Thursday, December 13, 2012

Festival of Trees

After 22 years of living in the greater Hartford area, I finally made it to the annual Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum.  What can I say except it's one of those events you see advertised every year, say you should go and then get distracted by other things.  Truth be told I don't spend much time in downtown Hartford and even though I'm going to cause certain people to gasp in horror by this admission, I'm not particularly interested in art museums.  But I love Christmas and all the associated decorating so the tree festival has always been on the list.

When I arrived at the Wadsworth Saturday around 10:30 AM, I was surprised at the line to get into the parking lot and even more surprised when they waved most of it away because the lot was full.  Now what? 

After driving around for more time than I usually have patience for (damn one way streets) I settled on a lot about a quarter mile away and hiked over.  The place was mobbed.  Apparently on the second Saturday of the month, admission to the Wadsworth is free from 10-1 and they offer all sorts of activities for families and kids. 

Although I was aware of the freebie, I underestimated the popularity.  Those who know me are probably wondering why I didn't go on another day and offer to pay double admission just to avoid the kids.  Well, Sunday was the last day for the trees and I had other plans.  If I make it next year I will definitely go on a weeknight.

A view of the Capitol building from Main Street.  Parking on the street was also not an option.

A line forms at the main entrance.  Free admittance to the Festival of Trees!

The Festival of Trees is a charitable event to benefit the Wadsworth.  Fully decorated trees along with all sorts of other Christmas decorations are donated by groups, corporations and individuals.  For about ten days they are on display.  During that time they can be puchased for a set price and picked up after the exhibit ends. 

Whatever your style. unless you're a purist who bans everything but fresh greens from your holiday decorating, there could be something at the Festival of Trees for you. 

White and silver trees-not a fan but they are striking


Hello Kitty!


This elaborate tree topper caught my eye

Sorry Channel 3 but I'm an NBC 30 fan

OK so I'm a sucker for beach decor

No museum visit would be complete without a naked statue picture

Sophomoric yes, but I couldn't resist

An attempt at a self portrait

Mostly to escape the maddening crowd but also because I was curious, I did venture into other parts of the Wadsworth.  This portrait of Jackie O drew me in to this modern art gallery from the hallway.
Throughout the museum there is no shortage of interesting windows.
And equally interesting views from the windows.  At least to me.


If I'd paid more attention I would have a clue why these women are so ticked off.

Sarcasm aside, I do recommend a trip to the Wadsworth during the Festival of Trees.  If you have kids go on the second Saturday in December.  One of the main reasons I was motivated to go this year is I agreed to do some guest photography for Jack at Hartford Daily Photo.  Jack did use one of my Wadsworth photos on his blog on Monday.  Hopefully as winter progresses I'll be able to come up with a few more photos Jack can use.


  1. haha i do like that lat picture....very interesting!

  2. You are heroic Sue, foe venturing in spite of the mob scene ! We have a model railroad exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum, and I think I'm going to head over there this weekend. Our smaller population base should make it a bit more laid back !

    1. Railroads are most likely kid magnets. Good luck!

  3. We've been to the Festival of Trees in past years, and it is over the top but a fun visit. You captured some interesting ones! The Wadsworth is always a favorite for us (our wedding reception was there many years ago).

    1. What a great venue for an private party. I'm a big fan of interesting locations for wedding receptions but never would have known the Wadsworth offered such a thing.

  4. So glad you were able to make it! I think I would have given up!
    The Wadsorth is beautiful - and so are the trees. Thanks for sharing!

  5. So, what was your favorite? I liked that first one and the naked statues of course.

    1. One of the things you were given when you entered the museum was a ballot to vote for your favorite. Honestly, there were so many. My pictures only represent a small cross section of what was on display. It would be impossible to choose a favorite. The first one did catch my eye. I also really liked the one in purple that used old photographs as ornaments.

  6. A nice collection of images from the Festival of Trees. I see that I will have a challenge to get you out to more museums in 2013.

    Thanks for loaning me a photograph for my blog . . . it was very well received. Have a great holiday season and a happy and healthy new year.

  7. I think that the women in the last picture were angry about that pink flocked tree. I can just hear them yelling at some impish young Greek or Roman god or goddess, "I told you not to play with that snow! Now look what you've done; you've carelessly spilled your paint and this pink abomination is the result. Zeus will NOT be happy with you at all young lady (man!)"

  8. Lots of creative ideas for sure. The museum looks like a beautiful place.

  9. Lots of creativity for sure. The museum looks like a beautiful place.

  10. Sue, I love your window images. There's something about looking out of them, as well as looking through them from the outside (as Edward Hopper knew so well). Something both mysterious and revealing at the same time.