Connecticut Bank and Trust Reflects Sturdy History In Collection of More than 50 Major Works of Art
ONNECTICUT BANK AND Trust boasts almost 200 years of state history, both in its ledger books and in the growing art collection at its Hartford headquarters.
The collection of more than 50 major works of art, most by Connecticut artists or depicting Connecticut subjects, is being compiled under the direction of the bank president, Gordon Ulmer.
Mr. Ulmer says the collection was designed to reflect the bank's heritage and involvement in the state from its own origin in 1792 to the present. The collection favors no particular school or style, he says, and it is on display on the second and third floors of the bank's headquarters at One Constitution Plaza.
Though Mr. Ulmer says he has had no formal art training, his choices are praised by art experts from around the state and the country. "You should have been a museum curator,' commented Paul Rovetti, director of the William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut, when Mr. Ulmer took him on a tour of the collection recently.
The bank also has published a 56-page, full-color catalogue of the collection, which resembles art museum catalogues, complete with explanations of the works and notes on the artists.
"The CBT collection of American art,' the catalogue states, "reflects a commitment to play an appropriate role in the cultural life of our community [by] representing truly the different periods in the bank's history and the artistic traditions of Connecticut.'
The bank created a stir in the art community and among the general public in 1963, when it purchased a controversial mobile by noted Connecticut artist Alexander Calder. The work hangs in the main banking area on the second floor of the headquarters building.
There were no more art acquisitions until 1983, when CBT embarked on a renovation program for its headquarters. When the renovations were completed in May 1985, the Calder mobile was accorded more prominence, and the rest of the collection also went on display.
The works are as diverse as Connecticut's cultural history. In addition to numerous individual artists, Connecticut has been home to two major schools of American Impressionist art: the so-called Old Lyme and Cos Cob schools.
Many of the works are by Connecticut artists, such as the well-known "Barn' by Eric Sloane (1905-1985), which one critic called "the essence of America,' and …