Provocative portraits by Chuck Close, rarely seen prints by masters of realism including Edward Hopper and Grant Wood and remarkable works and iconic photography featuring Native American women are bringing art lovers in droves to Western Connecticut, where two Fairfield County museums, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich and the Stamford Museum and Nature Center are offering a fall feast of American art. 

 

The Bruce Museum: Two Big Shows

 

From September 28 to January 26, 2014, the Bruce Museum located on 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich will feature Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close, Organized with the participation of the artist and supplemented with loans from local collectors, this one-of-a-kind show offers some of the finest examples of a modern master of printmaking. Close is best known for his portraits, large-scale, black-and-white airbrushed heads, paintings often based on photographs he had transferred to canvas by means of a grid. Equally provocative are his prints, which often recycle past portraits of himself, his family, and his friends. The prints cover a variety of mediums including woodcut, etching, silkscreen, linocut, and aquatint.

The second major exhibit running through December 1, Telling American History: Realism from the Print Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly offers over 40 rarely seen prints covering a 62-year span of American life from 1905 through 1967, the peak period for the realism movement in art.  Among the major artists shown are George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh, John Sloan, and Grant Wood. Arranged by themes, the exhibit colorfully traces an America in process, the rise of transportation and industry, urban development, recreation, and contrasting rural life.

For more information www.brucemuseum.org.

 The Stamford Museum and Nature Center: Highlighting Women

 

A chance to appreciate the talents of noted Native American female artists from Alaska to Arizona, By Her Hand: Art of Native American Women & the Photographs of Edward S. Curtis, at the Stamford Museum September 21 to December 1, celebrates the talents of women who transformed everyday objects such as basketry, pottery, textiles and beadwork into objects of beauty. Their handiwork is paired with the famed photographs of Edward S. Curtis, who captured so movingly the last vestiges of traditional Native American culture in the western United States. In one photo he shows

 

the artist Nampeyo painting one of her signature pots, next to an actual Tano bowl attributed to her.

 

Among the artists featured is Maria Martinez, a Tewa/Tano potter who revived the ancient secret of creating jet-black pottery and Joseppa, a master of the Pomo miniature basket.

 

"FunFact" labels help make this exhibit a family-friendly experience.

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center is located on 39 Scofieldtown Rd. for more information http://stamfordmuseum.org.