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Situated in a rust belt town of New Britain CT, the New Britain Museum of American Art was born of an extraordinary legacy, as the Stanley Tool Company, now Stanley Black and Decker, supported the museum from its inception in 1903.

In the 1940 when regionalism was overshadowed by the abstraction at the Whitney Museum, artists such as Thomas Hart Benton arranged for some of their larger murals to be sold by the Whitney to the New Britain, which in turn opened up another unique legacy because a pupil of Bentons became famous as well, Jackson Pollock.

By the late 1940's, 50's and 60's the museum turned to the under valued works of the Hudson River School aquiring along the way paintings such as Frederic Church's materpiece Haying near West Rock, a tour de force that were it on the market today it would smash the price records of the 19th century American artists and likely wind up near the French Impressionists. This isn't to say museums are about value, but quality. Constrast that to what we have seen in what became a long running joke here at AAD, the absurd production by Phillip Mould called "Fake or Fortune" as a London shark sees if he can get something on the cheap or play up the greed on camera of the owners of a likely forgery for the inevitable dashing of hopes, it simply is revolting to see unfold.

An American alternative to that approach was established by the Israel Sack furniture specialists who wrote a comprehensive guide to American furniture, simply titled, "Good, Better, Best," it teaches a standard of seeking out greatness, not questionable merch. This, the New Britain Museum, is where great things are to be found, ie, "Best." In the last decade it has been expanded tremendously and its collection is a delight.

01NB coleDSC 0016 mid 35Thomas Cole (1801-1848), The Clove, Catskills,  1827, 

02nb durandDSC 0002George Inness (1825-1894), Afternoon, 1846

03nb ranney DSC 0997William T. Ranney (1813-1957), Shad Fishing on the Hudson River, 1854

04NB churchDSC 0025Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), West Rock, New Haven, 1849

05nb weberDSC 0005Paul Weber (1823-1916), Scene Near Fishkill, Hudson River, 1855.* Error as the location is the Croton River, not Fishkill

06NB bradfordDSC 0036William J. Bradford (1823-1892), Off the Greenland Coast Under the Midnight Sun, 1873

07nb heade DSC 0214Martin Heade (1819-1904), Ipswich Marshes, 1867,

08nb cropsey DSC 0033Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900), Lake Wawayanda, Sussex County, New Jersey, 1870,

09nb johnson DSC 0193David Johnson (1827-1908), Morning at the Harbor Islands, Lake George 1879

10nb bricher DSC 0213Alfred T. Bricher (1837-1908), Beach Scene at Sunset, 1870

11nb bierstadtDSC 0209Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), Seal Rock, Circa 1873

12nb blakelock DSC 0042Ralph Blakelock, (1849-1919), Indian Encampment

13nb homer DSC 0040Winslow Homer (1836-1909), Battle of the Wilderness, 1864, American Civil War

14nb hassam DSC 0152F. Childe Hassam (1858-1935), Le Jour du Grand Prix (On the Day of the Grand Prix) 1887

15nb robinson DSC 0077Theodore Robinson (1852-1896), Snowey Morning, Union Square, 1895

17nb metcalfDSC 0074Willard Metcalf (1858-1925), Mountain Laurel, 1905, Old Lyme CT

18nb metcalfDSC 0061Willard Metcalf (1858-1925), November Mosaic

19nb friseke DSC 0102Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874–1939), Woman with Birdcage, 1910

20nb millerDSC 0099Richard E. Miller (1875-1943), Summer Bather, 1939

21nb prenderghastDSC 0088Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924), Salem, MA, 1910-1913

22nb lawson DSC 0081Ernest Lawson (1873-1939), Spring Tapestry, 1930 (Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan)

23nb glackensDSC 0091William Glackens (1870-1938), Washington Square, Winter

24nb bellowsGeorge Bellows (1882-1925), The Big Dory, 1913

25nb kentDSC 0079Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), Toilers of the Sea, 1907

26nb beal DSC 0093Gifford Beal (1879-1956), Columbus Avenue Elevated Train, New York, 1916

28nb benton DSC 0127Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Strike Fall River, MA, 1935

30nb benton mv DSC 0141Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), South Beach, Martha's Vineyard, 1921

31nb pollock DSC 0146Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), T.P. Benton's Boat, Menemsha Pond 1934

33nb calder DSC 0151Alexander Calder (1898-1976), The Red Candle, 196


New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington Street
New Britain, CT 06052

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You may also like to read:

*  Philip Mould Gets his Panties in a Twist

*  Artists’ scheme: a good idea at the time, till it dodged own appraisal

*  In Van Gogh's Foot Steps


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