• WATERBURY, Connecticut
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  • May 05, 2022

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The Garden: Cat Crotchett, Cover Me Again 1 ,2015, Encaustic and Metal Leaf on Panel, 12½” x 12½”

WATERBURY, CT – The Mattatuck Museum announces three new summer exhibitions. Shipwrecks: Duty of Memory and The Garden open on May 22 and Mystery & Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellow Folk Art opens on May 29. These exhibitions offer a variety of subject matter from photographs of abandoned ships around the world, to abstract elements of nature, to the historic folk art of two fraternal organizations.


Join the Museum on Sunday, June 5 from 1:00-3:00 PM for an exhibition celebration with remarks from Mattatuck Museum Director, Bob Burns, at 1:00. Families are invited to participate in the Exploration Activities in the Studio. During the celebration, Manager of Public Programs, Elise Vanase, will be on hand to preview the exciting lineup of summer program offerings. The Art of Yum Café will be open with delicious meals, snacks, coffees, and sweet treats available for purchase. Admission to the Summer Exhibitions Celebration is free for Museum Members and children under 5, and $5 for the public. Pre-register at or call (203) 753-0381 x130.


The Garden, on view from May 22 through August 28, 2022 features the interdisciplinary works of eight artists. The exhibition addresses the sensory aspects of nature while embodying the artists’ emotional journeys over the course of this turbulent decade. Textiles, paintings, and ephemera in a variety of materials combine to form an elemental space. The Garden, organized by Wylie Contemporary of Mechanicsville, Virginia, seeks to create a refuge through an immersive experience in art, reminding visitors of the beauty of nature and the joy of life outside the digital sphere. The Garden was. 

Shipwrecks: Stefano Benazzo, Samson, 2016, Stanley, Falkland Islands, Photograph, Courtesy of the Artist

Since 1969, photographer Stefano Benazzo has captured images of boats stranded on shores and shipwrecks across the world. Benazzo, a retired Ambassador of Italy and former diplomat at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., carried out his photographic project on four continents; his work brought him to the coastlines of Italy, Greece, Portugal, Iceland, Mauritania, Namibia, Turks & Caicos Islands, South Georgia, Chile and Falkland/Malvinas. In Shipwrecks: Duty of Memory, on view from May 22 through August 28, 2022, his photographs record the tragic fates of these vessels and hint at the stories of the individuals who once sailed them. Through his work, Benazzo intends to preserve the memory of these shipwrecks and their sailors long after the vessels themselves are erased by the actions of waves and weather. This exhibition features 60 of Benazzo’s haunting photographs, exhibited for the first time in Connecticut.

Mystery & Benevolence: Artist unidentified, Independent Order of Odd Fellows Plaque, United States, 1850–1900, Paint and gold leaf on wood, 16 x 15 x 1-1/2 in., Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel, 2015.1.19


Mystery & Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellow Folk Art on view May 29 through September 4, 2022, brings to light the hidden histories of the Freemasons and the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows – two fraternal brotherhoods with deep roots in American history. Objects featured in this exhibition convey the secretive practices of fraternal organizations through their rich symbolism and unusual imagery. To members, this iconography emphasizes the core values of fellowship, labor, charity, passage, and wisdom, yet the images appear puzzling to the uninitiated. Mystery & Benevolence was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. 


The Mattatuck Museum has developed a host of programs inspired by this exhibition for students, families, and adults interested in a variety of subjects, including art, history, literature, and music. During the celebration, Manager of Public Programs, Elise Vanase, will be on hand to preview the exciting lineup of summer program offerings. To learn more about these summer programs, please visit



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.


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 (


The Mattatuck Museum is located on the Green in Waterbury, CT at 144 West Main Street. The Museum is open for timed admission, 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. The Mattatuck Museum website ( outlines the Museum’s updated guidelines for visitors, including what to expect on your visit, cleaning and safety protocols, and frequently asked questions. Face masks are not required indoors. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates and content.

Larissa Anderson
Mattatuck Museum

Mattatuck Museum
144 West Main Street
Waterbury, Connecticut
(203) 753-0381 x11
About Mattatuck Museum

The Mattatuck Museum collects, preserves, studies, and exhibits American art and history with a focus on the art and cultural history of Connecticut.

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