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Gallery Talk: Saving the Nut Museum, and Other Nutty Adventures in Art History
In this virtual event, guest curator and Connecticut College Art History Professor Christopher Steiner will introduce the exhibition, Remembering the Nut Museum: Visionary Art of Elizabeth Tashjian. The Nut Museum opened in 1972 on the ground floor of Elizabeth Tashjian's Victorian mansion in Old Lyme. The museum featured Miss Tashjian’s original artwork devoted to nuts, her collection of nuts, and, for her museum visitors, a capella performances of her songs about nuts. Beginning in 1981, Miss Tashjian appeared regularly on late-night television talk shows, including twice on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In response to her new-found celebrity status, Miss Tashjian transformed herself from an academically-trained painter into an avant-garde visual and performance artist. This talk explores the unique trajectory of Elizabeth Tashjian’s life and her eclectic artistic career -- from academic painter at National Academy of Design to a performance artist on the stage of her Nut Museum.

Feb 17, 2022 05:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Christopher B. Steiner
Lucy C. McDannel ’22 Professor of Art History and Anthropology, and Director of the Museum Studies Program @Connecticut College
A professor at Connecticut College, Christopher B. Steiner teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses in art history, anthropology, and museum studies. His field research in West Africa focused on the construction of value and meaning in art through transnational exchange, resulting in numerous articles and his award-winning book African Art in Transit (Cambridge University Press, 1994). Most recently he co-edited Africa in the Market: Twentieth-Century Art from the Amrad African Art Collection (Royal Ontario Museum, 2016) and A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018). Steiner has been a curatorial consultant for numerous museum exhibitions and collection-management projects, including Souvenirs d’Afrique: Arts of Africa from the Collection of Janine and Josef Gugler (2019) at The Benton. Currently, he is working on a book about the Nut Museum.