New Britain Museum of American Art

14 01 2009

I went to the New Britain Museum of American Art today and it was fantastic. It is the second time I’ve been there in the past couple of months and I just can’t get enough of this museum. The last exhibit I saw was a show of glass, blown glass, etched glass, slumped glass, etc. There were a bunch of pieces by Dale Chihuly and Josh Simpson. Exceptional.

The show I saw today was right up my alley. Double Lives: American Painters as Illustrators was a show that featured illustrators who were also fine artists. There was a brief bio about each artist and who they illustrated for, and how they got into fine art, or vice versa, that they were fine artists and eventually got into illustration. It was a fantastic show with a lot of amazing artists, Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Thomas Hart Benton, to name a few. 

NEW/NOW The Eye Deceived: Paintings by Michael Theise is another exhibit that is hanging right now. Theise’s artwork is trompe l’oeil. Tromp l’oeil is french for “fool the eye”. This artwork is painstakingly painted in oils and you can barely tell they are painted at all. They look real. The way he paints masking tape, as it holds up a photo, or money is so incredibly detailed it looks like the masking tape is on TOP of the painting! Theise painted a lot of stamps in his work as well… He could paint a stamp on an envelope and the post office would never know… although it would probably cost him more than $0.42 worth of his time! 🙂

Then it was off to the gift shop where a book called Illustrating Connecticut caught my eye. I picked it up and flipped through it quickly, and noticed that Murray Tinkelman’s artwork was featured! He is an award winning artist/illustrator who is the director of the MFA program for illustration at the Hartford Art School. Then I turned the page and saw an illustration that I thought looked familiar… It was done by my professor from the Hartford Art School, Bill Thomson! So, of course I had to buy the book! Turns out the book is from a show that happened last year at the Housatonic Museum of Art. 


The New Britain Museum of American Art is a fantastic place to go to see new, American artwork. They also feature illustrators quite a bit. So keep your eyes peeled and take a look next time your in the area-on second thought, make a trip over to New Britain, just for the museum. It’s worth it.




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