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Lyman Allyn Art Museum Lyman Allyn Art Museum
New London, CT


Lyman Allyn Art Museum
625 Williams Street
New London, CT 06320
860.443.2545, ext. 129
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www.lymanallyn.org

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Exhibitions

The Prismatic Palette: Frank Vincent DuMond and His Students

Xanda McCagg Recent Work: Icon

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art


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The Prismatic Palette: Frank Vincent DuMond and His Students
June 19 – October 3, 2021

The Prismatic Palette examines the art and teaching legacy of Frank Vincent DuMond (1865–1951). A key figure in American art and art education, DuMond was a skilled painter and draftsman with great technical facility and a keen eye for color. He studied in Paris at the Academie Julian from 1889 to 1891 and upon return to the U.S., he found work as an illustrator for Harpers, Century, and other publications. DuMond began teaching at the Art Students League of New York in 1892, and soon spent summers teaching and painting landscapes en plein air. DuMond and his wife Helen, also an artist, were founding members of the Lyme Art Colony and lived in Lyme, CT beginning in 1906.

The Prismatic Palette celebrates and reexamines the art of Frank Vincent DuMond, exploring his career and output and considering the ways that his teaching and ideas have influenced a range of artists. He taught for nearly 60 years at the Art Students League, guiding and instructing multiple generations of artists, including such notable figures as John Marin and Norman Rockwell. With approximately 50 objects on view, including many loans from private and public collections, the exhibition will trace the range and nuances of DuMond’s art and will explore the work of his students. One section will focus on color theory and the development of DuMond’s “prismatic palette,” an influential method of mixing color strings that continues to be taught and used by painters today.

Xanda McCagg Recent Work: Icon
Through April 18, 2021
Xanda McCagg, Majestic, oil and graphite on canvas.

Xanda McCagg’s abstract paintings are investigations of the human condition, on both a global and an intimate level. Observing frameworks of behavior in relation to larger happenings—poverty, war, systems of control and understanding, religion and mythology—she explores shifting relationships, both subtle and vast. Through line, form and compositional effect, McCagg comments on the dichotomies that define and shape our lives.

Xanda McCagg’s paintings have been shown in both individual and selected group exhibitions in New York, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and internationally in Paris France, and Budapest, Hungary. Along with a BFA in Art Education from Boston University she has completed Fellowship and residencies at C.A.M.A.C Marnay Sur Seine, France, The American Academy Rome, Italy, Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, The Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams MA, and Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art
Through August 22, 2021
Sedrick Huckaby, She Wore Her Family’s Quilt, 2015, oil on canvas. Photograph by Gregory Staley.

The traveling exhibition Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art presents 62 selected works from a body of art amassed over 35 years by an ordinary working-class couple. Often choosing artworks over material items and other creature comforts, Kerry, a retired mailman, and Betty, a former television news producer, have opted instead to live with drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture as their principal luxuries.

Their collection includes works by Radcliffe Bailey, Romare Bearden, Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Ernest T. Crichlow, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Alma Thomas, and Charles White. While their stated intention to “preserve cultural memories and provide their community with a source of inspiration” are goals shared by most art enthusiasts, Kerry and Betty do not search exclusively for well-known and/or documented artists, keeping in mind “the importance of gathering and preserving a spectrum of approaches to the black image in order to console the psyche and contribute to a more authentic articulation of the self.” To this end, the Davises continue to be students of the visual arts through visits to galleries and museums and through their voracious reading of exhibition catalogues, artist monographs, books, and online data about artists, art genres, mediums, and history.

The Davis Collection has evolved considerably over the years, as its owners went from sifting through entries posted on various auction sites to visiting artists in their studios, dropping by galleries, trading with other collectors, going to estate sales, and receiving artworks from artists as gifts. The result is an eclectic gathering of pieces crossing different mediums, subjects, and styles by a group of artists of the African Diaspora who—in terms of training, experience, and expression—are singularly diverse but unified in their use of cultural and historical narratives. As their collection has grown, so has the Davises’ storehouse of memories of discovering new works of art, building friendships with artists, and conversing with museum professionals and other collectors in their home. They have also continued to expose their collection to family, friends, and church members who, while receptive to the fine arts, are unlikely to visit such local institutions as the High Museum of Art in Atlanta—prompting the artist Leon Nathaniel Hicks to refer to their residence as “a museum in a home.”

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art was organized and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

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