NEW BRITAIN – With free Saturday morning admission, the New Britain Museum of American Art seeks to expose visitors from far and wide to artistic expression, regardless of background and ability to pay.
“It’s such an important program to our visitors and to the museum,” wrote the museum’s Director of Marketing Lisa Lappe in an email. “As the country’s first museum dedicated solely to American art, it is our mission to amplify the voices of all Americans and to make the experience accessible to as many people as possible. Free Saturday Mornings at the New Britain Museum of American Art would not be possible without funding from American Savings Foundation, and for that we are so grateful.”
Lappe noted the program occurs each Saturday morning. Visitors entering as part of the initiative are accepted from 10 a.m. to noon.
Galina Zingman, a first time visitor to the museum Saturday, said she had heard favorable recommendations about the institution and decided she should see it for herself.
“I’ve liked the design, open space and the lighting, even the benches have style, and the paintings, of course,” she said. “I like impressionists and some pictures of landscapes.”
Zingman said in the future she would like to attend a musical event held at the museum.
Janice Rustico said she has visited the New Britain Museum of American Art several times over the past decade. She had come to observe the museum’s “30 Americans” exhibit.
30 Americans features the works of impactful artists over the last 40 years, including the works of Hank Willis Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker, Mickalene Thomas as well as Jean–Michel Basquiat. The exhibit seeks to share “Black humanity through the gaze of contemporary Black artists,” reads museum literature.
Among the other works shown at the museum, Rustico said she was intrigued by the 2011 piece titled “Jaavon and the Uknown Gentleman,” a work commissioned by NBMAA as commentary of the Colonial-era painting “Gentleman with Negro Attendant.”
Visitor Henry Komelski said he was happy to see the free Saturday admission event come across social media and that he had visited NBMAA several times in the past.
“There’s always something new and it’s really what I needed today,” he said. “It’s calming and I needed to reset everything. I grew up in New Britain. I love coming here. It’s very accessible.”
He noted one of his favorite exhibits previously featured at the museum focused on the works of M.C. Escher, an artist that often utilized imagery featuring impossible structures and optical puzzles.
Lisa Tonner, Komelski’s roommate and fellow museum enthusiast, said she enjoys looking at the detail of landscape paintings and pondering the methods of how the creators made their pieces.