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  October 21, 2002

Partnership Offers Access
To New Britain Art Collection
By Allison Thompson

A new collaborative partnership unites the School of Fine Arts with one of Connecticut's premier art museums, giving students and faculty members unprecedented access to thousands of pieces of original artwork by many of this country's most influential artists.

Image: Painting by Robert Henri
"Spanish Girl of Segovia", by Robert Henri, from the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art.

The partnership, which began in May, joins the School of Fine Arts with the New Britain Museum of American Art. Founded in 1903, the New Britain Museum has more than 4,000 works of American art spanning over 250 years. The collection includes works by such noted artists as Georgia O'Keeffe, Mary Cassatt, Jacob Lawrence, and Andy Warhol.

"The New Britain Museum of American Art is a national treasure," says David G. Woods, dean of fine arts. "It has a wonderful collection of American art to which members of our community will now have complete access."

The partnership will facilitate the exchange of artwork between the New Britain Museum's permanent collection and the William Benton Museum of Art for exhibition and research purposes. An exhibit of American realist paintings from the early 20th century that opens at the Benton Museum next weekend features many works from the New Britain Museum's collection, including paintings by Edward Hopper and John Sloane.

"This partnership will serve to increase the range of prestigious artwork we exhibit on campus for our students, faculty and visitors," says Salvatore Scalora, director of the Benton Museum.

A summer exhibit at the New Britain Museum incorporated the Benton's collection of works by Childe Hassam and Maurice Prendergast. In the future, the Benton Museum and the department of art and art history will provide students with the opportunity to examine the original pieces of artwork they are studying in the classroom.

Students will also have the opportunity to gain valuable experience as interns at the New Britain Museum, where they can research works and help curate traveling exhibitions.

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