Entering into one of Connecticut’s many museums is like entering into a time machine. Past, present and future are all within your reach. Whether it’s an exhibit of paintings, sculpture, memorabilia or something delightfully circus oriented, you’ll be able to step into another world as soon as you open the doors to these amazing Connecticut museums.
The Barnum Museum
820 Main St
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Stepping back in time starts as soon as you walk into the unique Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The building, completed in 1893, is a colorful showpiece unto its own and excites visitors before they even enter the building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this museum is one of a kind and exactly what one would expect from a museum that has a lot to do with P.T. Barnum. Through September and to the end of 2012, the Barnum Museum features “Recovery in Action.” This is an exhibition that not only allows visitors to view artifacts such as Tom Thumb’s carriages and P.T. Barnum’s ornate furniture, but visitors will also observe conservators at work restoring some of the 25,000 artifacts that were damaged by a tornado that struck in 2010. This exhibition is open two days a week (Thursdays and Fridays) from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. through January 4, 2013.
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
As soon as you approach this beautiful museum, you know you’re in for a treat. Drive up the winding driveway, enter the stunning lobby and from September 22 to January 6, you will step back into the world of Gaston Lachaise, an American sculptor and portraitist who was born in France in 1822. Here, you discover the exhibit “Face and Figure: The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise.” This extraordinary artist abandoned the Paris art scene for the United States. Not only will you enter into a world filled with his art, but a world filled with romance. Lachaise came to America in pursuit of the love of his life, Isabel Dutaud Nagle. It has been reported that his “oeuvre is a sustained elaboration of his intense feeling for Nagle’s beauty.” Examples of this artist’s work, including works on loan from leading museums and private collections, will offer insight into Lachaise from September 22, 2012 through January 6, 2013.
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main St
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Feel like stepping from the present into the future? Then head on over to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Here you will find innovative exhibitions that focus on mid-career and emerging artists. Through October, you will be able to enter a world where art “found outside” of our everyday world has been transformed into a completely new entity. Wait until you see “Joy Curtis’s bronze column made from casts of architectural fragments” featured in a grove of pine trees located on the south side of the museum’s garden. According to the museum’s website, you’ll also find Ethan Greenbaum’s “frieze” of plastic panels installed on the exterior of the Museum. Jason Clay Lewis’s tower-like sculpture made from oil drums is out in the open and Saul Melman’s “ethereal sculpture composed of translucent doors” is found on the hillside. What better way to enjoy autumn in Connecticut than visiting a museum with an exhibit outdoors that welcomes you in. “Found Outside” runs through October.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
600 Main St
Hartford, CT 06103
Entering the past is a beautiful thing at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art with the exhibit “Medieval to Monet: French Paintings in the Wadsworth Atheneum.” This exhibit showcases an extensive collection of French art works, some acquired in 1898. The earliest pieces are miniatures from a medieval apocalypse and a prominent portion of the collection includes 19th-century works by artists such as Delacroix, Degas, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir and Monet. The exhibit runs from October 19, 2012 through January 27, 2013.
The Bellarmine Museum of Art
1073 N Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
It’s not often enough that we can step into the world of a living artist as prominent as Everett Raymond Kinstler. This Easton-based artist is distinguished for his works of celebrated people including United States’ presidents, hollywood superstars and other dignitaries and celebrities. Here is an artist who paints his subjects the way he perceives them and he perceives them in living color. Therefore, you’ll find that his shadowing is not in black or brown but in shades of indigo and violet. Included in the Bellarmine’s exhibit “Everett Raymond Kinstler: Pulps to Portraits” are Kinstler’s paintings of President Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman and many other notables. This exhibit runs through September 28.
Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.