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The Springfield Museums' April Museums à la Carte lectures will start with a screening of 'James McNeill Whistler & The Case for Beauty' on April 2.

The film, directed by Karen Thomas, is a PBS documentary about the life of eccentric painter James McNeill Whistler. He is best known for the painting "Symphony in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother", popularly known as "Whistler's Mother."

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After a four-year absence, Winslow Homer's "The New Novel" is finally back on view.

The painting, one of the most recognizable and important paintings in the combined collections of the Springfield Museums, will be on display as part of a new exhibit titled "American Master: Winslow Homer" in the Starr Gallery of the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts from Feb. 24 to Sept. 27.

The Homer exhibit runs concurrently with a display of etchings by James Abbott McNeill Whistler from the D'Amour Museum's extensive holdings of 19th century American art, giving visitors an opportunity to view works by two of America's most influential artists.

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Major grants to fund renovations Springfield - The Springfield Museums have received two major grants to fund exterior renovations to the William Pynchon Memorial Building (formerly known as the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum).

Through $120,000 from the Cultural Facilities Fund of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and another $50,000 from The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc., the museums will be able to repair and restore the building's slate roof, replace its gutters, rebuild its shutters and dormers, and paint the building in accordance with historical preservation standards. Renovations to the building have already commenced, with completion targeted for the spring of 2015.

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