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The Director

April Director’s Message

Dear Friends,

I am eager to share with you some highlights from our forthcoming programs.

Our series of evening hours continues Thursday, April 6, when the museum will be open late for Art After Dark: Neon Night. Tour the exhibition at the heart of it all—Keith Sonnier: Three Neons/Three Decades—with its curator, and celebrate National Poetry Month with a poetry slam and reading. All of the galleries will be open from 5-8pm with exciting things do to around every corner, so be sure to explore! I was thrilled to see hundreds of visitors at our last Art After Dark in February, and expect this Thursday’s event to be just as vibrant. Also not to be missed—our much loved Second Saturdays for Families program continues April 8, this month in collaboration with The Amistad Center for Art and Culture in honor of its 30 for 30 exhibition.

At the end of the month, two Pop art treasures by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein will travel from the Museum of Modern Art to the Wadsworth Atheneum to headline the exhibition Hand-Painted Pop! Art and Appropriation, 1961 to Now. Warhol’s Water Heater and Lichtenstein’s Girl with Ball—both painted entirely by hand in 1961, before mechanical processes came to define the movement—employ imagery derived directly from newspaper ads. These two works begin an exploration of art and the appropriation of mass media and popular culture, juxtaposing a selection of Pop-inspired pieces by artists including Robert Arneson, Rosalyn Drexler, Sam Durant, Robert Longo, Cady Noland, and Richard Prince with their original source material.

Another kind of appropriation will also enliven our galleries at the end of April—not a new exhibition, but a cherished 36 year-old tradition. Fine Art & Flowers draws floral designers from across New England to create floral responses to around 60 masterpieces in the Atheneum’s collection. The arrangements stand beside the artworks that inspired them for three days only, so I encourage you to think spring and visit the museum during this time-honored fundraiser, presented by the museum’s Women’s Committee.

Fine Art & Flowers is on view April 28-30, and Hand-Painted Pop! opens April 29. I look forward to joining you for the festivities


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Thomas J. Loughman
Director and CEO