There's a lot coming to Hartford-area museums this summer. Here's just a few of the biggest events:
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main St. in Hartford, will present “Virgil Marti / MATRIX 167” opening on Aug. 1. Marti’s sculpture and textile-based installations play off of the ornamental excesses of interior design, including baroque chandeliers, garish fabric pillows, faux-fur and chintz banquettes and flocked black-light wallpaper. The exhibit also will include a site-specific installation. Also inside the Atheneum building, the Amistad Center for Art & Culture presents “Emancipation!” from Saturday, May 18, to Sunday, Sept. 15. The exhibit will present visual images and artifacts of events surrounding the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Details: www.wadsworthatheneum.org and www.amistadartandculture.org.
Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St. in Hartford, has three shows opening this summer. Sam Ekwurtzel’s “At The Beach,” whose works are inspired by coastal engineering forms, vessel design and navigational aids, will be at the gallery from May 16 to Aug. 8. “Ponzi Structure” by John O’Donnell, former visual arts manager at the venue, will be there from June 13 to Aug. 11. O’Donnell’s print series is based on stacking objects and accumulation. Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s “Memories: No Instructions for Assembly,” using fragments and found images to make a statement about the fragmentary nature of memory, will be up from July 11 to, Oct. 6. Details: www.realartways.org.
New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St. in New Britain, presents “The Brilliance of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Painter and Craftsman” from May 24, to Sept. 29 The exhibit borrows 100 of Tiffany’s best paintings from the Nassau County Museum in New York, and also will display large stained glass windows, metal and glass objects, furniture and other decorative objects. Also at NBMAA, “NEW/NOW: Skylar Hughes One Big Gust of Wind,” an exhibit of paintings and collages made by the Hartford Art School graduate, will be shown from June 15, to Sept. 15. Details: www.nbmaa.org.
Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St. in New Haven, presents “Conversations with Wood: Selections from the Waterbury Collection” May 17 to Aug. 18. The exhibit is drawn from the collection of Ruth and David Waterbury of Minneapolis, considered one of the best in the country, with work by Michelle Holzapfel, Robyn Horn, Todd Hoyer, William Hunter, Ron Kent, Michael Mode, Hayley Smith, Alan Stirt, Bob Stocksdale and Hayley Smith. Details: artgallery.yale.edu.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 625 Williams St. in New London presents “Kitty Wales: Lionfish,” an exhibit of sculpture and installation art of animals, from July to December, dates to be determined. Details: www.lymanallyn.org.
Mattatuck Museum of Art, 144 West Main St. in Waterbury, has three shows running Sunday, June 9, to Sunday, Sept. 8. “The Origin of Preppy: John Meyer of Norwich” explores the preppy style’s transformation from campus fad to innovative fashion. “Alter Egos: Bruce Sargeant|Mark Beard” tells the story of the printmaker, sculptor and set designer Beard and his imaginary great-uncle Bruce Sargeant, a painter who idealized the male form. “Strange Beauty: The Photography of Carolyn Marks Blackwood” is the third show. Details: www.mattatuck.org.
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St.in Old Lyme, presents “Animal/Vegetable/Mineral: An Artist’s Guide to the World” from Friday, June 7, to Sunday, Sept. 22, which shows favorites from the museum’s collection with contemporary pieces echoing themes of animals, vegetables or minerals. Works are by Ralph Earl, John Brewster, Jr., Ammi Phillips, Frank Vincent DuMond, Cecilia Beaux, William Chadwick, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Sascha Braunig, Allison Maletz, Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. Details: www.flogris.org.
Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University, 1073 N. Benson Road in Fairfield, presents “Fire and Earth: Native American Pottery from New Mexican Pueblos” from June 27, to Sept. 27, in collaboration with Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. The pottery will be complemented by works from the Taos School of American painting. In the campus’ Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, sculptures and paintings will be on exhibit at “Robert Perillat: Long Distance Runner” from July 1 to July 30. Details: www.fairfield.edu.
William Benton Museum of Art, 245 Glenbrook Road, on the campus of University of Connecticut in Storrs, will present two shows from June 4, to Aug. 4. “From Old Masters to Revolutionaries: Five Centuries of the Benton’s Best,” will show work from the 16th century to the mid-20th, by artists including Alonso Sánchez Coello, Mary Cassatt, Käthe Kollwitz, Annibale Carracci, Arthur Bowen Davies, George Benjamin Luks and Reginald Marsh. “20/21: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Benton’s Collection” is a continuation of the other show, exhibiting some of the museum’s most recent acquisitions including work by Mike Bayne, Keun Young Park, Dieter Roth, Willem De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Sebastião Salgado, Graciela Iturbide, Candida Höfer and Shimon Attie. Details: www.thebenton.org.
Bruce Museum, One Museum Drive in Greenwich, will show “Revised and Restored: The Art of Kathleen Gilje,” focusing on her parodies of Old Master paintings, from May 11, to Sept. 8. From June 15, to Aug. 18, that museum will show “Dürer, Rembrandt & Whistler: Prints from the Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly.” Kelly also contributes work to the show from Aug. 31, to Dec. 1, “American Realism: Scenes from the Print Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly.” Details: www.brucemuseum.org.