The Bristol Press – A conversation with a curator takes place at the NBMAA
NEW BRITAIN – Two art academics who both coincidentally studied English in college sat down to discuss printmaking on Sunday, one floor below a large exhibit showcasing the medium inside from the New Britain Museum of American Art.
“Strict Beauty: Sol LeWitt Prints” opened on September 18 in the galleries on the second floor of the NBMAA and runs through January 9, 2022. Curator David Areford, associate professor of art history at the He University of Massachusetts Boston hosted a lecture program alongside Master Printer Peter Pettengill, founder of Wingate Studio in Hinsdale, New Hampshire.
A few dozen people attended in person, while countless more took the opportunity to watch the program from their homes as it was broadcast live on the museum’s website.
“We are really trying to offer all of our public programs in a hybrid fashion to meet the different demands of people right now,” said Lisa Lappe, director of marketing for AANB. “Some people feel comfortable coming in person and others prefer to watch it virtually.”
On Saturday evening, Areford presented his talk at the exhibition, which features more than 250 prints spanning LeWitt’s engraving career before his death in 2007.
Pettengill spent over a year working with the artist at Crown Point Press, a studio and gallery in California where fine art prints have been made and exhibited since the 1960s.
“Peter is one of the most respected master printers in the country,” Areford told the audience on Sunday, before asking how he got into the business.
“I started at the end of 1978,” Pettengill said of his first introduction to printmaking at Crown Point Press. “It was an amazing place to learn to be a printer.”
LeWitt was born in Hartford and raised in New Britain, making this particular exhibit a very special exhibit for the city and the NBMAA.
“We are presenting the show on the occasion of the city’s 150th anniversary,” said Lappe. “We think it’s wonderful to be able to present the work of Sol LeWitt because he has such a special heritage here in New Britain.”
On Sunday, October 31, the NBMAA will host its Halloween Spooktacular, a free community day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be slime making, cartoons, an adult beer graveyard, a dance performance by the YWCA dance team, and an outdoor costume parade on the museum grounds.
Erica Drzewiecki can be contacted at [email protected]