Culture Connect Featured Event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 9, 2012
Contact: Cynthia A. Mariani, Director of Marketing and Communications
Eugene R. Gaddis to present the Vincenza Uccello Fine Arts Lecture, Father Kelly and Chick Austin: The Art of Collecting in Hartford
WEST HARTFORD, CONN. – On Tuesday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. the 2012 Vincenza Uccello Fine Arts Lecture will be presented by Eugene Gaddis, William G. DeLana Archivist and Curator of the Austin House at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. His lecture, Father Kelly and Chick Austin: The Art of Collecting in Hartford, will take place on the College’s West Hartford campus in Bruyette Athenaeum’s Hoffman Auditorium.
Father Andrew J. Kelly, pastor of Saint Anthony Church in Hartford, and A. Everett (Chick) Austin Jr., director of the Wadsworth Atheneum, were passionate collectors of art. Both were courageous in their taste. Both were eager to pass on their knowledge and love of the arts to the generations that would follow them. They collected during a revolution in every artistic sphere when “modern” had never been so modern. Throughout the 1930s Chick Austin transformed America’s oldest public art museum into one of its most advanced by promoting all the arts and by acquiring many of the museum’s greatest paintings, from Old Masters who were being rediscovered to contemporary masters who gave new meanings to art. In 1936, when Austin presented a large exhibition called Paintings in Hartford Collections, he borrowed no fewer than nine pictures from Father Kelly. A year later Father Kelly presented most of the works in his important collection to Saint Joseph College, a gift that was the foundation for the Saint Joseph College Art Gallery.
The Vincenza Uccello Fine Arts Lecture Series is presented by the Saint Joseph College Art Gallery and is funded by a gift from Dr. Vincent J. and Gloria Marcello Turco ’45. This year’s lecture is being presented in conjunction with the Gallery’s current exhibition Founded in Friendship: The Legacy of the Andrew J. Kelly Collection. In addition to its regular public open hours, the Gallery will be open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 8.
Eugene R. Gaddis is the William G. DeLana Archivist and Curator of the Austin House at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. He is a graduate of Amherst College and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Magician of the Modern: Chick Austin and the Transformation of the Arts in America (Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), the biography of A. Everett Austin Jr., the legendary director of the Wadsworth Atheneum and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. He is the editor and principal author of Magic Façade: The Austin House (Wadsworth Atheneum, 2007), an illustrated book about Chick Austin and the newly restored house he built in Hartford, a National Historic Landmark that combines Baroque and Bauhaus design.
The Art Gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Thursday: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.; closed Monday. Admission is free of charge.
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Saint Joseph College, founded in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy to provide higher education opportunities for women, is a comprehensive institution serving women from diverse backgrounds and religious traditions. Responsive to the evolving educational needs of the community, the School of Graduate and Professional Studies also offers both women and men graduate degree programs in many fields, a Weekend Program for Adult Learners, professional certificate programs relevant to today’s workforce, and other continuing education opportunities. In the fall of 2011, the Saint Joseph College School of Pharmacy, the first doctoral program in the College’s 78-year history, opened at Hartford 21 on Trumbull Street in downtown Hartford. View our Web site at www.sjc.edu.
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