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Bruce Museum Lecture: Tools as Art, Oct. 4

Curator Sarah Tanguy

In conjunction with the recently opened exhibition, ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, on Thursday, October 4, 6:30-8:00 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host a lecture by Sarah Tanguy, who served as John Hechinger’s personal curator and who was the curator of the Collection’s original tour, Tools as Art. An adjunct curator for International Arts & Artists and art critic based in Washington, DC, Tanguy has developed more than 150 exhibitions since 1983. Reception at 6:30 pm; talk from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Museum doors open at 6:20. Registration required. Visit and click “Reservations.” Museum members and students with ID free; nonmembers $15.

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, through December 30, 2018.

Featuring more than 40 richly imaginative, quirky, and thought-provoking paintings, sculptures, photographs, and sketches, ReTooled celebrates the prevalence of tools in our lives with art that magically transforms utilitarian objects into fanciful works that speak of beauty, insight, and wit.

The Museum’s signature fall exhibition, ReTooled profiles 28 visionary artists from the Hechinger Collection and includes major artists such as Arman, Richard Estes, Howard Finster, Red Grooms, Jacob Lawrence, and Fernand Léger; photographers Berenice Abbott and Walker Evans; as well as pop artists Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, and James Rosenquist.

The ReTooled exhibition, on view at the Bruce Museum.

Some of these artists portray tools with reverence to emphasize their purity of design, while others disfigure and transform implements to highlight their obsolescence in today’s world of glass, steel, and technology.

These works were brought together in the 1980s by John Hechinger, owner of a hardware store chain in the Mid-Atlantic region. Hechinger is often credited as one of the major figures in the transformation of the neighborhood hardware store to the “do-it-yourself” home improvement business. His intent to beautify a new company headquarters led to the acquisition of a tool-inspired collection of diverse 20th-century art. 

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection was organized by International Arts and Artists, Washington, DC. Gift of John and June Hechinger. The exhibition is supported by Northern Trust, The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, and the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

The Bruce Museum is located in a park setting just off I-95, exit 3, at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is also a 5-minute walk from the Metro-North Greenwich Station. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students with ID, and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at 203-869-0376 or visit