Mattatuck Museum Exhibit: "In the Wake of 9/11"

In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 the Mattatuck Museum presents In the Wake of 9/11: Robert Carley’s American Journey on view from July 8-September 12, 2021.

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 triggered a tremendous outpouring of patriotic symbolism across America. Many people filled their yards with flags, while others painted the exterior of their homes as flags. Inspired by the human stories of how this tragedy touched the lives of so many, artist Robert Carley set off across the country to capture the American spirit by photographing the American flag in as many forms as possible. Twenty years later, he continues to travel, photographing houses, trucks, and even hot air balloons, all adorned with the Stars and Stripes.

The Museum invites the public to preview In the Wake of 9/11 during a special evening event on Thursday, July 8th from 5:00-7:00 pm. Admission to the preview is $5 for adults. Museum Members & children (16 and under) are free.

“Robert Carley is a multifaceted artist that creates caricatures, abstract drawings, and found object constructions, but here he proves himself to be a dedicated and prolific photographer.” says Curator Chelsea Garth. “The photographs presented in this exhibition are just a selection of the numerous images Carley has taken since the terrorist attacks of 2001. They feature varied expressions of patriotic feeling, from painted barns and flag-adorned homes to Carley’s own constructions of flags comprised of anything from paperclips to milk cartons. His photographic journey allows us as viewers to consider, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, where we have been and where we are now following such a traumatic event in American history.”

Also on view this summer is A Face Like Mine, a major exhibition organized in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition presents a century of Black figurative art in the United States, from 1921 to 2021, a time of radical change for Black people in America. By featuring portraits of Black people by Black artists, this exhibition celebrates Black identity and cultural heritage and argues for the inclusion of these works in the global art historical canon. The fifty artists of A Face Like Mine have represented themselves and their community through various media—including sculpture, photography, painting, works on paper, and assemblage. Artists included are Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Kerry James Marshall, Lorna Simpson, James VanDer Zee, and Kehinde Wiley among many others They have depicted their reality through their gaze, investing themes of Black identity, place, family, and performance as cornerstones of American portraiture.

A Face Like Mine, also on view through September 12, is the second in a three-part exhibition series developed in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The MFA Boston is the lead museum from Northeast cohort of the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation initiative. The initiative, wholly funded by Art Bridges, supports multi-year exhibition partnerships with the mission of expanding access to American art across the US. Additional financial support was provided by Art Bridges; Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP; Eversource Energy; Morgan Stanley, John T. Daddona, Vice President, Financial Advisor; Post University; TD Bank Charitable Foundation; and Torrco.

The Mattatuck Museum will be offering free admission to Waterbury residents on special Wednesdays throughout the summer. Waterbury Wednesdays will feature free admission for the whole family and includes access to the Museum’s galleries and special exhibitions including, In the Wake of 9/11 and A Face Like Mine. Enjoy drop-in craft activities in the Museum’s new Studio that will focus on history and art themes included in special exhibitions as well as objects and stories found in the Museum’s newly reinterpreted History Exhibit. These activities are meant for adults, kids, and families alike and help serve as a way to introduce families visiting the Museum for first time to the exhibitions and collection. 

Free admission will be offered to Waterbury residents on Wednesday, July 14 and 28, and August 11 and 25. In addition to Waterbury Wednesdays, all Waterbury Public School students are free everyday through December 31, 2021, thanks to the generosity of Hubbard-Hall and the Kellogg Family.

ABOUT THE MATTATUCK MUSEUM

Located in the heart of downtown Waterbury’s architectural district, the Mattatuck Museum is a vibrant destination, known locally and regionally as a community-centered institution of American art and history. The collections at The MATT span the history of American art from the colonial era to the present day with special strengths in Naugatuck Valley history and Connecticut artists, as well as artists from around the world representing the diversity of our community. The collection includes more than 8,000 objects including paintings, unique works on paper, photography, and sculpture.

Over the past two years, the Mattatuck has undergone a $9 million renovation project to reimagine the Museum while continuing to be a welcoming, inclusive, stimulating, and enriching community anchor. The “new” Mattatuck Museum, designed by Ann Beha Architects, includes an extensive 14,000 square foot renovation to the existing space and an addition of almost 7,000 square feet to enhance public access, educational programming, collections storage, and exhibitions.

The Museum is operated with support from the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development/CT Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.  The Museum is a founding member of the Consortium of Connecticut Art Museums and is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail, a group of 21 world-class museums and historic sites (ctarttrail.org).

The Mattatuck is open Monday-Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. with additional hours on Thursday nights until 7:00 p.m. Walk-in visitors are welcome! Visitors who prefer contactless payment may call and reserve their ticket ahead of time.

The safety and health of visitors and staff is the highest priority at the Mattatuck Museum. With the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the United States, the Museum is keeping up to date with all CDC health-related plans and procedures.

Although the CDC and CT have dropped the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people, those not yet fully vaccinated and children under 12 are required to wear masks while visiting the Museum. Mattatuck staff will continue to wear masks to protect themselves and those not yet vaccinated for the foreseeable future. Free, disposable masks are available at the Welcome Desk. We invite you to keep your mask on during your visit for your comfort and the comfort of others.

The website outlines the Museum’s updated guidelines for visitors, including what to expect on your visit, cleaning and safety protocols, and frequently asked questions. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates and content.