Welcome Back, Wadsworth!

A very bad image of my favorite painting from the Wadsworth’s collection. It’s a Willem de Kooning. Go see it in person.

My title is slightly misleading. The Wadsworth Atheneum didn’t really go anywhere, however, it did have its grand re-opening last weekend. It was perfect timing because my boyfriend had been expressing his desire to go look at art. When I heard the Wadsworth would open its doors to the public for free, I practically dragged him down there. (It also happened to be Envisionfest, so we got to eat good food from the food trucks and check out stuff from local artists and crafts people — including some sweet sea-creature themed gear.)

The museum recently underwent a five year renovation which, according to the experts, is a masterpiece unto itself. Here’s just one of the glowing things The New York Times had to say about it: “The Atheneum has executed a transformation almost as profound as the Whitney’s without venturing beyond its footprint.”

I haven’t been to the Wadsworth since I was a kid, so I couldn’t really tell you what’s different. I’m a jerk. Admissions are free Wednesday – Friday from 4 – 5 pm, except on First Thursdays. And it’s only $10 for adult non-members the rest of the time. That is a steal! There is no reason not to go, like, now!

Here’s a short list of the artists represented at the Wadsworth:

  • Van Gogh
  • Pollack
  • Picasso
  • Monet
  • Manet
  • de Kooning
  • Turner (he’s got his own movie now too)

There are even more famous names I could add to the list, along with a shit load of people I’ve never heard of but are probably very important. There’s a very cool video installation called The Street that will have you looking at everyone outside of your car very differently. There are ancient artifacts that will blow your mind with their sheer oldness (is that a word?) and there is also a totally creepy sculpture of a middle aged woman on a beach chair. It’s all worth seeing!

If you missed the grand re-opening you missed some really great non-visual art as well. My boyfriend and I stood there, stunned, as the Hartt School orchestra played Beethoven’s 5th symphony and damn near blew the roof off. There may be no better place to listen to music than the Wadworth’s grand hall.

At the end of our day there–we didn’t see everything, but we were just too tired to keep going–I vowed to come back and give them some money. It’s worth it.