One of the great pleasures of my job is the possibility of roaming around in the collection storage vault and making new discoveries. Sadly, I don’t have the time to do it frequently but every time I do, I am thankful that I took the opportunity. Recently, I viewed a portrait of a gentleman by Connecticut’s own Robert Brackman (1898-1980) with the sitter’s nephew and appreciated it in a whole new light. Certainly, it was a distinguished and artistically rendered portrayal of a person, well deserving of its inclusion in an art museum collection. The picture took on an entirely new life, however, while discussing the actual person depicted, with his nephew. I was once again reminded about one of the functions of art in our lives – in this case, inspiring familial memory by portraying the noble attributes of a loved one, it’s not just an interesting depiction of an anonymous sitter!!
Along those lines of discovery, one can never predict what will catch one’s eye in an exhibition. Usually, we attend a museum with a preconceived notion about what we will behold and enjoy. But it is the act of allowing yourself to be open to new possibilities that makes the visit truly exciting and uplifting. There are many opportunities for this kind of experimentation now (and always) on view at the Lyman Allyn, and I hope you will take advantage of them. You might plan a visit to enjoy the Paper Moon show, and also find yourself moved by the Afghan War Rugs installation. Or perhaps, cross our threshold intent on studying works by Connecticut’s own Sol LeWitt, and end up being touched by the tenderness of the 18th century portrait of Eunice Huntington Devotion and her child. The point is that by remaining open to possibilities of art affecting you, your visit can truly become an adventure, a journey well worth taking. There are plenty of moments for discovery awaiting you in our galleries, fellow traveler, and I hope to see you exploring them here in the near future.
There are many other reasons to plan a visit to the Lyman Allyn, of course, and you can read about them elsewhere in this eNewsletter.
I hope to see you here soon!