NEW BRITAIN — With free Saturday morning admission, the New Britain Museum of American Art seeks to expose visitors everywhere to artistic expression, regardless of background and ability to pay.
“This is such an important program for our visitors and for the museum,” the museum’s director of marketing, Lisa Lappe, wrote in an email. “As the nation’s premier museum dedicated solely to American art, our mission is to amplify the voices of all Americans and 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 the American Savings Foundation, and we are so grateful.
Lappe noted that the program runs every Saturday morning. Visitors entering the initiative are accepted from 10 a.m. to noon.
Galina Zingman, who was visiting the museum for the first time on Saturday, said she heard favorable recommendations about the institution and decided she should see it for herself.
“I liked the design, the open space and the lighting, even the benches look stylish, and the paintings, of course,” she said. “I like the impressionists and certain landscape photos.”
Zingman said that 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” exhibition.
30 Americans features the works of impactful artists over the past 40 years, including works by Hank Willis Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker, Mickalene Thomas as well as Jean-Michel Basquiat. The exhibit seeks to share “black humanity through the eyes of contemporary black artists,” reads museum literature.
Among other works on display at the museum, Rustico said she was intrigued by the 2011 piece titled “Jaavon and the Uknown Gentleman,” a work commissioned by the NBMAA as a commentary on the colonial-era painting “Gentleman with Negro Attendant”.
Visitor Henry Komelski said he was happy to see Saturday’s free admission event on social media and had visited the AANB several times in the past.
“There’s always something new and that’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 that one of his favorite exhibits previously shown at the museum was of the works of MC Escher, an artist who often used images featuring impossible structures and optical puzzles.
Lisa Tonner, Komelski’s roommate and museum enthusiast, said she enjoys looking at the details of landscape paintings and thinking about how the creators made their works.