90th Anniversary: 1928 – 2018

Flinn Gallery, located on the 2nd floor of the Greenwich Library, is one of the town’s most beloved and impressive institutions. With its 2018-19 season, the gallery celebrates 90 years of bringing exceptional art experiences to the community. 

The 90th anniversary season launches on September 6th and runs through June 19, with six exhibitions that take a contemporary look at traditional themes. To commemorate this milestone year, the gallery will present an array of special programs and events over the course of the 2018-19 season.

The Long Run
Heather Cotter
Museum of Modern Art
October 10, 2018
7 – 8 pm

Lee Bontecou. Untitled. 1980–98. Welded steel, porcelain, wire mesh, canvas, grommets, and wire, 7 x 8 x 6' (213.4 x 243.8 x 182.9 cm). Gift of Philip Johnson (by exchange) and the Nina and Gordon Bunshaft Bequest Fund. © 2017 Lee Bontecou. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar. Courtesy of Museum of Modern Art

Artist as Writer
Brian Catling
Artist, Writer and Filmmaker
April 10, 2019
7 – 8 pm

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Art Investments & the Auction House
Noah Kupferman
Christie’s Education Institute
May 19, 2019
7 – 8 pm

250NoahKupferman

Lecture Series: 2018-2019

A public lecture series will launch on Wednesday, October 10th in the Cole Auditorium. Heather Cotter of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will speak in conjunction with the MoMA exhibition, The Long Run. Additional lectures will take place on April 10th featuring noted British artist and filmmaker Brian Catling and on May 15th with Noah Kupferman, Program Director of Art, Law and Business at Christie’s Education Institute.

To learn more: Flinn Gallery 90th Anniversary Lecture Series

Volunteer-Run Gallery

Since its inception the non-profit gallery has been a completely volunteer-run enterprise. A dynamic and talented committee of approximately 60 women members drives selections, curation and installation of all exhibits, as well as design, marketing and event management. Committee member Jane Hotchkiss, who joined in 1950 and has curated numerous shows over the years, shares her perspective: “We evolved from presenting existing collections or museum curated shows to seeking out new artists, following the leads and recommendationsof local collectors and visiting studios. The “Fresh Paint” show was where we introduced newtalent that then went on to become more established artists.”

Friends of the Greenwich Library

Flinn Gallery is sponsored by the Friends of the Greenwich Library. All proceeds from art sales contribute to library public programs including: Children’s programs, the Oral History Project and the Peterson Concert Series. Greenwich Library Director, Barbara Ormerod-Glynn adds, “In a 2015 library patron survey, 28% of total respondents said they had visited the Flinn Gallery. We owe a debt of gratitude to the dedicated volunteers whose efforts have uplifted and enriched the lives of local residents.” 

Highlights By Decade

The pantheon of notable artists who have shown at the Flinn over the decades includes: Milton Avery, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Roz Chast, Dale Chihuly, Jim Henson, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg and set designer Tony Walton. In addition, the gallery has shown works from noted private collections, including the Hirshhorn, Walter Bareiss, and Alan Stone.

1920s – 1950s

1920s: In 1928, librarian Isabel Hurlbutt secured space and funding for a group of local professional artists (Greenwich Society of Artists) to establish a gallery in the original Greenwich Library on Greenwich Avenue, the current site of Saks Fifth Avenue. 1930s: Rembrandt / Earliest Known Prints to Present Time: Engravings and Etchings (1934) 1940s: During WWII, exhibitions were still held, and the gallery was also used for civil defense, first aid training and as a Victory Garden information center. 1950s: Greenwich Collects – an exhibition of such luminaries as: Jean Arp, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Diego Rivera (1956).

Greenwich Library on Greenwich Avenue before 1928 expansion. Image courtesy of Greenwich Library
Victory Garden, image courtesy of Greenwich Library
1956: Pablo Picasso (1881- 1973), "Three Musicians Fontainebleau", summer 1921. Oil on Canvas, 6’7” x 7’3 ¾”. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y., U.S.A. Digital image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, N.Y. © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

1960s – 1980s

1960s: In 1960, the library moved to its present location on West Putnam Avenue, the former site of the Franklin Simon women’s apparel store and was named the Hurlbutt Gallery, in honor of its visionary founder, Isabelle Hurlbutt. 1970s: 20th Century Art from the Vassar College Collection, including work by: Milton Avery, Willem de Kooning, Marsden Hartley and Mark Rothko (1972). 1980s: Connecticut and American Impressionism: The Cos Cob Clapboard School – the first major exhibit to focus on the Cos Cob art colony, including works by D. Putnam Brinley, Childe Hassam, Elmer L. MacRae, Leonard Ochtman, Henry Ward Ranger, John Henry Twachtman, and Julian Alden Weir (1980).

Hurlbutt Gallery, image courtesy of Greenwich Library
1972: Milton Avery (American 1885-1965) Gaspe Fisherman, 1940. Oil on Canvas Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Neuberger
1937: Childe Hassam, "Toby’s Cos Cob", October 31, 1915, Etching. Greenwich Historical Society, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Vanderbilt

1990s – 2010s

1990s: Jim Henson: The Greenwich Years – 1964-1971, which broke all attendance records up until that time (1994). In 1999 the library was re-designed by architect Cesar Pelli. The state-of-the art gallery moved to its current location on the 2nd floor of the Peterson Wing and renamed the Flinn Gallery in honor of Stephanie and Lawrence Flinn, The inaugural exhibit was Molly and Walter Bareiss – Sixty Years of Collecting. 2000s: Nuevo Arte de Cuba, including noted Cuban artists Nelson Dominquez, Roberto Fabelo, Manuel Mendive and Pedro Pablo Oliva (2001). 2010s: Notable recent exhibits: Akinori Atsumoto: Sound Sculptures (2015), Corrugated World: The Art of James Grashow (2017), Beyond Street Art (2018) and Hazardous Beauty (2018) offered breakthrough content and generated record-breaking attendance.

1994: Henson Family in front of Greenwich, CT home, 1970. From left: Jane, Lisa, Cheryl, Jim, John and Brian Henson. 1994, Photo by Juliet Newman. Courtesy of the Henson Family
2001: Manuel Mendive, "Orisha Banquet", 1996. Pastel on Printmaking Paper. Photo courtesy of Steven Certilman and the artist
2018: Lady Pink, "Brick Magnolia", 2017. Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas. Courtesy of the Artist

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