Friday, May 29, 2015

Two new exhibitions at Fairfield Museum and History Center

The Fairfield Museum and History Center located on 370 Beach Road in Fairfield has organized two special exhibitions that are sure to please art lovers. 

The 7th annual juried photography exhibition, IMAGES runs through July 19 and showcases the exceptional work of talented regional photographers.  The IMAGES photography competition offers a wonderful venue to highlight the work of up-and-coming regional photographers. The exhibition features roughly fifty photographs, usually picked from about 1,000 submissions, of photographers active in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  Photos are judged in the following categories: landscape, portrait, architecture, nature and abstract to be displayed in this show.  This is a juried show with a jury that is made up of prominent photographers including Howard Schatz, Suzanne Chamlin, LaTanya S. Autry, and Jeremy Frost. 
The Fairfield History Center has also launched a second exhibition called, Howard Schatz: 25 Years of Photographs.  The exhibition celebrates the remarkable twenty-five year career of Connecticut-based photographer Howard Schatz.  This exhibition displays highlights of his work. Schatz is primarily known for his dynamic and intimate portraits of the human body, and his photographs make up a veritable catalog of body types and personalities, from newborns and mothers, to athletes and bodies underwater. His photographs have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Life, among others, as well as displayed in museums and galleries worldwide. This exhibition runs through August 31.
For more information visit

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Camels Can't Get Enough of Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo!

Back by popular demand, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo welcomes three camels to the state's only zoo for the summer. These exotic animals arrived on Monday, Memorial Day, and will call Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo home through Labor Day.

"These animals are foreign to this country so it's no surprise folks want a chance to get up close and personal with them," explained Gregg Dancho, zoo director. "Our kissable camels look great in photos so now's your chance for a selfie that will certainly get people talking!"

Joining Toby and Goliath, who were at the zoo last summer, is Gabriel. All three will be available for rides from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30. p.m. for $5 per person. Visitors are welcome to take photos at no additional charge and may purchase ride tickets at the front gate, gift shop, carousel, and at the camel ride (cash only). While there are no age restrictions for riders, anyone five years old and younger requires an adult rider with them. The zoo also is offering a combo ticket for both a carousel and camel ride for $6.00.

Fun camel facts, courtesy of Enviromental Graffiti:
  • Bactrian camels have two humps while Dromedary camels have one hump. (Toby and Goliath are Dromedary camels.)
  • The name camel comes from Arabic, meaning "beauty."
  • A camel's hump stores fat - not water - as many believe.
  • Camels can drink up to 40 gallons at one time.
  • Camels can go for long periods of time without drinking because of the shape of their red blood cells, which are oval, and allows them to flow easily without clumping. They are the only mammals to have this kind of blood cell.
  • Camels can kick in all four directions with each leg.
  • Camels can eat anything without injuring their mouths - including thorny twigs.
  • Camels can close their nostrils against wind and sand when necessary.
  • Their coats reflect sunlight and insulate them from the desert heat.
  • "Spitting" is actually a way that camels defend themselves. They don't actually spit but rather throw up a nasty smelling fluid when provoked.
The camels are not the only new addition to the zoo family. Connecticut's only zoo just welcomed six Guinea hog piglets, as well.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $14.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $11.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members also are admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge.For more information about Connecticut's only zoo, visit

For area event information

Monday, May 25, 2015

Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann at the Bruce Museum

This spring and summer the Bruce Museum located on One Museum Drive in Greenwich will be awash in the vibrant hues of
Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann.  
Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann, is the first ever exhibition to focus on the artist's varied and under-appreciated public mural projects that will be on view at the Bruce Museum through September 6.  The show will then travel to The Patricia
and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, FL (October 10, 2015 to January 3, 2016), and to the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (January 22 to April 10, 2016).
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Awakening, 1947
Oil on canvas, 59 ¼  x 40 ¼ in.
Private Collection
Photograph by Paul Mutino
Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust

A towing figure among the New York School painters and one of the most important teachers and theoretician of the Abstract
Expressionist movement, Hans Hoffman is well known for his dynamic approach to color. The centerpiece of Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann will be nine oil studies by Hofmann,each seven feet tall, for the redesign of the Peruvian city of Chimbote. This was Hofmann's extraordinary collaboration, in 1950, with Catalan architect José Luis Sert – the man who designed the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World's Fair in 1937, for which Picasso's great mural Guernica was conceived. Although never realized, this visionary project was to include a huge mosaic wall – a freestanding bell tower in the town center – designed by Hofmann, which would incorporate not only his own highly evolved notions of Abstract Expressionist visual dynamics, but also forms symbolic of traditional Peruvian culture, religion and history.
Lonely Journey
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Lonely Journey, 1965
Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 in.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (1989.397),
Gift of Renate Hofmann, 1989
Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Image source: Art Resource, NY
Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust

Although now nearly forgotten, Hofmann also created two huge public murals in Manhattan. In 1956, for the developer William Kaufman, and in collaboration with the noted pioneer modernist architect William Lescaze, Hofmann created an astonishing, brilliantly colored mosaic mural, wrapped around the elevator bank in the main entrance hall of the office building at 711 Third Avenue. Two years later, in 1958, commissioned by the New York City Board of Education, Hofmann created a 64-foot long and
11-foot tall mosaic-tile mural for the High School of Printing (now the High School of Graphic Arts Communication) on West 49th Street.
These large scale stunning works will be brought back to life at the Bruce Museum via varied painted studies, mosaic maquettes, photos, and ephemera – as well as studies for a mural for an unrealized New York apartment house of the same period – which will show Hofmann's working methods. 
Mural II
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Chimbote Mural Fragment of Part II, 1950
Oil on board, 84 ¼ x 36 ¼ in.
Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust
Photograph by Doug Young
Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust

A scholarly catalogue has been created for the exhibition, with a foreword from the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, and essays by Curator Kenneth Silver and Mary McLeod, Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. Public programming planned for the exhibition includes the 2015 Bob and Pam Goergen Lecture Series, with lectures by Curator Kenneth E. Silver on Tuesday, May 5; Stacey Gershon, principal at Stacey Gershon Fine Art/MLG Art Advisory on Thursday, June 11; and Mary McLeod, Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Columbia University, on Thursday, June 25. All lectures will be held at the Museum and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Apartment Sketch
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Mosaic for Apartment House Sketch No. 14, 1956
Gouache and collage on cardboard, 39 x 22 in.
Collection of Deborah Goodman Davis
Photograph by Thomas Quigley
Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a museum of art and science and is located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at

Friday, May 22, 2015

Madagascar: Ghosts of the Past at the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum located on One Museum Drive in Greenwich Connecticut has a show through November 8  titled  Madagascar: Ghosts of the Past, that only hints at the intrigue waiting for visitors to the Bruce Museum's science gallery.  Isolated for the last 88 million years, Madagascar is populated by hundreds of remarkable species that are found nowhere else on Earth.

Dinosaur Skull
Cast skull of the Malagasy dinosaur Majungasaurus.
Bruce Museum Collection
Photograph by Paul Mutino.  

Visitors will explore three major phases of Malagasy history and encounter a variety of living and extinct species. The exhibition includes casts of a carnivorous theropod dinosaur suspected of cannibalism and a snub-nosed plant-eating crocodilian.
Visitors will encounter giant lemurs, pygmy hippos and the elephant bird, a giant flightless species with an egg holding the volume of 150 chicken eggs!

Crowned lemur, Eulemur coronatus
Specimen courtesy Duke Lemur Center
Bruce Museum Collection
Photograph by Paul Mutino

The exhibition concludes by touching on the present, following the rapid extinction of many species as humans arrive on Madagascar.
There is a science lecture on June 2 at 7 pm and explores the bizarre and marvelous dinosaurs and other vertebrates of Madagascar. Dr. David Krause is the lecturer. To reserve call 203-413-6757.  There is a 6:30 p.m. reception for both events.

Masiakasaurus knopfleri, a small predatory dinosaur with unusual teeth
Model created by Sean Murtha
Photograph by Paul Mutino

On August 16 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. there is a Madagascar Family Day that will feature fun family activities for all ages and a performance by Erik's Reptile Edventures. See live reptiles and amphibians from Madagascar and learn about their adaptations and the role they play in rainforest ecology and Malagasy culture. 
For more information about the Bruce Museum