A COMISSIONED WORK BY ARTIST DON GUMMER
Cross Currents has been permanently installed in front of the Museum addition, which was completed in 2021. Inspired by the beautiful and open Waterbury Green and the intersection of the many roads surrounding it, Gummer has created a new monument to the life of Downtown Waterbury.
HOW IT CAME ABOUT: Mattatuck Museum Director, Bob Burns, was first introduced to Gummer by Jane Eckert of Eckert Fine Art, who represents the artist. This connection led to a studio visit by Burns and former Mattatuck Curator, Cynthia Roznoy and ultimately resulted in a solo exhibition of Don’s work in 2015. This exhibit featured a retrospective of his preliminary large-scale drawings side by side with finished wall relief sculptures dating back to the mid-1970’s. Gummer re-created a floor piece, once part of the 1977, Ionic Loggia that was lost. It was one of eleven paired works on view. This exciting glimpse into his process, with architectural influences and preparatory construction elements, was on display at the Mattatuck Museum from July 25–September 13, 2015. The exhibition was extremely well received with much fanfare and positive reviews from the press and visitors alike.
Years later, plans for the Museum’s multi-year construction and renovation project (2019-2021) included space for an outdoor sculpture to be incorporated into the Plaza entrance. Once construction was underway, it was decided that this space should feature a Connecticut Artist. Don Gummer immediately came to mind and the artist was approached about the project. After speaking with Museum Director, Bob Burns, Gummer said that he was in the early stages of a piece that reminded him of the area surrounding the Museum. A small group of Museum representatives visited Gummer’s studio to see the piece and everyone agreed that it was the perfect statement to anchor the new building.
Members of the Museum Collections Committee made several visits to Gummer’s studio as Cross Currents was being fabricated.
Don Gummer (born December 12, 1946) is an American sculptor. His early work concentrated on table-top and wall-mounted sculpture. In the mid-1980s, he shifted his focus to large free-standing works, often in bronze. In the 1990s, he added a variety of other materials, such as stainless steel, aluminum and stained glass. His interest in large outdoor works also led him to an interest in public art.
For more information on the artist click here.
Image: Don Gummer inspecting the work after installation.