Lot’s ‘particular toes,’ etc — a close look at the Artemesia Gentileschi show at the Wadsworth Atheneum

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Today, I tour the Artemesia Gentilleschi exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneaum in Hartford with my go-to art historian colleague and friend Fran Altvater. Amnesia Genti-who? you ask, and that’s kind of the point. Artemesia was one of a number of women artists, who, though they were successful and even celebrated, and painting royalty in the courts of their time, which in Artemesia’s case was the Baroque period, they are far from household names today. The Wadsworth exhibit, titled “By Her Hand: Artemesia Gentlieschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500-1800,” intends to rectify that. The exhibit will be up through January 9 and then it goes to the Detroit Institute of Arts, its collaborating museum, where it will hang from Feb. 6 to May 29.

‘By Her Hand: Artemesia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500-1800’ is up at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford through January 9.
Follow along as art historian Fran Altvater, associate dean of the University of Hartford’s Hillyer College, shares her insights about the exhibit, including in a post-mortem at Pepe’s pizza in West Hartford
  1. Artemesia’s self portraits: two as Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Self-Portrait as a Lute Player

2. Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy by Artemesia Gentileschi

3. Lot and His Daughters by Artemesia Gentileschi

4. Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes by Artemesia Gentileschi

5. Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Fede Galizia

6. Portia Wounding Her Thigh by Elisabetta Sirani

7. Cleopatra by Ginevra Cantofoli

8. The Christ Child as depicted in Elisabetta Sirani’s Madonna & Child; Sofonisba Anguissola’s Holy Family with Sts. Anne and John the Baptist; Lavinia Fontana’s Holy Family with Saint Catherine of Alexandria

9. David and Bathsheba by Artemesia Gentileschi

10. Hedgehog in a Landscape by Giovanna Garzoni

‘Just me and the wreck’ — a deep dive into the art of breath-hold diver Kenny Martin

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Today, we talk with Kenny Martin, a teacher and artist who lives on the edge. Not only do his high school students wield blowtorches to do metalwork, but Kenny’s hobby is undersea diving – while holding his breath. An exhibit of his drawings based on his breath holding free dives is up now at Real Art Ways in Hartford. Oh, and Kenny’s also been a boxer, and most recently founded a Fight Club for teens; he’s convincing in making it sound therapeutic. Back when Kenny taught elementary school, he had his students bury tuna carcasses, a lesson in composting. So do I need to tell you Kenny’s an interesting guy? He says he also gives a great haircut.  This is the interview that convinced me I need to have more people from Brooklyn in my life. And btw, where else are you going to find conversations like this but on WESU? Please, during this fall/winter pledge drive, do your part to support community radio by going to wesufm.org/pledge and giving what you can. Or I’ll have Kenny punch you in the nose.

Upper left, Ken with the first of his breath-hold-dive drawings, done from memory for artist Peter Waite’s “Monster Drawing” class in Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Study Program several years ago.

Below, two views of the art cart Ken, then a K-5 teacher, created when he lost his classroom. It was paid for in part with crowd-funding.