Selections from the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection

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

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. As the home of the Lyme Art Colony based at Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse, the Museum prior to 2001 had focused its collecting on examples by American Tonalist and Impressionist artists who had painted on the Griswold property at the turn of the 20th century. 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. While landscape was the preferred subject of most Lyme Colony artists, HSB brought to the institution a variety of canonical American portraits, still lifes, figurative compositions, narrative scenes, and landscapes painted by Connecticut artists working in other locations.

In 2021 we commemorated the 20th anniversary of this gift with the exhibition Expanding Horizons: Celebrating 20 Years of the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection. It emphasized new methods of research and interpretation, showcasing the innovative ways in which scholarship has progressed over the past two decades. Marking 20 years, 20 leading multi-generational scholars specializing in art of the United States were invited to lend their expertise and unique perspectives on individual works. You can find a virtual tour of the exhibition here.

A rotating selection of works from the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection are on view on the second floor of the historic Griswold House.