Mission: "erected by the people for use of the people," the new britain museum of american art is dedicated to serving all people by pursuing excellence in art through collecting, exhibiting and education. Core artistic programming consists of the display of the permanent collection and upwards of 24 special exhibitions per year - traditional to contemporary, and programming for all ages, interests and abilities.
Programs: The acquisition and conservation of american art is at the forefront of our mission. Around 10% of our collection is on display on a daily basis for the enjoyment of the general public. Other objects are available to scholars for study or for loan to other museums and select corporations, organizations and public agencies. The museum's collection, numbering more than 11,500 works and spanning three centuries, reflects strength in colonial portraiture, the hudson river school, american impressionism and the eight. The collection includes thomas hart benton's mural series "the arts of life in america," the 18-foot-long painting "the cycle of terror and tragedy, september 11, 2001" by graydon parrish, and dale chihuly's "blue and beyond blue" spectacular chandelier. Added to the collections this year were over 500 works of art.
a total of 25 exhibitions and 3 installations were on view in fy15. Major exhibitions in the mckernan gallery featured glass today: 21st century innovations, let me quilt one more day, over life's waters: the coastal art collection of charles and irene hamm, and the enchanting jewels of elizabeth gage. Davis gallery shows offered a variety ranging from this one's optimistic: pincushion curated by cary smith and nelson augustus moore: connecticut water, hills and sky. Emerging artists were showcased in our new/now series (joe fig, bob gregson, titus kaphar, karl lund, and katja loher) and in our new media installations (david borawski, john o'donnell, and catherine ross). The work of local artists was on display in three shows from area school districts and the members exhibition. These exhibitions were shown alongside the display of the nbmaa permanent collection in newly reinstalled galleries, plus the growing outdoor sculpture garden, works in the appropriation and inspiration series, and installations including jill reynolds and daniel spitzer's nor'easter.
education remains central to the museum's mission and the nbmaa succeeded this past year in creating and presenting an astonishing number of authentic, relevant and accessible programs. Student/educator programming: the museum partnered with schools and organizations in the greater hartford area, providing tours and teacher services to 80 towns in ct. In a 30+ year partnership with new britain schools, every 4th and 7th grader visits the museum free of charge. We offer professional development for educators (tours, studio activities, and ideas for integrating american art into classroom learning); a variety of themed or customized docent-led tours with optional related studio activity; and pre-tour and post-tour activities and support materials. (9,447 served, in 728 docent-led school tours). Studio classes for children and youth, were offered weekly and during school vacations, taught by artists/educators and/or museum educators: museum & me (ages 0-2); early childhood learning (ages 3-5); art start (ages 3-5), sat. 11-11:45 a. M. ; art explorers (ages 6-8), sat. 10:30-noon; studio@4 (ages 8-11), thurs. 4-5:30 p. M. ; youth drawing 101 (ages 11-13), wed. 4-5 p. M. ; art adventures 10:30 a. M. -noon: 3 days during school vacations in february and april and 3 days a week for 6 weeks in july and august; museum/theater collaborative with new britain youth theater. (4,572 served). Adult programming (19,733) consisted of: day of learning - a full-day of lectures, expert-led tours and panel discussions; wed@1 - informal lectures or talks, film, music or art & literature programs 1-2 p. M. ; monthly art happy hours, thurs. 5:30-7 p. M. - art and conversation with artists or scholars; periodic talks, or lectures; a monthly sunday music series 3-4 p. M. ; film screenings; weekly adult studio programs: (sketching, watercolors, oil painting); several sunday studio workshops; american masterpieces tour: sun. 1 p. M. ; welcome tour/orientation to the facility sat. 11 a. M. ; take 20 @ 12 mini talks tues. ; 1-hour docent led adult/college tours; docent training - intensive weekly 8-month sessions; first friday 5:30-8 p. M. - live jazz, gallery talks, art activities, and refreshments; museum after dark 8-11 p. M. - quarterly themed parties with a dj, dancing, libations, performance art and art activities; the annual juneteenth celebration 7-11 p. M. - a spirited evening of live music and dancing and delicious food and drink; craft sippin' in new britain craft beer festival; 15 exhibition openings; and the nbmaa travel program: art-intensive domestic and international trips. A total of 91,154 visitors were welcomed in fy15.
program support includes visitor services, auxilliary services and public relations.