Lyman Allyn Exhibition Celebrates the Life and Work of Barkley L. Hendricks

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is pleased to present a special exhibition that explores the work of one of New London’s best-known artists, Barkley L. Hendricks (1945—2017). The exhibition, Barkley L. Henricks in New London, opens Friday, May 26 and presents the work of the internationally celebrated Hendricks, who is best known for his expressive, large-scale portraits, many from the 1970s, which present a powerful vision of modern Black identity. Inspired by Old Master portraits and the desire for racial diversity in the artistic canon, the long-time Connecticut College art professor painted portraits of himself and the people around him, including his neighbors, students, family, and strangers he encountered on the street. Hendricks’ vision and his groundbreaking portraits shifted the course of contemporary art and helped blaze a path for the creative richness of Black portraiture produced today.

“The exhibition considers Hendricks’ work from a regional standpoint, exploring the role of place, community, and teaching over the span of his career in Connecticut,” said Tanya Pohrt, Curator. With 34 works of art in different media, including numerous photographs, our show explores the range and breadth of Hendricks’ artistic production.”

Originally from Philadelphia, Hendricks studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before attending Yale University, where he received a BA / MFA in 1972. Hendricks then taught 625 Williams Street • New London, CT 06320 860.443.2545 • Barkley L. Hendricks, Untitled (SelfPortrait), ca. 1975, gelatin silver print, 16 ½ x 24 ½ inches framed. © Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY. studio art at Connecticut College from 1972 until his retirement in 2010, living in New London for the remainder of his life.

“Our goal is to help visitors better understand the artist’s work and legacy by considering how Hendricks’ oeuvre was shaped by geography and community,” said Museum Director Sam Quigley, who noted that Hendricks was a brilliant and prolific photographer as well as a phenomenal painter. “We are excited that our show includes 10 never-before-seen photographs taken here in New London, which were uncovered and printed since Hendricks’ passing in 2017.”

The opening reception for the exhibition is Thursday, May 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. Museum members are free, and nonmembers are $10. To register, call 860.443.2545 ext. 2129 or email us at

This exhibition is generously supported by the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Bank of America, Trustee; the National Endowment for the Arts; CT Humanities; Art Bridges; the Jack Shainman Gallery; an Anonymous Donor and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

or more information or to request images, please contact Rebecca Dawson by email at

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 with a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neoclassical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents several changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present, including art from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses. The Museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 5 p.m.; it is closed on Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit