New Britain Museum of American Art

Photograph courtesy of the New Britain Museum of American Art

At New Britain Museum of American Art, 2020 was set to be the year of the woman, to mark the centennial of women getting the right to vote. Coronavirus got in the way, shuttering the museum for six months. But NBMAA is soldiering on, canceling nothing, pushing the celebratory year into 2021.

“Some Day is Now: Women, Art and Social Change,” set to open on Aug. 7, was moved to October, and is on view now through Jan. 24. The delay, rather than a detriment, worked out to the exhibit’s advantage, said associate curator Lisa Hayes Williams, who oversaw the group show of female artists.

“We initially intended for the exhibit to be half this size. But during quarantine, the closure allowed us to have more extensive conversations with the participating artists and their representatives,” she said.

“Now we have many more works, showing a greater range of output from these superstar women artists, even some monumentally scaled works,” Williams said. “We can fully express the monumentality of this moment, 100 years after suffrage, and to show the challenges we continue to face.”

The exhibit is luxuriously spread over most of the museum’s second floor. The scale allows not just more works, but greater appreciation of each work and, by necessity, ease of social distancing. The artworks, naturally, embrace the theme of feminism, as well as studying racism, civil rights, gender identity, intellectualism, pacifism, environmentalism and, apropos to 2020, the necessity of social-justice protest.

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