Hauling and Harrowing

Historic Footage

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In 1934, Old Lyme resident Mary Griswold Steube filmed artists in Old Lyme and Lyme with her home movie camera. These excerpts from her silent footage feature Edward C. Volkert. We see his home and studio on Sterling City Road in Lyme, as well as farmers assisting the artist in posing livestock to paint. While initially receptive to the artists who flocked to the area to paint livestock, by the early 1920s, farmers were growing more protective of their fields. Scientific American reported in July 1922, “Throughout Old Lyme and Hamburg, Conn., you are welcome to wander over farm property—unless you are an artist. Signs everywhere forbid artists to trespass; the reason given is that many cows have been poisoned by paint-incrusted rags thrown away by the colorists.” Volkert addressed this tension between rural New England’s old and new occupants by working directly with farmers to obtain animal teams for posing.


Volkert studio on Sterling City Road, in Lyme. Artist emerges from the studio door


Brief view of Volkert paintings of livestock inside his Lyme studio


Volkert adding touches of paint to a canvas on the easel in his Lyme studio


Man approaching with two oxen, carrying the yoke over his shoulder, which he places on the animals one by one.


Man in overalls leads an ox team around


Man in overalls leads an ox team around a rocky field. The man and artist Volkert pose next to the animals.


Camera pans around Volkert studio in Lyme. See panels he painted on the studio walls, and the artist at his easel


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