Cotuit and South Dennis, MA — Cotuit Center for the Arts and Miller White Fine Arts are thrilled to collaborate to host an evening of conversation, music, and art with Oscar Andrew Hammerstein on May 3, 2022, from 6pm to 8pm at the Center. This wonderful event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.
The month of May at the Center comes alive with the sound of music! Joining us on stage for an evening of conversation, music, and art is Oscar Andrew Hammerstein, grandson of renowned Broadway lyricist and librettist, Oscar Hammerstein II.
To date, Oscar is internationally-recognized as a writer, lecturer, and family historian who has devoted much of his adult life to preserving the archives and influences of one of the most celebrated family legacies in musical theatre. His scintillating presentation this evening will feature a self-curated compilation of events from his grandfather's storied life—after which the audience will feel as if they themselves knew the man—and the evening will commence and conclude with live performances of selections from Rogers and Hammerstein's vast song book courtesy of Cape Cod's Brentwood Brass. Furthermore, in that Oscar comes to the Center via his collaboration with Miller White Fine Arts in South Dennis, guests will enjoy a preview of his upcoming solo exhibition of his stunning works on paper, opening at Miller White on May 6th.
With reference to his own process of artmaking, Oscar states, "In my abstracts, I am synthesizing my experience of life. I may be driving along the Saw Mill Parkway, but that road divides into many possible roads that may be seen as overlaid fragments in the distance. These paintings attempt to capture, not a single moment, but rather, the streamlined, stylized distillation of a collection of experiences over time. My highway paintings, for example, depict the road's seductive lure and the thrill of where it may lead, from the blur of the guardrail to glimpses of unknown roads beyond the bend. This is a metaphor for my life—perhaps, yours, too. I am an old-fashioned Modernist. Like the Abstract Expressionists, I value individuality, immediacy, and the power of color. Like the Futurists, I endeavor to compress many events into a single image, distilling the essence of a visual experience. I have always sought to bring an intimate, personal immediacy unburdened by intellectual and political declarations or ironic detachment. Post-modernism bores me. I favor the direct, simple statement. Each painting has its own personality, from which I can gauge my own progress—learn from what came before and to go further still."
The Hammerstein legacy is indeed large in spirit. Regarding his grandfather's lyrical prowess, Oscar states, "Everybody has a gift. Oscar II had a gift for getting straight to the heart of something. In a sense, a song is a simulation of an interior monologue. It's not the brain that's being tasked in the interior thought. It's the heart." A gift that has endured across many generations, the visual feast that Oscar creates through his art underscores these very words. Whereas his grandfather made historic magic with his pen, Oscar further distinguishes himself at the easel, a compelling platform for his own relentless and irrepressible curiosity, optimism, and passion.
Oscar Andrew Hammerstein has written numerous published articles on the subject of the NYC theatre scene, and taught graduate-level courses on New York theatre history and general musical theatre history as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Among his many contributions to TV, film, and theatre, he co-wrote and co-curated the exhibit titled Direct From Broadway, A 200-Year History of New York City Theatre for the Paine-Weber Gallery Space in New York City in 1997 and, in 2010, he wrote The Hammersteins—A Musical Theatre Family, a multi-generational portrait of his family's theatrical legacy. He continues to lecture worldwide at universities, institutes, and theatrical and civic organizations on his family's pivotal role in shaping the development of American musical theatre and popular entertainment from the 1860s to the present. His study of art began at the Art Students League in New York City. He later studied landscape painting and ocular neurology at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit artsonthecape.org or call 508-428-0669 x0. Cotuit Center for the Arts is located at 4404 Falmouth Road/Route 28 in Cotuit.
# # #
An Evening with Oscar Andrew Hammerstein
Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Route 28, Cotuit
May 3, 2022, from 6–8pm
# # #