Grant Affords East of the River Students Free Educational Opportunities
FARMINGTON, CT—November 30, 2022
The SBM Charitable Foundation (SBMCF) has awarded Hill Stead a “We’re Pulling for You” grant for $34,466.94 in support of the “Art, Poetry, and History at Hill-Stead Museum” program for area students in East Hartford, Vernon, and Manchester. This program, in partnership with the SBM Charitable Foundation, has provided valuable Fine Arts, Language Arts, and World Languages themed educational programs for thousands of underserved students since 2006.
35 Mountain Road, Farmington, CT 06032.
Hill-Stead Museum is pleased to announce Alfred Pope: An Evolution of Ingenuity, an exhibition that presents the little-known and under-appreciated father of Hill-Stead’s founder, Theodate Pope Riddle. On view will be a group of paintings and drawings he once owned, which are now scattered around the world, as well as selected works on paper, objects, and ephemera from Hill-Stead’s collection and archives that illuminate this fascinating, generous individual. The exhibition opening will be on December 8, 2022, from 6-8 pm. Continue reading →
Hill-Stead Museum is pleased to announce Deborah Berke, Founding Partner of Deborah Berke Partners and Dean and J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture at the Yale School of Architecture, as the recipient of the inaugural Theodate Pope Riddle Women in Architecture and Design Award. The award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to both design excellence and the advancement of women in the fields of architecture and design. Continue reading →
Hill-Stead Museum is honored to have been selected to receive an award from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, a grant-making program established by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in collaboration with Environment & Culture Partners and RMI to catalyze climate change action in the visual arts. Funds will be used to complete the replacement of a failed HVAC chiller, installed in 2001, and the associated upgrading of pumps and temperature and humidity controls for the 1901 historic house. Funds will also be used to maximize energy savings measures, such as retrofitting all existing parking lot and exterior property lights with new LED lamps, featuring “dusk to dawn” operation. This project will help us reduce our carbon footprint. Additionally, operational costs will dramatically decrease. For instance, the energy-efficient new chiller is expected to operate at 70% of the cost of the old 2001 model, resulting in approximately 30% savings in energy costs.
Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that our judge, Kimiko Hahn, has selected Why Misread a Cloud by Emily Carlson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as winner of the 2022 Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Award.
Emily Carlson is a mother, a teacher, and the director of Art in the Garden, a liberatory, anti-racist, LGBTQA+ welcoming, and joy-centered program that addresses the impacts of childhood adversity and trauma. She’s the author of two chapbooks, Symphony No. 2(Argos Books, 2015) and I Have a Teacher (The Center for Book Arts, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Aufgabe, Bloom, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, and other journals. With friends, she runs the Bonfire Reading Series. Emily lives with her partner and their three children in an intentional community centered around an urban garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Here’s what our contest judge, Kimiko Hahn, had to say about the winning chapbook:
In brief paragraphs that are neither prose nor prose poems, we meet a witness. A speaker who is not in her country of origin. A woman living in the air of violence. Militarization. And very occasionally, a mundane gesture–adding sugar to tea. The spareness creates a poetics that is, at once, elegantly stark and akin to journalism. We read between the lines because what is unsaid, makes this a poetry of image and association. What was once a broom for sweeping a kitchen, is used by a woman to sweep propaganda leaflets off the street. I find myself engaged in a place–to a place, really–where there are ballistic helmets. Yes, strange and strangely familiar. This is how art and dreams work: with the familiarity of knowing and the dissassociation that can allow insight.
Our sincere congratulations to Emily Carlson, whose book will be out in time for her debut reading this summer at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.
Degas’ pastel The Tub is included in “Great Works, In Focus,” a series in the Washington Post featuring art critic Sebastian Smee’s favorite works in permanent collections around the United States
[The Tub] by Edgar Degas in the collection of the Hill-Stead Museum, a little-known museum in Farmington, Conn., is one of my favorite works in any American collection. At the most basic level, it is just a wonder to me that one human would respond to another by making something like this.Sebastian Smee
Our Carriage Barn renovation won the AIA Connecticut 2021 Elizabeth Mills Brown Excellence Award!
We are thrilled to update this story with joyous news: Hill-Stead’s renovation has won the 2021 Elizabeth Mills Brown Excellence Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects!
We believe that our founder, the architect Theodate Pope Riddle (1867–1946), who was an AIA member, would be exceptionally pleased by this recognition of design excellence in the adaptation and reuse of the historic carriage barn structures.
Hill-Stead is grateful to our partners, Centerbrook Architects and Planners, and collaborators who joined this successful team, including BVH/Salas O’Brien, George Sexton Associates, and PAC Group. Further, we appreciate the crucial support of the Connecticut Department of Economic Community Development and the State Historic Preservation Office. Together, we proudly – using the words of the jury – “…made an already exciting place even more exciting.”
For a summary of the renovation, told in compelling fashion through concise description and a beautiful combination of before and after photographs, please see the publication created by Centerbrook.
In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am honored to bring you the eighth installment of “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know” to kick-off 2021.
Straight out of the starting gate, Hill-Stead was featured on Better Connecticut this week on CBS (Ch3/WFSB). We should all be proud to see our beloved cultural hub gaining such well-deserved visibility with 5:30 minutes of television airtime.
1Winter on the Hill nature and arts program has been such a success that the program continues in 2021 with both in-person and virtual programming. In tribute to Martin Luther King Day, we are pleased to offer students a free one-hour program on January 18 at 11 am (grades 3–5) or 1 pm. (grades 6–8). The virtual session includes both independent and collaborative art-making led by Hill-Stead’s resident artist and education specialist, Rachel Cutler. During the engaging workshop, the students will reflect on Martin Luther King’s legacy by analyzing his words and dreams with those of Hill-Stead’s founder, Theodate Pope Riddle.
There will be back-to-back in-person sessions of Winter on the Hill at Hill-Stead on February 15 & 16 from 1-4 p.m. to coincide with President’s Day vacation time.
2 Hill-Stead is carrying on with its 2020 practice of joining hands with fellow arts organizations. This time, we join Capital Classics Theatre Company in presenting Contemporary Classics Conversations on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 7:30 pm. The event is complimentary, and all are welcome to join us via Zoom for an insightful and lively evening of conversation inspired by Athol Fugard’s one-act play, Victory. Set in New South Africa, following the first free election in 1994, Victory features two adolescents discovered while robbing a home. Their discovery leads to a night of dialogue, revealing the hardships of living in apartheid-created poverty. Capital Classics Theatre Company artists will perform scene readings examining the despair of many young Black citizens in South Africa who see little prospect of a constructive future. Between excerpts, the audience will discuss the play’s themes and their relevance and resemblance to our world today.
3We are excited to announce Hill-Stead’s very first Walktail Hour on Saturday, January 30, from 3:30–5:30 pm. with an inclement weather date of Sunday, January 31 (same timing). Enjoy the Hill-Stead’s gorgeous grounds as you safely sip and stroll during the magical sunset hour while taking in the breathtaking views of our outdoor masterpiece. Admission will be free, with beverages available for purchase from The Liquorist on-site in their mobile bar (once a 1970’s horse trailer!). Imagine a beautiful sunset, a warm, delicious drink, stretching your legs, together with a loved one in the refreshing early evening air – the perfect end-of-day antidote to the winter blues!
Everyone has a story to tell and this contest provided a forum to capture unexpected outcomes, epiphanies of personal discovery, and moments of pure joy and connection. We invited photographers to submit their best work. The public voted on the submissions based on their ability to capture four themes: Art In All Its Forms, Creature Comforts, Summertime Fun, and Victory Gardens. Because there were so many wonderful photos, we are also highlighting a staff pick for each category.
Loving Summer Lauren Krupnikoff
Bobcat NeighborRobert Trafford
Summer Croquet at Hill-SteadDavid Ciriello
Tulips in the Sunken GardenRachael Ann
Winners receive $50, promotion of their photography via Hill-Stead’s website & social channels, a certificate for a personalized VIP Tour of Hill-Stead Museum, and bragging rights!
Art in All Its Forms
Loving Summer, Lauren Krupnikoff
WINNER: Loving Summer, Lauren Krupnikoff
“My friend and I were by the water not too long ago, and we saw that the sun was starting to set. So we decided to try this cool idea of doing a heart with our hands surrounding the sun as it sets.“
She Dances Anyway, Nora H.
STAFF PICK: She Dances Anyway, Nora H.
“This is Kiersten. Her beloved dance studio was shut down and the recital she was starring in cancelled because of COVID. But she keeps dancing. She records dances in her backyard to songs like “Six Feet Apart.” She and I dance in the rain together and throw rocks into the river because we’re so angry at the way our lives have been put on pause. She dances in public parks with a mask. Because this is her art. And it is what matters most to her.”
Bobcat NeighborRobert Trafford
WINNER: BobcatNeighbor, Robert Trafford
“This fellow sat outside my just slider and just stared.“
Serinity, Sofia A.
STAFF PICK: Serinity, Sofia A.
“Bird on the dock at Cozumel Island“
Summer Croquet at Hill-Stead, David Ciriello
WINNER: Summer Croquet at Hill-Stead, David Ciriello
“Our son and a friendly pup played and danced the night away under the sun as we played croquet and caught the sunset.”
Bronx Sprinkler, Barbara O.
STAFF PICK: Bronx Sprinkler, Barbara O.
“Summer in the city..near Yankee Stadium“
Tulips in the Sunken Garden, Rachael Ann
WINNER: Tulips in the Sunken Garden, Rachael Ann
“Hill-Stead Museum and Sunken Garden, July 2019. Shot in the infrared range of light.”
Brighter Days, Emi Z.
STAFF PICK: Brighter Days, Emi Z.
“As I wandered the sunflower maze with my friend after the hurricane, we noticed many of the sunflowers had been pushed over. This one however, stood tall and upright. It’s a great reminder of staying strong, positive and bright even when things in the world are dark and difficult. There are always brighter days ahead.”