Exhibitions

  • Museum Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Discovery Sundays: 11am-4pm each Sunday.

Current Exhibitions

Ongoing

An American Place: The Art Colony at Old Lyme

During the first two decades of the 20th century, the village of Old Lyme, Connecticut was the setting for one of the largest and most significant art colonies in America.

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Ongoing

Solitary Garden

As part of our 2021 exhibition Social & Solitary: Reflections on Art, Isolation, and Renewal, the Museum collaborated with the New Orleans-based contemporary artist jackie sumell to install one of her “Solitary Garden” beds on our grounds.

The Solitary Garden project comes to life through correspondence between a volunteer and a currently incarcerated “gardener.” Their letters articulate to the Museum what kinds of flowers or plants are grown in the garden bed. Each Solitary Garden is a gesture of hope connecting an isolated person to the outside world through the restorative act of nurturing plants.

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Ongoing

The Baxter Collection: Selections from the Matthew A. Baxter Bequest

When Trustee Matthew “Andy” Baxter passed away in February 2022, his estate plans included a gift of Lyme School artworks to the Museum. The current installation of selected examples from his bequest of twenty artworks celebrates a cherished friend and supporter of the Museum, whose generosity has now enhanced the permanent collection.

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Ongoing

Selections from the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company’s gift of their 190-piece collection of American paintings, works on paper, and sculpture to the Florence Griswold Museum in 2001 marked a milestone in the Museum’s history. With the arrival of the HSB gift, the scope of the Museum’s collection instantly broadened, both geographically and chronologically, to include artists working in every corner of Connecticut from the 18th- to the mid-20th century. We celebrate these works with a rotating selection from the collection.

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Now on View

From Art Colony to Connecticut Collection: Highlights from the Florence Griswold Museum

To increase access to the Museum’s wonderful artworks, the Niblack Gallery in our Robert and Nancy Krieble Gallery will be dedicated to a long-term installation of selections from the permanent collection. From Art Colony to Connecticut Collection presents highlights in three thematic clusters.

Community: the Lyme Art Colony and Beyond includes artworks by Matilda Browne, William Chadwick, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Bessie Potter Vonnoh and others that attest to the creative community centered around Florence Griswold’s riverside boardinghouse circa 1900.

Connecticut and the Environment features paintings, sculpture, video, and material culture objects from the permanent collection that encourage us to consider how artists, their clientele, and the societies from which they sprang from the 19th century to the present, viewed and interacted with nature.

As a museum founded by artists who first came to this place to channel inspiration into creativity over a century ago, we honor The Creative Spark in the exhibition’s third thematic grouping. Using both artworks and objects from our collection of artists’ tools, this section encourages visitors to consider how artists tap into and express creativity.

Image: Mark Dion (born 1961), New England Cabinet of Marine Debris (Lyme Art Colony), 2019. Mixed media, 103 1/2 x 50 5/8 x 25 3/8 in. Florence Griswold Museum, Purchase, 2019.10.
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Upcoming Exhibitions

JUNE 1–SEPTEMBER 8, 2024

Impressionism 150: From Paris to Connecticut & Beyond

In 2024 the world will celebrate the sesquicentennial of the first independent exhibition of the French Impressionists, marking 150 years since the “Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers, etc.” opened in Paris on April 15, 1874.

The Museum’s permanent collection contains many treasures through which to tell the story of Impressionism, how it traveled across the ocean, and how audience reactions shifted over time. Impressionism 150 will locate the role of Connecticut artists and settings in this narrative.

Image: Lawton S. Parker, La Paresse, 1913. Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 in. Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of the M. Christine Schwartz Collection, 2023.23.1
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NOVEMBER 16, 2024–FEBRUARY 9, 2025

Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape

Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape juxtaposes an Indigenous approach to the articulation of land with the American landscape paintings of Thomas Cole. The exhibition presents 19th-century paintings by Thomas Cole featuring Native figures, in context with Indigenous works of historic and cultural value, and artworks by contemporary Indigenous artists: Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa), Brandon Lazore (Onondaga, Snipe Clan), Truman T. Lowe (Ho-Chunk), Alan Michelson (Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River) and Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee).

The exhibition, its tour and the accompanying publication are organized by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.

Image: Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee), Thom, Where Are the Pocumtucks (The Oxbow), 2020, oil on panel, 24⅛ × 48 × ⅞ in. Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery, London and New York
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February 22–June 22, 2025

Photographs by William Earle Williams

Land holds history. Some histories are better known than others, preserved by those who valued particular stories and wanted them remembered. What do we know about the land we live on? Who preceded us and what transpired? History books leave holes and silences along with assumptions that have been passed down for generations. This exhibition aims to fill some of the absences by sharing lesser-known stories about Connecticut and its connections to other regions that played a role in bringing people of color to the shores of the future United States. Art has the power to help us see, and to encourage us to imagine the presence of those who had no agency or opportunity to record their own histories.

Over the past forty years artist William Earle Williams (born 1950) has made sites of African American history more visible through his exquisite photographs. Mentored in the 1970s by the famed photographer Walker Evans, who had a home in Lyme, Williams attended the Yale School of Art at Evans’s suggestion. From that Connecticut inception, Williams embarked on a decades-long journey to identify and photograph places across the country that hold histories of the slave trade, the Underground Railroad, and emancipation.

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Past Exhibitions

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Virtual Tour of the Florence Griswold House

Virtual Tour of the Florence Griswold House

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Current & Past Exhibition Virtual Tours

Virtual tour of special exhibition Fun & Games? Leo Jensen's Pop Art

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Virtual tour of From Art Colony to Connecticut Collection: Highlights from the Florence Griswold Museum

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Virtual tour of special exhibition Abandon in Place: The Worlds of Anna Audette

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Virtual tour of special exhibition Object Lessons in American Art

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Virtual tour of special exhibition Dreams & Memories

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Virtual tour of special exhibition Dana Sherwood: Animal Appetites and Other Encounters in Wildness

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Virtual tour of special exhibition New London County Quilts & Bed Covers, 1750-1825

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Virtual Tour of special exhibition Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives

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Virtual Tour of special exhibition Social & Solitary: Reflections on Art, Isolation, and Renewal,

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Virtual Tour of special exhibitions Expanding Horizons: Celebrating 20 Years of the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection and Centennial of the Lyme Art Association Gallery

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Expandiendo Horizontes: Celebrando los 20 años de la colección de calderas de vapor de Hartford

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Virtual Tour of special exhibition Fresh Fields: American Impressionist Landscapes

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Text in English and Spanish

Virtual tour of the special exhibition "Nothing More American"

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Virtual tour Jennifer Angus Griswold House Installation

Silver Wings and Golden Scales

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Online-Only Exhibitions

Dear Dear Husband

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With a Needle & Brush

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The Exacting Eye of Walker Evans

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Woodrow & Ellen Axson Wilson in Old Lyme

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