The Eight and American Modernisms

March 6 - May 24, 2009


Acknowledgments for the exhibition


The Eight and the NBMAA

In 1901 the New Britain Institute, established fifty years earlier as a place of learning for the working class of this industrial Connecticut town, erected a new building that included an "art room." After industrialist John Butler Talcott endowed a fund in 1903 to purchase art, the committee visited Macbeth Galleries in 1908, the same year of The Eight's notorious exhibition at this influential gallery of contemporary American art. However, the New Britain committee's initial choices were conservative and funds were limited. It took sixteen years to acquire twenty pictures. Only one work by The Eight, Remembrance by Arthur B. Davies, bought in 1909, was purchased until the late 1940s. From 1942 to 1953, the Harriet Russell Stanley Fund, created by Alix Welch Stanley, retired director of The Stanley Works, in memory of his wife, acquired 284 works of art, including sixteen works by The Eight. Other examples by The Eight were bequeathed by Charles and Elizabeth Buchanan and Olga H. Knoepke. The outstanding collection of artworks by The Eight at the New Britain Museum of American Art was the impetus to participate with our partners in realizing The Eight and American Modernisms.

The Museum especially appreciates the support and collaboration of the Terra Foundation for American Art, Elizabeth Glassman, president. This exhibition was organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Terra Foundation for American Art. The exhibition and scholarly catalogue represent the work of the Elizabeth Kennedy, Curator of Collection at the Terra Foundation.

We are most grateful to the Terra Foundation for American Art as the lead sponsor of this exhibition. Additional support for the New Britain showing came from The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation. Melinda and Paul Sullivan and Rhoda and David Chase kindly loaned paintings from their collections and we thank them for their generosity.

The Museum also receives funding from the American Savings Foundation, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

Douglas K. S. Hyland



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