An Afternoon at The New Britain Museum of American Art


We desperately needed to walk off some calories after our glutton fest at Parkville Market, so we stopped at the New Britain Museum of American Art on our way home. This extraordinary museum is (officially) the oldest in the country dedicated only to American art. Every movement in art is represented, from colonial portraiture to present day, with depth in Hudson River School and American Impressionism. Name an American artist, and you’ll find work from Wyeth to Warhol. It’s a treat to wander the galleries and enjoy a historical tour through the American artistic landscape.

A couple of current exhibits are don’t-miss: local Chester-based artist Elizabeth Gourlay’s geometric paintings and collages are hung in the recently and gorgeously restored Lander’s House. There’s plenty of cozy seating to ponder the works and a reference library that beckons in the oldest part of the museum.

Eva LeWitt’s colorful installation made of loops of mesh fabric leads you to the upstairs galleries, and it’s a mesmerizing piece, especially when viewed from the 2nd floor.

Upstairs you’ll find “Ansel Adams and the Legacy of the American Landscapes” and his majestic black-and-white images of Yosemite and the American West.

The Hudson River School galleries are being repainted, and the works will be reinstalled the 2nd week of February. An excellent reason for a return trip! I also love the gallery full of Shaker furniture and have a long-time fascination with the meticulously crafted wardrobes, chairs, and baskets (keep an eye out for a Shaker show next year).

There’s plenty to see here, and you might get peckish. The cafe offers items from local purveyors, and there are several cozy nooks where kids can make art or simply hang out.

Speaking of kids, add the upcoming “Walter Wick, Hidden Wonders” exhibition to your calendar, opening March 31st

Check out the calendar for upcoming events; their ever-popular First Friday is a bash featuring live music, art, food, and spirits.

56 Lexington Street, New Britain
(860) 229-0257