We are very excited to be opening the exhibition, “Gari Melchers: An American Impressionist at Home and Abroad,” in just a few short weeks here at the Bellarmine Museum of Art (BMA) at Fairfield University (now known as the Fairfield University Art Museum). The show opens on Thursday, March 5th with a lecture by Belmont Curator Joanna Catron at 5:00 p.m. and a wine and cheese reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
This exhibition represents several years of planning. The former director and chief curator of the University Museums at Fairfield University was Dr. Jill Deupi. She happens to have grown up in Fredericksburg, Va., and was very familiar with Melchers’ work and Belmont, from numerous visits there over the years. She and Joanna Catron collaborated on laying the groundwork for this loan, and for creating the checklist for this exhibition, and after Dr. Deupi’s departure I took over the joyful task of bringing this exhibition to life.
The BMA was founded in the Fall of 2010, and is committed to preserving, studying, and exhibiting those objects entrusted to its care, while never losing sight of its obligation to educate and inspire its many audiences, for the greater enrichment of all. The BMA has shared this mission with the over 18,000 visitors it has welcomed through its doors since its opening, breathing life into its commitment to excellence and education in the visual arts through the mindful stewardship of its permanent collection, the presentation of several dynamic temporary exhibitions each year and the implementation of vigorous – and invigorating – outreach and educational initiatives. Critical in this regard is the museum’s capacity to mount temporary exhibitions of the highest possible caliber, exposing its audiences to objects, and to cultures, to which they might not otherwise have access.
This show, the first of Melchers’ work in the northeast in 25 years, is a wonderful example of this type of exceptional exhibition. The colorful exhibition brochure provides an exhibition checklist as well as an artist chronology.
The artworks on view will survey more than a half-century of Melchers’ career with key examples of the genres he favored, including landscape, genre scenes and portraiture. The exhibition is comprised of 23 works in oil, pastel, watercolor, gouache and charcoal. If you find yourself in CT or NYC (we are just over 1 hour by train) we hope you will come and visit the BMA, and this exciting show of Melchers’ works in a new setting.