Painters of Laurel in Old Lyme

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  • Lyme is full of painters and pictures. You find painters in force when the laurel is in bloom or when the trees are not too green, and the place to find many of them is at “Miss Florence’s.

    Travel Writer Clara Walker Whiteside, 1926

Mountain laurel or Kalmia latifolia is considered one of the most beautiful native shrubs. It was designated the State Flower of Connecticut by the General Assembly in 1907, the same year Edward Rook was working on Laurel. Other painters have journeyed to Old Lyme to capture the plant in bloom, often at the end of May or early June. Indeed, Childe Hassam painted his self-identified “masterpiece” June in 1905, showing three nude women on the river bank, enraptured by the pink blossoms of the laurel bush.

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Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
June, 1906
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Academy of Arts and Letters, New York


edward_rook_10William Chadwick (1879-1962)
Laurel at Flying Point, c. 1915
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company

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Frank Bicknell (1866-1943)
Mountain Laurel and Birches, 1910
Oil on wood panel
Gift of the Artist


Ah ha … here we are in Laurelland … the Painter’s Paradise!”

~ Artist and Author Arthur Heming in his unpublished manuscript, The Lions in the Lady’s Den, late 1920s