by Carolyn Wakeman
Featured image (above): Merry Christmas from the William Chadwicks, n.d. Jack Hoffman Papers, LHSA
Old Lyme’s artists often chose nocturnal scenes for the original drawings and etchings they sent as holiday cards. Mounded snowbanks and starlit skies captured moments of serenity and stillness to accompany fond season’s greetings. Over the years Harry L. Hoffman and his family received an array of nocturnal landscapes conveying Christmas and New Year’s messages from local art colony painters. The scene in a woodblock print by Mary Roberts Ebert looks across the Lieutenant River toward the moonlit village and shows the steeple of the Congregational Church and the cupola of the Old Lyme Inn silhouetted against the Meeting House Hills.
Christmas Night. With best wishes and heartiest greetings for Christmas and the coming Year; to The Hoffmans from old “Uncle Bicknell” [Frank Bicknell], 1833-1934. Jack Hoffman Papers, LHSA
The Ebert Family send Christmas Greetings from Old Lyme; M.R.E [Mary Roberts Ebert], 1933. Jack Hoffman Papers, LHSA
Greetings from the Gregory Smiths, n.d. Jack Hoffman Papers, LHSA
Christmas Greetings from Katharine and E. L. [Warner], n.d. Jack Hoffman Papers, LHSA
Greetings from the Whites; N. W. [Nelson White], n.d. Henry C. White, Ida & Nelson, Jack Hoffman Papers, LHSA