Mattatuck Museum Announces Summer Art Exhibits

WATERBURY — The Mattatuck Museum announces three new summer exhibitions. Shipwrecks: Duty of Memory and The Garden, open May 22; Mystery & Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellow Folk Art, opens May 29.

These exhibits offer a variety of subjects ranging from photographs of derelict ships around the world, to abstract elements from nature, to historic folk art from two fraternal organizations, according to the museum.

A celebration of the exhibit will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on June 5, with remarks from Mattatuck Museum Director Bob Burns at 1 p.m. Families are invited to participate in exploration activities in the studio.


During the celebration, Public Programs Manager Elise Vanase will be on hand to preview the exciting lineup of summer program offerings. The Art of Yum Café will be open with delicious meals, snacks, coffees and sweets available for purchase. Admission to the Celebration of Summer Exhibits is free for Museum members and children under 5, and $5 for the public. Pre-register at mattmuseum.org/calendar or call 203-753-0381 x130.

The Garden, on view from May 22 to August 31. 28 presents the interdisciplinary works of eight artists. The exhibition addresses the sensory aspects of nature while embodying the emotional journeys of artists during this eventful decade. Textiles, paintings and ephemera in a variety of materials combine to form an elemental space. The garden, curated by Wylie Contemporary of Mechanicsville, Virginia, seeks to create a refuge through an immersive experience in art, reminding visitors of the beauty of nature and the joy of living outside of the digital sphere, according to the museum. .

Since 1969, photographer Stefano Benazzo has captured images of beached boats and shipwrecks around the world. Benazzo, a retired Italian ambassador and former diplomat at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC, has carried out his photographic project on four continents; his work has taken him to the coasts of Italy, Greece, Portugal, Iceland, Mauritania, Namibia, the Turks and Caicos Islands, South Georgia, Chile and the Falklands/Malvinas. In Shipwrecks: Duty of Memory, on view from May 22 to August 28, 2022, his photographs chronicle the tragic fate of these ships and allude to the stories of the people who sailed them. Through his work, Benazzo intends to preserve the memory of these shipwrecks and their sailors long after the ships themselves have been erased by the action of waves and time. This exhibit features 60 of Benazzo’s haunting photographs, on display for the first time in Connecticut, according to the museum.

Mystery & Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellow Folk Art from May 29 to September 4, shines a light on the hidden histories of the Freemasons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows – two fraternal brotherhoods deeply rooted in American history. The objects presented in this exhibit convey the secret practices of fraternal organizations through their rich symbolism and unusual imagery. For members, this iconography emphasizes the core values ​​of brotherhood, work, charity, passage, and wisdom, but the images seem confusing to the uninitiated. Mystery & Benevolence was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection and is presented by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

The Mattatuck Museum has developed a host of programs inspired by this exhibit for students, families, and adults interested in a variety of subjects, including art, history, literature, and music. During the celebration, Public Programs Manager Elise Vanase will be on hand to preview the exciting lineup of summer program offerings. To learn more about these summer programs, please visit mattmuseum.org/calendar.

Economic & Community Development/CT Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The museum is a founding member of the Consortium of Connecticut Art Museums and a member of the Connecticut Art Trail, a group of 21 world-class museums and historic sites (ctarttrail.org).

The Mattatuck Museum is located on the Green in Waterbury at 144 West Main Street. The museum is open for timed admission, the Mattatuck Museum website, mattmuseum.org, outlines the museum’s updated guidelines for visitors, including what to expect when you visit, cleaning protocols and safety and frequently asked questions. Face masks are not required inside. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates and content.

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About Bobby F. Lopez

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