Florence Griswold MuseumFlorence Griswold Museum Contact: Jeffrey Andersen
During the early years of the 20th century, the Lyme Art Colony, centered in Miss Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse, became America’s most famous summer art colony. Today this museum of art, history, and landscape tells the story of how Connecticut played a pivotal role in fostering an authentic American art. The Museum is devoted to serving a growing audience made up of loyal friends and visitors from around the world.
Celebrated American artists such as Childe Hassam and Willard Metcalf transformed Florence Griswold’s stately Late Georgian house into the home of the Lyme Art Colony. Inspired by the beauty of the New England countryside and charmed by Miss Florence’s hospitality, the colony flourished for three decades, creating a vital chapter in American art. Many of the Lyme artists painted directly on the walls and doors of the Florence Griswold House, leaving generations of art lovers a cultural treasure unlike any other in America.
The Florence Griswold Museum has extensive collections of American art on public view. In 2001, in an act of extraordinary generosity, the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company donated its entire holdings of American art – 188 paintings and two sculptures – to the Museum because of its commitment to promoting the state’s artistic heritage. In 2002 the Museum opened the Robert and Nancy Krieble Gallery, a facility featuring changing exhibitions of American art and culture in its galleries overlooking the Lieutenant River. Visitors today understand immediately the site’s appeal to the artists who stayed with Florence Griswold. Her house, gardens, and river views were favored subjects of her boarders. Walking the grounds, one is delighted by the same trees and gentle bend in the river. Visitors stand at the site of Childe Hassam’s favorite painting spot and stroll through Miss Florence’s restored old-fashioned garden. Today, just as over one hundred years ago, artist and visitor alike can discover the quality of light and the spirit of place found here.
The Museum is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 1 to 5 pm.