artful insights
Artful Insights
Reading masterpieces of art for your well-being.  Learn more here!





Winter Art History Series! 3 new talks at:
Avon Free Public Library
281 Country Club Rd
Avon, CT 06001
(860) 673-9712

All sessions free and open to the public.  No admission or registration needed.

When you think of America, these are the qualities you may think of first. Come explore how American identity has been shaped by images of the land, people, and city with art historian Rena Tobey. In this interactive series of talks, we’ll dig beyond the surface layers that create a streamlined, but simplistic notion of the American character. We’ll take a slow look at paintings that tell complex, often coded stories, reflecting both the challenges and greatness of our country.

William Sidney Mount. Bargaining for a Horse. 1835.

William Sidney Mount. Bargaining for a Horse. 1835.

Mark your calendars now!


Sunday, January 15, 2017, 2 p.m. Land

Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2 p.m. People

Sunday, April 9, 2017, 2 p.m. City



Nasty Women Exhibit plus Rena Tobey’s Talk!
Sunday, April 2, 2017, 1 p.m.
The Institute Library
847 Chapel St,
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 562-4045
Donations accepted!

Finding Her Way
American women artists, especially those working before 1945, had to navigate societal expectations of women’s domestic roles with their drive to be recognized as professionals. These artists often faced difficult choices–sacrificing in their personal lives or professional options. Despite evident talent and success, most fell into obscurity with their death. In this interactive session, participants discover and closely examine paintings by several artists, who collectively paint a picture of changing women’s roles from the mid-1800s to World War II. Come meet these historical ‘nasty women’ artists!

Elizabeth Vaughn Okie Paxton, The Breakfast Tray, ca1910


Finding Her Way
Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 7 p.m.
Oliver Wolcott Library – a wonderful building!
160 South St
Litchfield, CT

See you there!



 Artventures!® Game



Artventures!® Game  is now on sale at many museums and galleries.  You can also get it on amazon.  Hooray!





Did you miss Daniel Fitzmaurice and his radio show,

Artbeat, on WNHH? You can listen to the Wednesday,

March 16 program on women in art and Finding Her Way on the two tracks below.

Daniel is the Executive Director of the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven.





Check out H/artful Home and the Rose Marcus Tobey artist catalogue!

Museum Tours

William Chadwick, On the Porch, c. 1908, Florence Griswold Museum.

William Chadwick, On the Porch, c. 1908, Florence Griswold Museum.


Join me at the Florence Griswold Museum!                                      96 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT                                             (860) 434-5542

If you haven’t been to this museum, it is completely unlike anything you will see anywhere in the U.S.  So come check it out.





Rena is also happy to walk you through the New York Historical Society permanent collection                                        170 Central Park West at 77th Street




Herb and Dorothy 50×50:  Rena is included in the documentary, leading a tour of the Vogel Collection at the Delaware Art Museum.  You can hear her voice about 22 seconds into this trailer and then get a quick glimpse of her tour.