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The Director

December Director’s Message

Dear Friends,

On November 29, we opened the 45th Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions at Night of Illumination. The galleries are brightened with holiday cheer and make a delightful opportunity for you here with your family and friends. The complete festival schedule can be found here. Our thanks to the Women’s Committee and the nearly 100 community groups that created the special holiday displays and live performances that annually become a highlight for so many in our region.

Our observance of World Aid’s Day/ A Day Without Art includes the installation of Group Material’s watershed piece created in 1990 at the time of the Wadsworth’s MATRIX 111 show AIDS Timeline and Real Art Ways having engaged the collective which included Doug Ashford, Julie Ault, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Karen Ramspacher. The screenprint is one of the memorable Hartford examples of art as public awareness and one which has enduring impact. It’s installed just steps from the Main Street entrance where AIDS Connecticut (ACT) will be on-site December 1.

Just before Christmas two more rather specular American art installations will be in place in our galleries. Design in the American Home 1650-1850 is a dynamic look at the way our experience of worldly goods and our quest for beauty and splendor materializes in stages. The first of two presentations of our remarkable collection of watercolors by Edward Hopper and his contemporaries depicts the natural and human-designed world. The second show–going up in March–highlights still lifes by those same artists. If you haven’t experienced the current exhibition Bed Furnishings in Early America, I encourage you to get a look at the rare early examples of New England textiles. 

As memorialized in our new annual report (available free to all visitors) and as discussed at our recent annual meeting, we are so thankful for the past year’s connectivity to the community that brings the joy of art to so many. At a time when arts education is largely on the chopping block in school budgets, we were able to reach the next generation of art lovers, creating exceptional early experiences with art from around the world and throughout history. We are here for you and the Wadsworth exists to serve your curiosity and inspire new conversations about the future. Consider making a financial gift to our annual appeal. Together we strengthen our great community and ensure this place for art within it.

With best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season for all,


 Thomas J. Loughman
Director and CEO