September 10 - October 16, 2015
Imagine a place, a kind of labyrinth, where every few feet a portal appears that can magically transport you to another place, another country or another time. The Housatonic Museum of Art is just such a place.
Burt Chernow founded the collection in 1967, envisioning an environment that was enhanced and enriched by original works of art, art that could transform not only a room or a building but also individual lives. He saw the collection as a kind of library with each work of art imbued with the power to actively engage each viewer in a deep and meaningful dialogue.
Over the course of thirty years, Burt developed a collection that allows students to traverse the globe without leaving the campus. He built a trove of treasures for enjoyment and learning.
Today, the HMA continues to acquire works by local, regional, national and international artists. 50 Objects/50 Years includes works by Jeff Koons, Philip Jones Griffiths, Cindy Sherman, Valerie Jaudon and Yoko Ono. In our permanent collection, we now have a variety of objects that help us to learn more about Native American cultures to include blankets, clothing, toys, and pipes, some on display here.
No museum would be worth its salt if there weren’t at least one or two fakes found in its possession, and we have found one or two. Similarly, works that were acquired from relatively unknown artists have become our most significant and precious works.
50 Objects/50 Years has been a joy to organize, and though it is hardly comprehensive, and could not be given the size of the Burt Chernow Gallery space, it offers a trip through the unique, and sometimes unexpected, holdings of this important collection housed on the campus of Housatonic Community College in downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Director, Housatonic Museum of Art