Ver·nis·sage /vərnəˈsäZH/- from French, originally meaning “varnishing”, a private viewing of paintings before public exhibition.
In the nineteenth century, a day or two prior to an exhibition opening, artists would give a finishing touch to their works by varnishing them. The custom of patrons visiting the academies during the varnishing day gave rise to the tradition of celebrating the completion of an artwork with friends and sponsors. The term seems fitting for the re-opening of the Mattatuck Museum. We invite you, our friends and sponsors, to celebrate the completion of this “work of art” with us in the coming months and visit us, in person or virtually, to experience the new Museum and the exhibitions we have prepared for you.
UNLEASHED: The Art of Robert C. Jackson | February 28-April 18
Full of wit and character, influenced by popular culture and informed by art history, Robert Jackson’s paintings celebrate contemporary life. Amongst the many and varied props found in his paintings are toys, wooden crates, homey objects often a balloon dog, used as a figurative stand-in for, the viewer.
Free as Air and Water | February 28-April 11
While air and water have always been omnipresent, access to clean examples of both has become difficult. Guest curator Tajh Rust presents works by five emerging artists, all Yale MFA graduates, that remind us of the fluidity and buoyancy of these elements: Genesis Báez, Maria de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez, Naomi Lisiki, Allison Minto, and Anne Wu.
The Future Starts Now: Recent Gifts to the Collection | February 28-April 11
Our collection continues to grow in prominence with gifts of fine and decorative art, historical objects, and archives. Recent additions to the collection include works by Latin American artists, Nazca textile fragments, cutting-edge contemporary art, 19th-century Tonalist paintings, political ephemera, and texts for our library. A selection of recent gifts will demonstrate how they augment the collection and deepen the stories of art and community that we tell.
Collecting Presidential History: Signatures and Ephemera
This exhibit represents a significant gift to the Mattatuck Museum of presidential signatures collected by Francis T. “Fay” Vincent, Jr. augmented with ephemera from the collection of the Museum. Vincent, a Waterbury native and Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1989-1992, made this donation in honor of his parents.