Author: gae11002

Guerrilla Girls: Art, Activism & the “F” Word

March 24 – May 22, 2016
Opening Reception March 24, 4:30 – 7 pm.

Founded in 1985, a group of female artists joined together to form the Guerrilla Girls, an art activist group devoted to protesting the under-representation of female artists in many of the world’s most prominent art museums. Since then, they have grown into a large organization that continues to fight for gender and racial equality in the arts by exposing and questioning the status quo. Through a mixture of comedy, facts, and shock, they design and put up posters for the sake of art activism and their mission of ‘redefining the F-word: Feminism!’ This exhibition features a collection of works from the museum’s newly acquired Guerrilla Girls Portfolio Compleat (1985 – 2012), and seeks to shed light on the group’s revolutionary and evolving tactics that have allowed them to combat racism and sexism in the arts and to positively affect art her-story.

April 6, 5 – 6:30 pm: Guerrilla Girls Gig – Watch a full recording of this event!
Join the Guerrilla Girls for an exciting and thought provoking evening.  For years, the Guerrilla Girls have been stirring up audiences with their presentations and workshops in full jungle drag. They have appeared at schools, museums and organizations of all types, in almost every state in the U.S. and on almost every continent.

Their performance will take the audience through their history and the ideas behind their activism tools. How they came up with some of their many, many posters, books (The Guerrilla Girls Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art, Bitches, Bimbos and Ballbreakers: The Guerrilla Girls’ Guide to Female Stereotypes, The Guerrilla Girls’ Hysterical Herstory of Hysteria and How It Was Cured, From Ancient Times Until No) and actions about discrimination in art, film, politics, etc. Meet the Guerrilla Girls and bring your questions!

April 29, 5 – 7 pm: Salon at the Benton, Art and Conversation
Panel Discussion engaging with the audience on Art, Activism and the “F” word. Is it still relevant today? Panelists: Sharon Butler & Mary Banas. Moderated by Cora Lynn Deibler.

Guerrilla Girls Poster
Guerrilla Girls, Do Women Have to be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?, 1989, Poster. Benton Museum purchase 2016
Guerrilla Girls, The World Needs a New Weapon: The Estrogen Bomb, 2012, Poster. Benton Museum, Purchased 2016.
Guerrilla Girls, The World Needs a New Weapon: The Estrogen Bomb, 2012, Poster. Benton Museum purchase 2016.

Encounters with the Collection: Wood

This exhibition features works in the Benton’s collection selected in collaboration with Chris Sancomb, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design in the Department of Art & Art History. This permanent collection gallery rotation explores wood as a material in art.

Please check back for more detailed information soon…

Mittelman Lecture Series

“Fauns, Goddesses, and Patriots: Frederick William MacMonnies and Small Bronze Sculpture in America, 1890–1930”

Thayer Tolles, The Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Friday, November 13, 2015
5:30 pm

Free and open to the public

Thayer Tolles is The Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has worked since 1989. She has published and lectured extensively on American sculpture, and has served as editor and the co-author of a two-volume catalogue of the Metropolitan’s historic American sculpture collection. Dr. Tolles curated Augustus Saint-Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and co-curated The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925. Both exhibitions were accompanied by publications. She also participated in the extensive renovations to the Metropolitan’s American Wing between 2001 and 2012.

Dr. Tolles graduated from Williams College with majors in history and art history, received her master’s degree from the University of Delaware and her Ph.D. from City University of New York.

This lecture is made possible with a generous gift from Gene and Georgia Mittelman.

Salon at the Benton: Art and Conversation

Friday, April 29, 2016
5–7 pm (Reception at 5 pm; Panel Discussion at 5:30 pm)


Guerrilla Girls: Art Activism, & the ‘F’ Word
The Guerrilla Girls are still relevant after all these years. Is their message art? It is politics? Both? Join us in this exciting and timely dialogue.

“We try to be different from the kind of political art that is angry and points to something and says ‘This is bad.’ That’s preaching to the converted. We want to be subversive, to transform our audience, to confront them with some disarming statements, backed up by facts — and great visuals — and hopefully convert them.” The Guerrilla Girls

Sharon Butler is a painter, an arts writer, and an influential art blogger of Two Coats of Paint, which has been sponsored by numerous arts organizations, including The Brooklyn Museum, The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum, New York Studio School, the School of Visual Arts, Creative Capital, and the Warhol Foundation. She is frequently sought after as a visiting artist/critic, and her work is shown regularly throughout the country, with exhibitions at such venues as NADA New York, Theodore:Art, Storefront Ten Eyck, Pocket Utopia, Union College (Schenectady, NY), Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT), SEASON (Seattle, WA), George Lawson (San Francisco, CA), and Matteawan (Beacon, NY). Butler is New-York based, and maintains a studio in DUMBO overlooking the Manhattan Bridge.

Mary Banas is visiting Assistant Professor in Residence, Communication Design, UConn. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her specialties include conceptual approach, brainstorming, collaboration, strategy, typography, illustration, print, and publications. She has worked as a designer at The Hartford Courant,Yale Alumni Magazine, Group C. Inc., and John McNeil Studio in Berkeley, California. Mary’s work and design commentary have appeared in the following publications: NeoGeo: A New Edge to Abstraction(Gestalten), Type Addicted (Victionary), and And We Forget About The Time: thoughts, suspicions, and ruminations on flow in graphic design (Better Days, Seoul/Brooklyn).

Cora Lynn Deibler
 is Professor of Illustration and Department Head of Art and Art History at UConn. She specializes in editorial and children’s illustration and maintains a blog called Brainspillage! Her work has appeared in countless publications including Cricket and Spider magazines for young children. Among her many awards, she has been recognized by How magazine, Print, The New York State Press Association and RSVP’s annual illustration competition. She participates in shows at the Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration in New York City, has served as a long time member of their Educators Symposium Committee and currently serves on the Society’s Education Committee. Her work appeared in “Women in Illustration: Contemporary Visions and Voices” and in “Picturing Health,” both at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. She currently serves on the Board of the Low Illustration Committee at the New Britain Museum of American Art and as Chair of Communications for the National Council of Arts Administrators.

See what attendees say about the Salons here.

*Admission to the Salon is free. Donations are gratefully accepted.
RSVP appreciated by April 27. Click on RSVP link or call 860-486-5084.
Please visit for more information.

Credit: Guerrilla Girls Posters.  Museum purchase.

Shakespeare’s First Folio will travel to the Benton Museum

By Ron Charles for the Washington Post

In the words of King Lear, today we learn “who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out.”

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington has selected the sites for its most ambitious exhibition ever: a traveling tour of First Folios that will stop in every state, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (#SHX400), the 2016 tour has been designed in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association.

Hundreds of hopeful libraries, museums, historical societies and other cultural venues submitted applications for a chance to host a free four-week display of a First Folio from the Folger’s incomparable collection. This morning, the winners, “chosen from above,/ By inspiration of celestial grace,” were announced. (See full list below. Exact dates for each stop will be announced this spring.)

Here in Washington, Gallaudet University earned the honor of displaying the Folger’s traveling First Folio, one of the most valuable printed books in the world. In Maryland, the book will stop at St. John’s College in Annapolis. And Virginians can see the First Folio at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Like the United States Senate, the design of this tour favors the population of small states. Almost everyone in tiny Rhode Island will be within walking distance of the First Folio visiting Brown University in Providence. But millions of Californians will have to travel hundreds of miles south to see the rare book in San Diego, where the public library will be hosting the First Folio with the Old Globe, one of the nation’s oldest Shakespeare theaters.

Click here to view the full article

“In the Paint” at UConn Brings the Excitement of March Madness to the Art World

By Mallory ODonoghue for Connecticut Public Radio

As March Madness tips off on Tuesday, excitement over college basketball can be seen everywhere on UConn’s Storrs campus.

Nowhere is the creative energy around basketball culture more apparent on campus than at the exhibit “In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art” at the William Benton Museum of Art.

The display explores the symbolism and history of basketball, which is inextricably part of UConn’s culture. With nine NCAA Tournament wins for the women’s team, and four championship rings for the men’s, UConn is a staple for many a basketball fan’s “brackets.”

This year, the UConn men’s tournament hopes are over after their upsetting defeat to Southern Methodist University.

But it’s quite a different story for the Connecticut women. The returning champions have been ranked as a number one seed, and are one of the teams to watch.

UConn basketball moves from the court to the gallery space in a variety of mediums at “In the Paint.” Fans, fashionistas, and political junkies alike will enjoy the display of basketball apparel, from a pair of special edition Husky Nikes of gigantic proportions, to Barack Obama’s own UConn women’s basketball jersey, signed by the commander-in-chief himself.

Click here to view the full article

Posters, Photos At UConn Capture Anti-War Spirit Of Vietnam Era

By Alan Bisbort for CTNOW

While we ponder the recent sesquicentennial of the Civil War’s end, another conflict’s anniversary looms. This one nearly touched off a second civil war — on American college campuses, in the streets and on The Mall in Washington, D.C.

That conflict, the so-called Vietnam War, ended on April 30, 1975, when a helicopter landed on the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon to remove the remaining American personnel and leave desperate civilians clinging to the ascending chopper’s landing gear. That conflict, never an officially declared war, was an 11-year experiment in “anti-communism” by the U.S. Congress, which unanimously passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in August 1964, and the President (Johnson, then Nixon), who was given carte blanche by the resolution.

That uncivil war is the backdrop to “Remembering the Vietnam War,” a provocative, if limited, exhibition at the William Benton Museum at UConn-Storrs. Because the Benton is a museum of art, the objects on view are protest posters, photographs, handbills, original paintings and photomontages inspired by the dissent that roiled the nation and saw a sitting president react with seeming indifference to the death of four college students at Kent State University and pardon the man responsible for the massacre of 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians at My Lai.

“Remembering the Vietnam War” is dominated by artists, or art collectives, that did not sign their work. In fact, the most effective work here is anonymous: “America Eats Her Young” (a black-and-white silkscreen that riffs on Goya’s horrific “Saturn Devouring His Young”); “Stop the War” (riffing on Picasso’s “Guernica”); “American Gothic” (a satire using Grant Wood’s iconic painting); “Johnson’s Johnson” (a creepy drawing of an LBJ statue with no genitals); “Four More Years?” (which uses a photograph from My Lai to make its gory point). Most of these artifacts are taken from UConn’s stellar Poras Collection of Vietnam War Memorabilia.

Click here to view the full article