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Theme Three: Making the Most of Limited Choices: The Life and Times of Florence Griswold

Florence Griswold’s life story presents a case study of a well-educated unmarried woman’s economic choices during this time.

She struggled to define a sphere of activity that would allow her to remain in her family home and earn a living at a time when the options for women were limited. As both an anti-suffragette and close friend of Woodrow Wilson, Florence’s views on politics and modernity offer a view into the complexities of the day. Other women featured in the Museum’s core story include the largely Irish-American domestic staff, the wives of the painters, and in several instances, the female artists themselves.


Related Student Learning Goals

Students will understand the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

Visual Arts Content Standard 4: History and Cultures

Students will make connections between the visual arts, other disciplines and daily life.

Visual Arts Content Standard 6: Connections

Students will develop historical thinking skills, including chronological thinking and recognizing change over time; contextualizing, comprehending and analyzing historical literature; researching historical sources; understanding the concept of historical causation; understanding competing narratives and interpretation; and constructing narratives and interpretation.

Social Studies Content Standard 1: Historical Thinking

Students will recognize the continuing importance of historical thinking and historical knowledge in their own lives and in the world in which they live.

Social Studies Content Standard 4: Applying History

Students will use spatial perspective to identify and analyze the significance of physical and cultural characteristics of place and world regions.

Social Studies Content Standard 9: Places and Regions


There are several sections of The Fox Chase site where students can investigate Theme 3: Making the Most of Limited Choices: The Life and Times of Florence Griswold.

Go to Who’s Who in the Boardinghouse for information regarding the different roles played by the people who were part of the boardinghouse.

Go to The Griswold House for information regarding the history of the house and Griswold family.

Go to Imagine Yourself as an Artist for information regarding what a typical artist would experience arriving at the Griswold House.

Go to The Harpist: A Portrait of a Lady for information regarding Miss Florence as model for members of the Lyme Art Colony.

Go to The Fox for information regarding Miss Florence and her role with the Lyme Art Colony.


There are several sections of Resources for Educators site where students can investigate Theme 3: Making the Most of Limited Choices: The Life and Times of Florence Griswold.

Go to Timeline for information regarding the development of the Lyme Art Colony along with other major historical moments.

Go to Movie House to view all of the vintage film footage available from the Lyme Artists reels.