It’s been years since I set foot in the New Britain Museum, and with all sorts of big plans in the works, it was time to have a peek. I’ve always been fascinated by the Shakers, so was excited to see the new permanent Shaker Gallery with furniture, small crafts, and textiles from the Enfield Shaker Community. Each piece here is a marvel of craftsmanship (who wouldn’t want this cabinet in their bedroom?). The museum’s collection of American art is ordered chronologically. As you stroll through the galleries of portraits, Hudson School, and American Impressionism to modern and contemporary art, you’ll be riveted by the pairings of a contemporary work with a historical counterpart, an inspired museum-wide installation called Appropriation & Inspiration. New/Now artist Katja Loher’s mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic videos viewed through glass bubbles provides the out-of-the-box programming that we love about this gallery. A vast new wing is opening in mid-October, kicking off with Art & Education Uncorked on October 15th, an evening of wine tasting and bites from the area’s top chefs (tastings from Millwrights, Blue Plate Kitchen and On 20 among them). Celebrations continue throughout the week, including a Community Day offering youth and teen art classes, and a meet and greet in the new studios. nbmaa.org Shaker Cabinet He’s a sculpture! Dalton Ghetti, 9 -11 Memorial Project 3000 Tears, created from pencil leads Outdoor Cafe at the Museum (indoor cafe available, too) Corporate Executive Wife’s Service Award Bracelet II (Homage to Lorna Wendt)….LOVED this piece! Artist-painted bikes available through New Britain Bike Share!