NEW BRITAIN - Savory quiche, chocolate croissants, mimosas, Moroccan-spiced shrimp and crisp fruit salad - mothers were treated to an elegant spread in the New Britain Museum of American Art Sunday.
The museum’s annual Mother’s Day Brunch took place in the Stanley Works Center, overlooking Walnut Hill Park. Several seatings were accommodated by Riverhouse Catering, which operates the museum’s Café on the Park daily and caters events.
Chef Jonathan Leff crafted a special menu for the occasion.
“Riverhouse Catering is honored to partner with the New Britain Museum of American Art in hosting our first annual Mother’s Day Brunch to celebrate the mothers of Connecticut with a one-of-a-kind, sweet and savory brunch menu,” Leff said.
Karen Tyler actually travelled from her home in Brattleboro, Vermont, to share brunch with her daughter Sara and her grandsons Josh, 15, and Carter, 11, of Berlin.
“It was lovely,” Tyler said of the meal.
When asked what their mother’s best trait is, the boys had two very different answers.
“She’s caring,” the soft-spoken Carter pointed out.
“Her cooking skills,” Josh said matter-of-factly.
Cheshire residents Tom and Dr. Gail Gilmore enjoyed the morning meal with Gail’ mother, Mary Lou Cunningham, an 89-year-old New Britain native.
“She’s the most special person in our lives,” Gail said, fondly touching mom’s arm.
The trio was looking forward to discovering 22 artisan-made benches scattered in galleries throughout the museum and outside on the property.
“Everyone will be looking at the art on the walls and we’ll be looking for these benches,” Tom said, chuckling.
Each of the seats has its own story and unique design. Many were donated to the museum.
Members of the McDonald family brought their own bottle of champagne to the table to celebrate Linda, their matriarch. Her husband, Kyle, and the couple’s daughters, Evelyn and Rebecca, joined their parents, who live in Stratford.
“We’re fairly new to Connecticut and this is our first time at the museum,” Linda explained. “I love Georgia O’Keeffe and can’t wait to see her exhibit upstairs.”
The second-floor exhibition -“The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art” - was a special treat for many mothers, who toured it before or after their meal.
Some families even lingered a bit later into the afternoon to catch the Sunday Music Series performance of Nat King Cole’s music.
“The Beyond” - featuring three dozen of O’Keeffe’s works - is on display until June 2 in the Stitzer Family Gallery, the Robert and Dorothy Vance Gallery and the Richard and Virginia McKernan Gallery. It showcases the pioneering artist’s giant floral abstract paintings and her lesser-known works, including sculptures and still lifes.
Other artists featured have works that complement O’Keeffe’s colorful visuals and depictions of the American Southwest.
Museum hours will be extended until 8 p.m. the last three Fridays of the exhibition, May 17, 24 and 31.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.