Welcome to the Wadsworth: A Museum Tour

© Generali Foundation Collection—Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Andrea Fraser

Welcome to the Wadsworth: A Museum Tour, 1991

Video, color, sound, 25 min Director, performer, script: Andrea Fraser Photography: Victor Velt Produced by: Andrea Fraser, the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut/USA


Artwork text

Welcome to the Wadsworth is based on a 1991 gallery-talk performance at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut—the oldest art museum in the United States. The camera follows Fraser as she takes viewers on a tour of the museum. Rather than go through the museum, however, Fraser walks around it, directing viewers’ attention to the museum’s relationship to Hartford’s colonial past, and the legacies of that history for the city’s present. How does a museum established to represent the relatively homogeneous culture of a pre-industrial community function in an urban context fractured by ethnic and economic divisions? Beginning her tour as an outsider, Fraser gradually develops her identification with Hartford’s “first families,” articulating the “values and dreams” which have contributed to making Connecticut one of the most economically and racially segregated states in the U.S. (Andrea Fraser)

Lending history
2011 Vienna, AT, VIENNALE 2011