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‘ReTooled’ at the Bruce

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The Bruce Museum’s signature fall exhibition “ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection” opens Sept. 22 and will be on view through Dec. 30. The museum is at 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich.

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 exhibit includes major artists Arman, Richard Estes, Howard Finster, Red Grooms, Jacob Lawrence and Fernand Léger; 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.

The Bruce will host an opening reception for museum members Sept. 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and will complement the exhibition with a series of lectures and films throughout the fall. 

The collection was brought together in the 1980s by John Hechinger, owner of a hardware store chain in the Mid-Atlantic region. He 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.  

The ReTooled exhibition is supported by Northern Trust, Turner Construction Co., The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and a Committee of Honor chaired by Nancy Duffy, Julia Nusseibeh, Candace Procaccini and Debbie Simon.

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