Current Exhibition Items

These items expand and enhance the experience of the current exhibition, “Flora/Fauna: The Naturalist Impulse in American Art.” The exhibition features 101 works surveying the history of artist-naturalists and environmentally-conscious artists in America from the 19th through the mid-20th centuries. Exploring the intersections of fine art with natural history, it begins with the Peale family, John James Audubon and their contemporaries and examines the naturalist impulse in works by the Hudson River School, American Pre-Raphaelites, and American Impressionist artists. Highlighting Impressionists such as Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and Harry Hoffman, the exhibition will showcase the importance of naturalist subjects for artists at the Lyme Art Colony, centered at Florence Griswold’s boarding house in Old Lyme. These artists sought inspiration in nature while also contributing to the conservation movement in the Connecticut River Valley, still vital today. The exhibition’s coda will feature select 20th-century artist-naturalists such as Old Lyme resident Roger Tory Peterson, creator of widely-used bird guides.

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