Author: Bruno Perosino

Unfiltered: An Exhibition About Water

August 31December 17, 2017

Opening Reception – Thursday, August 31, 2017,  4:30-7:00 pm.

Unfiltered explores water as a universal concern and which touches specifically on the themes of: the power of water and the changing landscape; water pollution and biology; water scarcity; climate change; the physical properties of water; and the Connecticut River. The exhibition attempts to place on view works of art which provide visual launching points for discussions about these important water-based issues.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the departments of Natural Resources and the Environment; Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Marine Sciences; Institute of Water Resources; as well as the CLEAR, CT Sea Grant, and CT NEMO Programs at the University of Connecticut, Storrs

The following artists are included in this exhibition: contemporary artists Diana Barker Price; Will Sillin; Leif Nilsson; Stacy Levy; Ravi Agarwal; Vibha Galhotra; Kate Cordsen; Susan Hoffman Fishman; Jamie Murphy; Rani Jha, Atul Bhalla, and Michael Singer as well as nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists: Lionel Feininger; Frederick Judd Waugh; Reginald Marsh; Arthur B. Davies; Gerrit Hondius; Martin Johnson Heade; Fairfield Porter; Maurice Prendergast; Henry Ward Ranger; and Robert Motherwell.

A portion of this exhibition will travel to the University of Connecticut regional campuses in Avery Point, Groton, and UConn Stamford.

See what the Hartford Courant says about the exhibition.

Related Event:  Upstream/Downstream – New Delhi conceptual artist Vibha Galhotra talks about her work.

Diana Barker Price, "Ornament"

Diana Barker Price, “Ornament,” photograph, 12×21”, 2017. Courtesy of the artist

Susan Hoffman Fishman, "Water Wars #2"

Susan Hoffman Fishman, “Water Wars #2,” 24 x 48″ mixed media. Courtesy of the artist


Marking 35 Years: The Work of Deborah Dancy

August 31October 15, 2017

Opening Reception – Thursday, August 31, 2017,  4:30-7:00 pm.
FREE & Open to the Public.
Professor Dancy will give a Gallery Talk about her work at 4:30pm.

A retrospective exhibition.  Recently retired from the University, Deborah Dancy was on the faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Connecticut since 1981.  Deborah Dancy is a painter whose abstract work describes odd invented spaces and stacked structures. Subtle tonalities and fragmented lines become descriptive markers in work that suggests familiar yet ambiguous spaces. Dancy works in a variety of mediums, large-scale oil paintings, mixed media on paper, printmaking and artists’ books. She has received a number of significant honors and awards, including: a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Connecticut Commission of the Arts Artist Grant, New England Foundation for the Arts/NEA Individual Artist Grant, Nexus Press Artist Book Project Award, Visual Studies Artist Book Project Residency Grant, The American Antiquarian Society’s William Randolph Hearst Fellowship, YADDO Fellow, and Women’s Studio Workshop Residency Grants and a Connecticut Book Award Illustration Nominee for her mixed media work in the book, The Freedom Business.

She has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries and her work is represented by Sears-Peyton Gallery, New York, and N’Namdi Contemporary, Miami.

For more information about Deborah, visit
The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center has shared a 1986 interview with Deborah Dancy from their collection:
The Black Experience in the Arts Collection

Deborah Dancy, “Libby”
Deborah Dancy, “Libby” painting, 72” x 120”, 1998, courtesy of the artist

Benton Museum brings women behind prominent art forward

By Dan Wood for the Daily Campus

“Why don’t we talk about women artists? I have never heard of this painter, why should I care?” asked host speaker and associate professor Alexis Boylan in a devil’s advocate pitch to her guest speaker, Dr. Emily Burns.

“Great question.” Burns said. “This is a question I often ask my students at Auburn University. We have spent time dissecting this conundrum, looking into the lives of women artists. We see that they are able to gain prominence in their own lives and mediums but not in a historical context, and it is important to understand the factors that affect this.”

The focus of the talk held in the William Benton Museum of Art on Tuesday afternoon primarily inspected the life and work of late painter Ellen Emmet Rand. As one part of a four-part exhibition that opened last month titled “Work It: Emily Emmett Rand & Women Artists of the 20th Century,” the late painter’s works can be found in the first gallery space past the permanent installation gallery. With the overwhelming majority of her work being commissioned portraits, Rand proved to be a shining example of how women in art were able to “work it” even with the odds against them.

“The exhibit that is open now is only a small part of the full collection that will be opening in 2018 in addition to the first-ever academic book on [Rand] and her remarkable life. Emily Burns and I have been working to catalog and piece together her life through archived works of art, documents, diaries and correspondence. We have to read between the lines pretty heavily but that is what we have to do,” Boylan said.

Click here to view the full article

Benton opens four new exhibits in one night

By Dan Wood for the Daily Campus

The William Benton Museum of Art held a reception Thursday afternoon debuting four new exhibits focused on the central theme women in art.

The featured exhibits were “WORK IT” composed of oil paintings primarily from Ellen Emmet Rand, “Objectifying Myself: Works by Women Artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,” “Liz Whitney Quisgard: An Installation” of textile based art, and Stanwyck Cromwell’s “Progression Then & Now.”

The entire museum featured themes of women, but the works that covered the display space comprised a wide range of mediums, materials and styles.

Some were objectively feminine or feminist in nature whilst others were not so fast to give up what they had to say.

The first and most prominent works displayed were created by Ellen Rand. Rand was one of the most important and prolific portrait painters in the United States in the first decades of the 20th century.

Her works include portraits of Henry James, artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and over 800 other artists, industrialists, scientists and politicians.

Click here to view the full article

Women Create Art Reflecting Their Lives, Thoughts In Benton Exhibit

By Susan Dunne for the Hartford Courant

For centuries, male artists have created portraits of women, presenting the women as they chose and often using those women to represent concepts that were all about the artist and not about the subject. After a while, women were bound to get tired of that.

An exhibit at the Benton museum at UConn takes on this subject head-on, beginning with the title of the show. “Objectifying Myself” showcases the work of dozens of female artists who have created work that reflected their own lives, their own thoughts, their own self-images. Some of the work takes the form of self-portraits that push the boundaries of self-portraiture. Even if they don’t depict the artists accurately, that was a decision the artists made. They are literally objectifying themselves.

“There are no bodies, just objects. These are not traditional self-portraits,” said Nancy Stula, director of the Benton, who chose 43 works from the collection of women’s art at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. “These feminist artists are trying to reclaim their bodies from the male gaze.”

Artist Julie Heffernan spelled out this philosophy in a 2013 interview. “I wanted to paint the figure but did not want to objectify women. I was addressing that concern during my still life phase; taking my own body out of the painting but calling it a self-portrait anyway, was a way of saying ‘I’m not this physical body alone; I’m this cornucopia of experiences, and pictures in my head’.”

Click here to view the full article

Liz Whitney Quisgard: An Installation

March 23 – July 30, 2017

Liz Whitney Quisgard was one of the few women artists represented by eminent gallerist Andre Emmerich in NYC in the 1960s.  Her career spans six decades and the work in this installation features an environment of patterned textiles and sculpture created in the last two decades.

The exhibition’s opening reception, featuring our three exhibits coinciding with Women’s History Month, is on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4:30-6:30pm.  Murderous Chanteuse will perform at the reception. Free to the public.

Exhibition on view March 23 through July 30, 2017. (Please note the Museum will be closed April 8-9, April 15-16, and May 8-15, 2017, as well as Mondays and holidays.)

50th Anniversary Celebration – Silent Auction

Tour of Sol LeWitt's Home Studio & Lunch for 8
(First 8 highest bids win)
Retail Value: Priceless
Donor: Carol LeWitt

White Glove Tour and Wine Reception for 6 at the Hill-Stead Museum
Retail Value: $400
Donor: Hill-Stead Museum

2 Tickets to "Come from Away A New Musical" on Broadway
Retail Value: $314
Donor: Alchemy Production Group

Solomiya Ivakhiv40 Minute Solo Violin Performance at your home for a small group of friends.
Solomiya Ivakhiv is an International soloist and Assistant Professor at UConn, noted forperforming with “a distinctive charm and subtle profundity”.
Retail Value: Priceless Donor: Solomiya Ivakhiv

2 Tickets to The Glass Menagerie on Broadway
Retail Value: $300
Donor: Ruth Hendel

4-18 Holes with a Cart for 4 people
Retail Value: $200
Donor: Twin Hills Country Club

Dinner at Cafemantic, Willimantic
"Ingeniously conceived and deftly executed" - NYT
Retail Value: $50
Donor: Cafemantic

Gift Certificate to the Salon or Spa and Salon Products
Retail Value: $150
Donor: Headliners Salon an Spa, Tolland, CT

Dinner for two at Bobby Flay's Bar American or Todd English Tuscany
Retail Value: $200
Donor: The Mohegan Tribe

4 Tickets to Broadway's Supper Club Feinstein's/54 Below
Retail Value: $300
Donor: Tom Viertel

2 Show Tickets to the Eugene O'Neill Theatre & Drinks at Blue Jeans Pub
Retail Value: $70
Donor: Eugene O'Neill Theatre

1 Night Double Occupancy at The Fitch House Bed & Breakfast
Retail Value: $190
Donor: Fitch House Bed & Breakfast

1 Weekend Night at the Courtyard by Marriott, Manchester
Retail Value: $159
Donor: Courtyard Inn by Marriott

1 Weekend Night in a Suite at the Residence Inn in Manchester
Retail Value: $159
Donor: Residence Inn by Marriott

1 Hour Tour of Artist Deborah Dancy's Studio for 6 people
Retail Value:  Priceless
Donor: Deborah Dancy

1 Family Membership + Gift Certificate to FloGris Café
Retail Value: $125
Donor: Florence Griswold Museum

4 Tickets to a UConn Women's Basketball Game, 2017-2018 Season
Donor: UConn  Women's Basketball

4 General Admission Tickets to Mystic Aquarium
Retail Value: $120
Donor: Mystic Aquarium

4 General Admission Tickets to Mystic Seaport + Bag of Seaport Swag
Retail Value: $200
Donor: Mystic Seaport

1 Hr. Nutritional Consul + Audio CD on Mindful Eating
Retail Value: $100
Donor: Shoshana Levinson - Eat Well USA

$50 Dollar Gift Certificate (5 Available)
Retail Value: $50 each
Donor: Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts

Show Tickets to "Shrek the Musical", April 20 - April 30
Retail Value:  $78
Donor: CT Repertory Theatre


A treetop adventure for two (3 hour climb)
Retail Value:  $94
Donor: The Adventure Park at Storrs



Lunch for two at The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret
Retail Value:  $25
Donor: The Vanilla Bean Cafe

Lunch for two at Dog Lane Cafe, Storrs Center
Retail Value:  $30
Donor: Dog Lane Cafe


Brunch at Monet's Table, Tolland
Retail Value:  $50
Donor: Monet's Table


2016 St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc
2012 Steel Pacini Zinfandel
Retail Value:  $40
Donor: Worldwide Wine Cellars, Tolland


2013 Beauleau Vineyards, Rutherford, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Retail Value:  $45
Donor: Meadowbrook Wine & Spirit, Coventry


2012 Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry
Retail Value: $83
Donor: Meadowbrook Wine & Spirit, Coventry


2015 Donzante Pinot Gregio
2015 Robert Monday Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
Retail Value:  $20
Donor: Storrs Wine & Spirits, Storrs Center

Gift Certificate to the Katmandu Kitchen & Bar in Storrs Center
Retail Value:  $25
Donor: Katmandu Kitchen & Bar


3 Month Individual Membership to the Mansfield Community Center
Retail Value:  $165
Donor: Mansfield Community Center

Music StandUnique Wood-Turned Music Stand in Tiger Maple wood master crafted by Don Postemski
Retail Value:  $500
Donor: Jim Stebbins

Party Platter for 10 with wraps
Retail Value:  $70
Donor: Gannett Wraps

Handmade wooden cheese boardHandcrafted Wooden Cheeseboard and Wine Stopper
Retail Value: $70
Donor: Waldo and Lin Klein


Complimentary Tickets to The Wadsworth Atheneum
Retail Value: $120
Donor: The Wadsworth Atheneum

Wine tasting for Two at Gouveia Vineyards
Retail Value: $24
Donor: Anonymous

$50 Gift Certificate for an Ice Cream Cake
Retail Value $50
Donor: UConn Dairy Bar



50th Anniversary Celebration – Details

A groovin’ 60s cocktail party!

Saturday, April 8, 2017
7–10 pm
at The William Benton Museum of Art
Honorary Chair: Carol LeWitt

7–9 pm Cocktails, Hors d’Oeuvres & Silent Auction
8–10 pm Live Sixties Music with The Fever Band
9–10 pm Dessert & Coffee

Optional: Wear your groovin’ 60s threads!

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Cafemantic.

Proceeds from the Benton Museum’s Silent Auction provide necessary support for the Museum’s education, outreach, and public programs, and will be directed to the UConn Foundation Benton Directors Fund.


Objectifying Myself: Works by Women Artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

March 23 – July 30, 2017

Objectifying Myself explores work by women artists, created between 1968-2005, which serve, to some degree, as self portraits.  But these “self portraits” employ surrogate objects rather than depictions of the artists’ faces or bodies. Artists in the exhibition include Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Miriam Schapiro, June Wayne, Louise Nevelson, and Kiki Smith. These works are on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia (PAFA) which was founded in 1805 by painter and scientist Charles Willson Peale, sculptor William Rush, and other Colonial artists and business leaders. We thank PAFA, and especially David Brigham, Executive Director of PAFA and University of Connecticut alumus, for their generosity in collaboration.

Art by Alice Oh, Phases of Conception W.P.I.
Alice Oh, (b. 1967)
“Phases of Conception W.P.I.”, 2000
Gouache, acrylic & graphite on Rives B.F.K. paper
Art by Women Collection, Gift of Linda Lee Alter, Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.
© 2000 Alice Oh
Art by Alice Oh, entitled Phases of Conception
Alice Oh, (b. 1967)
“Phases of Conception W.P.III.”, 2000. Gouache, acrylic & graphite on Rives B.F.K. paper
Art by Women Collection, Gift of Linda Lee Alter, Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.
© 2000 Alice Oh








Work It: Women Artists, Ellen Emmet Rand, and the Business of Seeing

March 23 – July 30, 2017  (closed May 8 – 15)

Work It features paintings by Ellen Emmet Rand and other women artists in the first half of the 20th century—how they fought for opportunities, paid their bills, and found ways to have their art and creativity seen and taken seriously. Featuring several works by Ellen Emmet Rand, as well as pieces by Dorothea Lange, Violet Oakley, Mary Foote, Eudora Welty, Lois Mailou Jones, and Imogen Cunningham, “Work It” features the diversity of styles and subjects that helped women achieve both recognition and security as working artists.

Ellen Emmet Rand (1875-1941) was arguably one of the most important and prolific American portrait painters of her time but likely you have not heard her name before. This is in spite of the fact that during her career, she painted portraits of famed author Henry James, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and over 800 other notables. Her early career was meteoric: she studied with William Merritt Chase; by eighteen she was a regular illustrator for Vogue; at twenty she was encouraged by John Singer Sargent and Stanford White to study in Paris. She returned to the US in 1901 and set about painting the most famous and important people who could afford her fees. Moving between diverse patrons—from state governors to opera singers—Rand carefully balanced changing social mores and fashions with her clients’ need to project authority, intelligence, and beauty through their portraits. For Rand, as with the other artists in this show, portraits, illustrations, advertising and fashion imagery paid the bills and supported families. Yet this work also, simultaneously, suggested that these women were not “real” artists, and instead only worked for money, not love or creative commitment. This exhibition looks to confront the complexity of the careers of women artists who had to work to have their art seen but also had to work for money.

Tuesday April 25: Ellen Emmet Rand and Women Artists in the Early 20th Century. A dialogue with Dr. Alexis Boylan and Dr. Emily Burns. Talk begins at 5:30pm.  See our calendar for details.

The exhibition’s opening reception, featuring our three exhibits coinciding with Women’s History Month, is on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4:30-6:30pm.  Murderous Chanteuse will perform at the reception. Free to the public.

Exhibition on view March 23 through July 30, 2017. (Please note the Museum will be closed May 8-15, 2017, as well as Mondays and holidays.)

The Benton’s collection of Rand’s work is viewable online, here.