SUPPORTING THE MUSEUM- ENRICHING ONESELF AND ONE’S COMMUNITY

by leslierankowfinearts

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CONNECTICUT IS THE THIRD SMALLEST STATE IN THE COUNTRY BUT ENDOWED WITH  BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE, INVITING TOWNS, ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY ,  IMPRESSIVE PROPERTIES  AND A WEALTH OF MUSEUMS THAT CATER TO A DIVERSITY OF INTERESTS. WHETHER YOUR FOCUS IS ON THE INTELLECTUAL RIGOR OF OLD MASTERS, THE SEDUCTIVE APPEAL OF AMERICAN  IMPRESSIONIST FIGURAL AND LANDSCAPE PAINTING  OR THE CHALLENGE AND ENGAGEMENT  OF CONTEMPORARY PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND INSTALLATION, CONNECTICUT OFFERS  WORKS OF EXCELLENT QUALITY THAT SPAN A WIDE HISTORICAL ARCH.  THE BRUCE IS AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE  OF THE COMMITMENT THAT THE CONNECTICUT COMMUNITIES HAVE MADE BOTH TO EDUCATION AND AESTHETICS, ALWAYS OFFERING INTERESTING AND INNOVATIVE EXHIBITIONS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS THAT ATTRACT  NOT ONLY THE GREENWICH COMMUNITY BUT ALSO VISITORS FROM MANY OTHER STATES.  CONSISTENTLY VOTED THE “BEST MUSEUM” BY AREA MEDIA, THE BRUCE IS A REGIONALLY BASED, WORLD-CLASS INSTITUTION HIGHLIGHTING ART, SCIENCE AND NATURAL HISTORY.   http://brucemuseum.org/

FROM MY VANTAGE POINT AS A NEW YORKER PRIVILEGED TO HAVE EASY ACCESS TO SOME OF THE VERY BEST MUSEUMS IN THE WORLD, I AM PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED BY THE PROGRAMMING AT  THE BRUCE AND HAVE BEEN CURIOUS AS TO THE ELEMENTS THAT CONVERGE TO CREATE THIS EXCEPTIONAL VENUE.  THANKS TO AUNDREA AMINE,  CONTEMPORARY COLLECTOR AND A TRUSTEE AT THE BRUCE,  THE LRFA BLOG CAN PROVIDE A MORE DETAILED PERSPECTIVE.

AUNDREA,  THE MUSEUM HAS A DEDICATED GROUP OF TRUSTEES AND COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT DEVELOP AND SUPPORT ITS ACTIVITIES. IT ALSO OFFERS CULTURAL EXPERIENCES IN SMALLER GROUP SETTINGS THAT INCLUDE VISITS TO PRIVATE COLLECTIONS, TO GALLERIES, TO ARTIST STUDIOS, AND AUCTION PREVIEWS. IN MY PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, THESE MORE INTIMATE SETTINGS HAVE A GREAT APPEAL.  HOW ARE THEY ORGANIZED AND WHAT HAVE THEY INCLUDED IN RECENT YEARS?

The Bruce Museum Council and the Collectors Council both have rotating Co-Chairs who work with the Development Staff to develop unique educational programming tied to the missions of both Councils. Recent visits include multiple private collection tours, both locally, in New York, and beyond the Museum’s immediate environs, curator-led tours of major exhibitions in New York such as the recent Yayoi Kusama exhibition at The Whitney, artist studio tours in New York and Brooklyn, and a tour of a foundry to see first-hand the lost-wax process. Most recently a trip to Palm Beach was offered to see private art collections and experience curator-led tours at local museums. These are just some of the recent opportunities offered to Museum Council and Collectors Council members.

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THE MUSEUM IS LOCATED ON A BEAUTIFUL HILL TOP PROPERTY AND SPONSORS SEVERAL OUTDOOR FESTIVALS EACH YEAR AS WELL. WHAT ARE THEY AND WHEN DO THEY TAKE PLACE?

The Bruce holds two outdoor festivals each year: the contemporary crafts show in May, typically one week before Memorial Day, and the fine art show, typically on Columbus Day weekend.

Each show features approximately 80 strictly juried artists from around the country who sell their handmade jewelry, wearables, furniture, pottery, leather goods etc. in the former, and paintings, drawings, graphic work, mixed media, sculpture and photography in the latter during these two-day events. The artists are always present in their booths and enjoy explaining their work and techniques to the visitors. Live music, children’s hands-on activities and a variety of delicious foods contribute to the festive and fun atmosphere.

SINCE GREENWICH IS A “COMMUTER TOWN” CLOSE TO NEW YORK AND ITS MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL EVENTS, HOW DOES THE BRUCE COMPETE AND COMPLEMENT THE NUMEROUS ACTIVITIES THAT THE CITY OFFERS?

The Bruce is a regional museum that both serves its immediate Fairfield and Westchester County region AND New York City. The Bruce is ambitious in its exhibition and programming –rivaling museums much larger in size and resources. The museum attracts visitors from all 50 states and many international locations as well, who are drawn to the world-class exhibitions on an intimate scale. Parents in particular comment on the scale and accessibility of Bruce Museum exhibits (e.g., “. . . the kids loved the ability to walk right up to the exhibits with no crowds shoving them out of the way.”)

IN THE NEXT SEGMENT OF MY INTERVIEW WITH AUNDREA, SHE WILL INFORM US OF THE MANY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT THE BRUCE PROVIDES.  IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR AUNDREA OR THE BRUCE STAFF, I KNOW HOW GENEROUS THEY  HAVE BEEN TO ME WITH THEIR TIME AND INFORMATION. I AM CERTAIN THEY WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER YOURS.