EUGENE O'NEILL: Artists Interpret His Life and Work

Event Details

EUGENE O'NEILL: Artists Interpret His Life and Work

Time: May 31, 2014 at 7pm to June 21, 2014 at 6pm
Location: Hygienic Art Galleries
Street: 79 Bank Street
City/Town: New London
Phone: 860-443-8001
Event Type: art, opening
Organized By: Hygienic Art
Latest Activity: Jun 27

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Event Description

The show, "Eugene O’Neill: Artists Interpret His Life and Work" represents a unique collaboration between community artists, O’Neill enthusiasts, Hygienic Art, Connecticut College, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford.

"Eugene O’Neill: Artists Interpret His Life and Work" opens on Saturday, May 31 at Hygienic Galleries. The artist reception will be held on May 31 between 7-10pm and is open to everyone. The shows will be up in the Galleries until Saturday, June 28. 

Specifically, this show has been timed to coincide with two significant O’Neill-related events occurring this spring: the 50th Anniversary of the EugeneO’Neill Theater in Waterford, and the gathering here in June of the Ninth International Conference of the Eugene O’Neill Society, an international group of O’Neill scholars. 

“The impact of this show could extend well beyond our region,” says A. Vincent Scarano, President of Hygienic Art. “O’Neill is our native son, but he’s also America’s only Nobel Prize-winning playwright and a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner. This is one of the first times we’ve celebrated O’Neill through the full range of visual arts. It should be a powerful cross-pollination of art, community, and literary history.”

Robert Richter, Director of Arts Programming at Connecticut College who is organizing the local itinerary for the O’Neill Society, said he anticipates the Hygienic show to be of great interest to visiting academics.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” says Richter, also the author of a book on O’Neill’s seafaring years. “Not only will we have more than 100 O’Neill scholars in our city, but we’ll be rolling out the red carpet for them with a tantalizing exhibit. Art is a natural bridge to connect these visiting scholars with our community. I think it will enhance their appreciation of New London. It will also bring them downtown to enjoy our restaurants, shops and other galleries.”

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Comment by Edmond Chibeau on June 17, 2014 at 1:46pm


EUGENE O'NEILL: Artists Interpret His Life and Work

May 31 to June 21, 20146pm

Hygienic Art Galleries

New London, CT

review: Edmond Chibeau

  The exhibit honoring the New London, Nobel Prize laureate is a small and compelling show that evokes the spirit of O’Neill through visual means.  Some of the best pieces are on loan from the Eugene O’Neill Center.

  Dan Potter’s Plasma cut steel sculpture of the author’s head, HIT (His Inner Turmoil) is one of the most interesting and emotional pieces in the show.  It is difficult to execute, technically excellent, and emotionally moving.  Dan Potter’s other work is a sumi ink portrait of the playwright, Brooding Quartet has a sinuous line that sumi ink captures so well.

  Monte Cristo Cottage is a witty and ironic print by Lynda Wesley McLaughlin.  It offers us a view of a table with threatening claw feet.  Sitting around the table are Oona O’Neill as a little girl, Charlie Chaplin and O’Neill, who is holding a sheet of paper.  This evokes the scandal of Chaplin’s marriage to Oona.  They were married a month after she turned 18.  He was 36 years her senior.  They had eight children and stayed married until his death in 1977.  Wow!

  A portrait of O’Neill by Michael Peery offers us a trompe l’oeil mouth as if it were a cut out pasted on to the painting.  The piece is well conceived and well executed.

  Sheila Prieto offers two views of the same subject.  Last Desire is an acrylic of two elm tress without leaves, while her ink drawing,
When the Elms Took Away With Desire is a humorous comment on a tragic play.  She shows us two trees that are sneaking away, carrying a farmhouse.  One cannot help but think about the Elms as both characters and inciting elements in O’Neill’s play. 

  Desire Under The Elms O’Neill Conference Tree, a photograph by Vinnie Scrrano shows us a view of the grounds of the Center with a beautiful Elm in full leaf.  Elms are not famous for their flowering or budding but they have exquisite trunks and branches.

  This writer offers a WordWork (visual performance script) linking Desire Under The Elms to some of the various other playwrights who also took on the Phaedra and Hippolytus myth, Euripides, Seneca, Racine, Rexroth among them.  

  There are two display cases with books and Playbills, and a postcard in O’Neill’s handwriting that have been contributed by Bill Hanrahan.  The card is addressed to Miss. Shoomaker at the Hudson Theatre on W. 44th Street.  The post card was mailed in 1926 with a 2 cent stamp.  Hanrahan also has a photograph of a group of early books with O’Neill’s plays in them. 

  Robert M. Dowling has an odd triptych consisting of an Associated Press article suggesting that the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski chose Eugene O’Neill 44 cent stamps for letter bombs that were intended to kill rather than to maim.   And the 3rd piece is a letter from Kaczynski, mailed from a penitentiary in Colorado denying that there was any forethought to the choice of the stamps.

  The show was conceived and put together by

Rob Richter, Robert M. Dowling, Hanrahan, Michael Peery, Vincent Scarano, Rich Martin, with help form the Eugene O’Neill Center

Attending (2)

Might attend (1)


79 Bank StreetNew London, Connecticut

Viewing Hours
Tuesday: 11am-3pm
Wednesday: 11am-3pm
Friday: 11am-6pm
Saturday: 11am-6pm
Sunday: Noon-3pm

For more information, please call 860-443-8001 or email

We usually close between shows for just a week.  Please be sure to check our schedule before travelling to see us.

Ensure that Hygienic can continue to provide enriching cultural events with a tax-deductible donation:


Hygienic Art

is made possible by the generous support of the CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, The Community Foundation of S.E. Connecticut, City of New London (CDBG), The Chester Kitchings Foundation, Citizens Bank, Pfizer, Dominion, Mariani & Reck LLC, Dime Bank, The Day Publishing Co., Liberty Bank Foundation, Buscetto Family Fund, Charter Oak Credit Union, Harbour Towers, Water Street Garage, Sign-A-Rama and many artists, volunteers, businesses and patrons of the arts.




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