Art collectors Charles and Irene Hamm have gifted 165 coastal paintings along with $1 million to the New Britain Museum of American Art. Leading American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries are represented in the collection. The couple's million-dollar donation is to support the museum's captial campaign for a new 18,000-sq.ft. wing to built in 2014.
The collection will be shown in the Charles and Irene Hamm Gallery in the new wing, which will show thematic exhibitions.
Highlights of the collection include outstaning works by the likes of Thomas Birch, Fitz Henry Lane, William Bradford, Rockwell Kent, Thomas Hart Benton, Robert Henri, and William Burpee. Watercolors are a strength of the Hamm's collection with top-notch examples by Sears Gallagher, John Whorf, Fairfield Porter and William Trost Richards.
Charles Hamm, who had a successful career in advertising and finance, and his wife irene, an educator, have collected for several decades. both an artist and a sailor himself, Charles Hamm was drawn to scenes of maritime life, and the couple enjoys a fondness for the sea.