Have you ever walked or driven past something so many times you don’t ‘see it’ anymore? Have you passed by the Calder Stegosaurus so often that you don’t remember what the water droplets from the Burr Plaza fountains look like through the sunlight? COVID-19 has slowed things down and given people pause to look at life’s small details a little more closely. Seeing the familiar in a new light is the focus of Wadsworth Atheneum‘s new initiative, which provides an opportunity to learn the rich details of public art that has been right in front of us the whole time.
The museum has placed informational plaques at seven sculptures on the grounds of the Wadsworth and just nearby, as well as on the architecture which makes up the five main buildings.
Before you go, visit Sculpture In The City to see up close photographs of the sculptures, read about the artist and their history, watch a YouTube video of the Judy Dworkin dance troupe’s performances in front of and around the sculptures, and find out about how to listen to the virtual tour guide, download the walking tour and join an outdoor art talk.
Seven Outdoor Sculptures at the Wadsworth
William Turnbull, Large Horse, 1990
Tony Smith, Amaryllis, 1965
Conrad Shawcross, Monolith (Optic), 2016
Enoch Woods, Nathan Hale, 1889
Ben Johnson, After Jean-Antoine Houdon, Memorial Commemorating General George Washington’s visits to Hartford and Wethersfield, 1932
Alexander Calder, Stegosaurus, 1972
Carl Andre, Stone Field Sculpture, 1977
To learn more about each sculpture, you may sign up for an outdoor art talk to learn more from Wadsworth curators, conservators, and education staff.
Self-guided walking tours and offerings tell stories about our city, the art found in its public spaces, and the architecture of its buildings. We welcome submissions of historical, architectural, and public art information to be added to this page’s developing resource list. Send the Atheneum an email with a link to your recommended content.
Self-Guided Walking Tours. Print out the Revolutionary Hartford or Chasing the Charter Oak selection of spots to visit at your own pace.
Revolutionary Hartford – Courtesy of Connecticut’s Old State House
Chasing the Charter Oak – Courtesy of Brenda Miller, Hartford Public Library
Outdoor Art Talks
Availability is limited and advance registration is required.
Conserving Bronze – Wednesday, July 29; 5 pm
American Sculpture Outdoors – Thursday, August 6; noon
Abstract Nature – Thursday, August 20; noon
The Facades of the Wadsworth Atheneum – Wednesday, September 9; noon
Conserving Bronze – Saturday, September 19; noon