RISD national alumni award for professional achievement.


        About the Reception

        A reception with the artists and curator will be held on Thursday, September 5 from 5:30PM - 7:30PM. Musician Joe Mennonna will be performing.

        Joe Mennonna is a freelance musician with a wide-ranging musical career spanning liturgical and educational, as well as studio and live performing in jazz, rock, folk and classical genres. He is currently a multi-instrumentalist for actor Kevin Bacon’s band The Bacon Brothers, and is an associate organist for The Church of St. Mary in Greenwich, CT. He has toured with folk legends Tom Rush, Don McLean, Al Stewart and Janis Ian. He has scored numerous features, documentaries as well as multi-media corporate presentations for IBM, Ford, Colgate-Palmolive and other large and small companies, and appears as a keyboard or saxophone soloist on recordings with Vanessa Williams, Melba Moore, Gillan and Glover of Deep Purple, Tom Rush and Richie Havens. He is a Grammy nominee (2009, Best Musical Album for Children), and continues in record production, artist development and music instruction.


        Mari Rantanen, "There is a crack in everything, that is how the light comes in #11", 2017, 72" x 44"


        Kirsten Reynolds, architectural model for "post", wood and paint, 2019


        Click Here To View the Images from the Gallery Opening
        Click Here To Download Close to the Line Publication!

        A portrait!

        What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.  Charles Baudelaire

         

        Telling Portraits

        Portraits were once the exclusive province of monarchs and nobles, symbols of privilege and prosperity. With the development of the daguerreotype in 1839, working class people soon had a means of capturing their own likeness inexpensively and, by 1901, cameras like Kodak’s Brownie became so affordable, anyone could take pictures!

        Andy Warhol, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, comes closest to the notion of the valet de chambre or court painter. He, himself, was famous as a chronicler of the rich and famous, though his monumental paintings began as the humble Polaroids on view here. Similarly, photographer Hans Neleman records not only the likeness of his subject, but also the rich tradition of tattooing known as ta moko, a practice that signals one’s status within Maori society. In contrast, Sean Kernan’s subjects are kept separate and apart from society. Locked behind the walls of maximum security prisons, we are offered only fractured features reflected in a mirror, the very inverse of celebrity and rank.

        Taking pictures of people as they move about their day, unaware they are being observed, is at the very heart of candid photography.  Renowned street photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, conveys a bit of humor with his “portrait” of a small child laboring to carry a portrait as large as herself. Larry Silver takes unplanned photos of people and situations as well. As a little boy gazes off into the distance unaware of Silver’s presence, his puppy stares directly into the camera lens. With over one hundred Rolling Stone covers to his credit, the celebrated portrait photographer, Mark Seliger, caught this young girl contributing her teddy bear to one of the many memorials that materialized in New York City after 9/11. These photographs are not meant to document a particular person, but rather, to capture “decisive moments” as they unfold.

        Material, motion and mood are employed by Robert Klein, Kenda North and Deborah Dancy to reveal, instead of a likeness, the personality of their subjects. A woman, fully clothed replete with red shoes, is seated at the bottom of a pool; another woman dances with her mother’s wedding dress while an “empty suit” leans against a lamp post. Sensitive and poetic or social and political, image by image, these photographs create portraits that both show and tell.

        • William Noyes

          William Noyes

          American, 1918

          Pedro E. Guerrero, 1984
          Gelatin silver print

          Gift of the artist

          1995.26.211.136

        • Robert Klein

          Robert Klein

          American, 1952

          Untitled, 1976-1978
          Black and white photograph

          Gift of the artist

          1985.19.07

        • Henri Cartier-Bresson

          Henri Cartier-Bresson

          French, 1908-2004

          Gelatin silver print

          Gift of the artist

          1992.20.11.04

        • Mark Seliger

          Mark Seliger

          American, 1959

          Untitled from “here is new york, 2001
          Digital print on paper

          Gift of Robert Thornton

          2002.16.09

        • Sean Kernan

          Sean Kernan

          American, 1942

          Prison, West Virginia, 1977-1979
          from “Without, Mercy, Pardon or Parole Gelatin silver print

          Purchased with funds from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

          2003.13.02

        • Sean Kernan

          Sean Kernan

          American, 1942

          Prison, Alabama, 1977-1979
          from “Without, Mercy, Pardon or Parole Gelatin silver print

          Purchased with funds from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

          2003.13.02

        • Andy Warhol

          Andy Warhol

          American, 1928-1987

          Dolly Parton, 1985
          Rhonda Ross, 1981
          Pia Zadora, 1983

          Polacolor ER

          Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

          2009.05.17, 2009.05.25, 2009.05.26

        • Andy Warhol

          Andy Warhol

          American, 1928-1987

          Grilled Corn
          Black and white photograph

          Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

          2009.05.115

        • Marvin Schwartz

          Marvin Schwartz

          American

          Christo with wrapped telephone, New York City, 1972
          Selenium archival silver print

          Gift of Mark Greenstein

          2010.11.13

        • Deborah Dancy

          Deborah Dancy

          American, 1949

          Dancing with my Mother, 1/10 2010
          Digital photograph

          2015.11.01

        • Robert Von Sternberg

          Robert Von Sternberg

          American, 1939

          Pasadena Rose Parade, 1971
          Photograph, archival ink jet print

          Gift of The Museum Project

          2017.15.13

        • Kenda North

          Kenda North

          American, 1951

          Bliss, 2017
          from the Submerged series

          Ultra chrome pigments printed on Hahnemule William Turner paper

          Gift of The Museum Project

          2017.15.43

        • Kenda North

          Kenda North

          American, 1951

          Red Shoes, 2009-2017
          from the Urban Pools series

          Ultra chrome pigment printed on Hahnemule William Turner paper

          Gift of The Museum Project

          2017.15.44

        • Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

          Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

          Lauren (Piata) Heenan

          Iwi: Father’s side,Ngati Kahungunu. Mother’s side, Ngai te Rangi

          “My moko is the moko of a student, the moko of a woman proud to be a wahine”

          2018.04.03

        • Sara Augenbraun

          Sara Augenbraun

          American, 1953

          Untitled (from the series Carnival)

          Color photograph

          On loan from Robbin Zella

          L2018.02.01

        • Larry Silver

          Larry Silver

          Child with Puppy, 1950

          Gelatin silver print

          1984_10_02

        • Herb Ritts

          Herb Ritts

          Mask, Hollywood, 1989

          Gelatin silver print

          1996_05_43_17

        • Larry Silver

          Larry Silver

          Headstand, Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, CA, 1954,

          Silver gelatin print

          2016_03_02

        • Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

          Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

          Whare

          Iwi: Ngai te Rangi, Ngai Tuhoe

          2018_04_04

          On View

          The HMA displays works from the permanent collection and long-term loans throughout the college including offices, atriums and lounges.

          Currently on view is Object Lessons which includes over twenty thematic installations including:

          • A Fine Line which focuses on the use of line in etchings, drawings, paintings and sculpture;
          • Telling Portraits featuring photographs by Andy Warhol, Hans Neleman, Larry Silver, Kenda North, Sean Kernan, Deborah Dancy and Larry Silver;
          • Torn, Ripped and Cut: The Art of Collage; Circuses, Carnivals and Fairs; Word/Play and Artist as Activist, to name a few.

          The BURT CHERNOW Galleries are currently closed for renovation.

          Exhibit Archive


          Please browse our list of exhibitions below. They are organized by year from 1998 through the current year. To go to a particular year, please click on the corresponding link.

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          Current Exhibit Images


          Images will go here.