Join the Mattatuck Museum for the opening reception of three spring exhibitions on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. The opening celebration will feature a conversation with museum curator Dr. Cynthia Roznoy, artist Stephanie Brody-Lederman and collector Ken Ratner at 6:30 p.m.  Mary Daniel, curator of Fancy This will also talk about costumes in that exhibition.

Organized by the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, New York with the Mattatuck Museum, A Feeling of Humanity: Contemporary Western Art from the Ken Ratner Collection celebrates the art of the western United States. The exhibition of more than 65 works, including paintings, works on paper, archives and ephemera by thirty artists demonstrates artistic response to the distinctive western landscape and to the unique characters the area has produced. The West has been a defining national symbol during much of America’s history. Although considered a region by Euro-Americans, the West was also a myth, a dream, an inspiration and a destination. As the title indicates, the major theme of the exhibition is “spirit of community.” Drawn from the collection of Ken Ratner, the art integrates a multitude of traditions: landscape, portraiture and character study, animal pictures, domestic and urban scenes and Native Americans.

New York-based artist Stephanie Brody-Lederman creates paintings and mixed media collages that combine imagery and text. More than fifty works are included in Visual Poetry: Stephanie Brody-Lederman. Brody-Lederman’s original interest in poetry has fused with art-making that finds its subjects in the basic aspects of everyday domestic life. Her paintings depict familiar images such as trees, stools, roads and rivers that are purposely portrayed in an unschooled quality to better represent human feelings. As Brody-Lederman explains, “there is an interplay of word and image” in her work, “created to reveal underlying psychological content. Words are edited ruthlessly and are distilled into a poetic compositional form.”

Fancy This: The Gilded Age of Fashion displays beautiful, rarely seen costume pieces from the Mattatuck’s collection. Many of these delicate objects have not been on view for decades. Guest curator Mary Daniel is the winner of the 2013 Summer Fling “Curator for the Day” auction prize and has been working with the Museum’s curatorial department to organize this exhibition which also includes accessories such as shoes, purses, fans and gloves.

The Mattatuck Museum is offering community programs in conjunction with these exhibitions. For details on these and other events, visit