There is a little gem of a museum in historic Old Lyme, Connecticut. It’s called the Florence Griswold Museum and it’s home to artwork new and old, gorgeous gardens, and a lovely river view.
The Museum centers on the home of Miss Florence Griswold, who opened her big colonial home up as a boarding house to members of the Lyme Art Colony in the early 1900s. As you stroll through the lovely old house there is art work everywhere. Not only traditionally hung paintings, but also fun and unexpected little paintings on the walls and door panels. The artists would have competitions with each other to each paint in a certain style, say impressionism. They would have to paint the same subject on either side of the door panel. The result are whimsical paintings done in a free style on most of the houses’ doors.
Across the flower gardens, the more modern Krieble gallery houses newer works of art. The day we went happened to be their Art in Bloom day- that was such an awesome surprise! The flower arrangements to match the works of art were some of the best I’ve seen. They really captured their assigned paintings.
After being thoroughly inspired from the various art and flora which fills the premises, definitely take a stroll down to the Lieutenant River. They have Adirondack chairs set up just waiting to be sat in.
There is also a beautiful little art studio in a cedar shake cottage right by the parking lot. Be sure to poke your head in there.
I felt thoroughly inspired and refreshed after my visit to the Florence Griswold Museum. How serendipitous to be there for art in bloom as well! You can find the museum off of Highway 95 in Old Lyme Connecticut. Enjoy your visit!
The Tower of Blue Horses
Long admired by myself, this painting is by one of my favorite artists, Franz Marc. I’ve always loved the sweeping movement in his paintings, the curves in the horses necks, and the geometry he used to render organic figures. Though this is not the actual painting, I like the muted version of The Tower of Blue Horses shown above. A more true to life version can be viewed here. Another rendering can be viewed here. I didn’t realize this, but in my research on this post I discovered that this painting has actually been missing since the end of World War II. Sadly, it fell victim to Nazi opinions on modern art and was removed from the National Gallery in Berlin in 1937. Later, Hitler personally ordered the painting be removed from a second art exhibit because he declared it to be “degenerate”. Subsequently, the painting was lost. I wonder if it is still out in the world somewhere? I do hope it was not destroyed completely.
Marc himself also fell victim to war. At age 36, he was killed in the Battle of Verdun in 1916.
What ravages war has brought.
Lilla Cabot Perry
The Silver Vase
Isn’t she a beauty? I searched for paintings by this artist when I learned she had a summer home in Hancock, New Hampshire. There is also a small portrait of a child Perry painted on display at the Hancock Town Library which is captivating. I had to see more, so I searched for Perry’s works and found this one, The Silver Vase. Dressed in the colors of winter, I thought she was a fitting symbol of this January day.
Making this post led me to do a bit more research on Perry and what I found was delightful:
- She had no formal art training until the age of 36
- Though she was born in Boston, Massachusetts her family traveled widely and lived in various places around the globe, including Paris, Munich, and Japan which really influenced her painting styles and subjects through the years.
- She saw a Claude Monet painting at age 41 (in 1889) and so admired it that her family rented a house in Giverny, France (where Monet resided) for 9 summers. Monet became her close friend and mentor – imagine!!
- Monet encouraged Perry to “commit her first impression of a scene to canvas rather than to sketchbook” (Encyclopedia Britannica) – what a gorgeous thought.
- Her later paintings are inspired by the landscapes around her summer home in Hancock, New Hampshire where she died and was laid to rest.
I found the bulleted information above on the National Museum of Women in the Arts website and the Encyclopedia Britannica website. What a fascinating woman! And how cool she had such a connection to Hancock, New Hampshire.
What is inspiring you this week? Do share