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Hill-Stead Museum Presents Wonders Revealed, an Exciting New Winter Exhibition of Rarely Seen Prints
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Hill-Stead Museum is pleased to offer, for the first time, a comprehensive show of prints in its vast and varied collection. Wonders Revealed: Rarely Seen Original Prints by Degas, Goya and Others from Hill-Stead’s Collection opens to the public on Friday, January 8 and continues through March 31, 2012.

The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity not only to see works of art rarely shown to the public, but also to experience the prints on permanent view in a much more in-depth way than is afforded on the standard tour.

Spanning 400 years, Hill-Stead’s print collection represents styles ranging from Italian Renaissance to the American Etching Revival, and inspires an even greater appreciation for the extraordinary eye of Alfred Pope, the man responsible for amassing the famed Impressionist works for which Hill-Stead is best known. Among the stars of this print exhibition are selections from The Disasters of War by Francisco Goya, Vingt Dessins by Edgar Degas, An Alphabet and London Types by William Nicholson, and original woodblock prints by Harunobu, Utamaro, Hokusai and others. As a bonus, five Degas bronzes, on loan from an anonymous donor, will be displayed with the drawings on which they were based. Museum hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm. The last tour of the day begins at 3 pm. Specialized exhibition tours will be offered four times each month; check www.hillstead.org for schedules and related programming. Admission is $12 adults; $10 seniors; $8 students; $5 children ages 6-12; free to members and children under 6. Call 860.677.4787 ext 140 to schedule a group tour.

“Changing exhibitions are a new venture for Hill-Stead,” commented the museum’s Executive Director & CEO Sue Sturtevant, “especially with founder Theodate Pope’s wishes that the historic rooms remain as they always were.” But with the museum celebrating its 65th year of operations in 2012, she explained, times have changed, and new approaches are necessary to keep the museum fresh to the public. “Hill-Stead has found a way to mount temporary exhibitions,” Sturtevant continued, “which allow us to show our collection in new ways – and to new audiences. We can use these installations to interpret the entire collection through focused themes.”  

In making selections for Wonders Revealed, Curator Melanie Anderson Bourbeau was immediately inspired by the limited edition portfolio Vingt Dessins (Twenty Drawings) by Edgar Degas, an album which has never been shown at Hill-Stead except by special appointment in the archives, where it is kept. Degas hand selected the drawings to be reproduced by color heliograph for the portfolio, and signed all 100 albums in the edition, published in 1898 by art dealer Michel Manzi. Pieces from Vingt Dessins, as well as from the Nicholson portfolios and from the collection of Japanese woodblock prints, will be rotated each month throughout the three-month exhibition, so art enthusiasts should be sure to visit the show multiple times throughout its duration.

A National Historic Landmark and an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures, Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, is a member of CT’s Historic Gardens and a stop on the Connecticut Art Trail (www.arttrail.org), a partnership of fifteen world-class museums and historic sites across the state. The museum’s period rooms are open for tours Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm. The last tour of the day begins at 3 pm. Grounds are open to the public daily 7:30 am-5:30 pm. For tour and program information, browse www.hillstead.org or call 860.677.4787. 

Hill-Stead is noted for its 1901 33,000-square-foot house filled with art and antiques. Pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle designed the grand house, set on 152 hilltop acres, to showcase the Impressionist masterpieces amassed by her father, Cleveland iron industrialist Alfred A. Pope. Hill-Stead is one of the nation’s few remaining representations of early-20th-century Country Place Estates. Collections include original furnishings, paintings by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, James M. Whistler and Mary Cassatt, as well as numerous works on paper and Japanese woodblock prints. Stately trees, seasonal gardens, meadows, over three miles of stone walls and blazed hiking trails accent the grounds. A centerpiece of the property is the c. 1920 sunken garden designed by Beatrix Farrand, today the site of the renowned Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012.