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Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
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The Bruce Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Museum programs are suitable for people of all abilites. Accessible parking is available in front of the Museum for access to the entrance ramp. The galleries, the Museum Store, and the restrooms are accessible. A wheelchair is available upon request.

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ReTooled: Highlights From The Hechinger Collection

Bruce Museum
9/22/18 - 12/30/18

brucemuseum.org

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September 22 through December 30, 2018.

Featuring more than 40 richly imaginative, quirky, and thought-provoking paintings, sculptures, photographs, and sketches, ReTooled celebrates the prevalence of tools in our lives with art that magically transforms utilitarian objects into fanciful works that speak of beauty, insight, and wit. The Museum’s signature fall exhibition, ReTooled profiles 28 visionary artists from the Hechinger Collection and includes major artists such as Arman, Richard Estes, Howard Finster, Red Grooms, Jacob Lawrence, Fernand Léger and H.C. Westermann; photographers Berenice Abbott and Walker Evans; as well as pop artists Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, and James Rosenquist.

Some of these artists portray tools with reverence to emphasize their purity of design, while others disfigure and transform implements to highlight their obsolescence in today’s world of glass, steel, and technology.

These works were brought together in the 1980s by John Hechinger, owner of a hardware store chain in the Mid-Atlantic region. Hechinger is often credited as one of the major figures in the transformation of the neighborhood hardware store to the “do-it-yourself” home improvement business. His intent to beautify a new company headquarters led to the acquisition of a tool-inspired collection of diverse 20th-century art. “I felt that if I could show my associates how so many artists had celebrated the handsaw or the hammer or the paint brush, they would be aware of the intrinsic beauty of the simple objects that they handled by the tens of thousands,” said Hechinger. “They were not only the focus of their workdays, but our company’s very lifeblood.”

Hechinger later donated his collection to International Arts & Artists, a non-profit arts service organization based in Washington, DC, dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, art institutions and the public.

Curated by Jared Packard-Winkler, ReTooled presents the works in four sections: Objects of Beauty, Material Illusions, Instruments of Satire, and Tools: An Extension of Self. ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection was organized by International Arts and Artists, Washington, DC. Gift of John and June Hechinger. The exhibition is supported by Northern Trust, The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Image: Claes Oldenburg, Three Way Plug, 1965, offset lithograph with airbrush. 39 x 31½ x 1 inches. Photo courtesy of Joel Breger

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