Illustrated Glossary

  • Museum Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Café Flo hours: 11:30am to 2:30pm, Tues-Sun.



The character or style of a building.

Many artists admired the grand architecture of Miss Florence’s house.

The Griswold House, 2006


The decorative top to a column or pier.

The capitals of columns on the Griswold House were painted yellow to match the house.

Capital seen on Griswold House, 2006


A decorative pillar, most often composed of stone and typically having a cylindrical or polygonal shaft with a capital and usually a base.

The four columns on the front of the Griswold House are made of wood and are hollow inside.

Matilda Browne (1869-1947), Miss Florence’s, Oil on wood panel


Any prominent, continuous, horizontally projecting feature surmounting a wall or other construction, or dividing it horizontally for compositional purpose.

The fancy cornice above the door in the art colony bedroom reminds us that the room was originally used as the parlor.

Cornice in Art Colony Bedroom, 2006, Photograph by Joseph Standart

Dentil Molding

Any of a series of closely spaced, small rectangular blocks, used in classical architecture beneath the cornices.

In the moonlight, the dentil molding in the pediment of the Griswold House looks like large rows of teeth.

Dentil Molding seen on Griswold House, 2006


A window over a door or another window, often in the shape of a fan (a semicircle or half an ellipse shape).

The light coming through the fanlight over the front door casts a shadow on the carpet.

Fanlight seen on Griswold House, 2006


A decorative element, usually rounded, often bearing objects represented in relief.

Imagine how pretty Miss Florence would have looked standing beneath the plaster medallion in the ceiling greeting her guests. 

William Verplank Birney (1858-1909) The Front Hall, 1908, Oil on canvas
Purchased with Funds from the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation


A low gable, typically triangular with a horizontal cornice and raking cornices, surmounting a colonnade, and end wall, or a major division of a façade.

Many of the artists called the house a temple because of the classical looking pediment set atop four columns.

The Griswold House, 2006


A structure consisting of a roof supported by columns or piers, usually attached to a building as a porch.

The key to any painting of the Griswold House is to get the portico over the columns right.

Christmas card showing Griswold House


Large size blocks of stone on the corners of buildings that form a decorative contrast with the adjoining wall.

The quoins on the corners of the Griswold House are painted white and made of wood.

The Griswold House, 2006


A hinged cover or screen for a window or door, usually fitted with louvers.

The summer shutters on the door allow a breeze to enter the house while still blocking out the hot summer sun.

The Griswold House, 2006

Artists' Tools


A closely woven, heavy cloth of cotton, hemp, or linen, used for painting upon

The artist brought a bolt of canvas from New York that he intended to prepare once he arrived in Old Lyme.

Stretched and nailed canvas over a wood frame on the easel in the Art Colony Bedroom in the Griswold House


An upright tripod for displaying something (usually an artist’s canvas)

The artist set up his easel near our picnic and began to paint.

Easel set up in Chadwick Studio

Paint Box

A box containing a collection of artists supplies such as brushes, paints, palettes, solvents, pencils etc…useful when painting away from the studio

With his paint box in one hand and easel in the other, the artist headed away from the Griswold House for a day of painting.

Clarke Voorhees outfitted for a day of plein-air painting

Definition One


A thin and usually oval or oblong board with a thumb hole at one end, used by painters for holding and mixing paint

The painter moved the brush very quickly on the palette mixing just the right shade of green.

Folding palette

Definition Two


The range of colors used by a particular artist

To set the mood, the artist only used a palette of browns, greens, and golds.

Lewis Cohen (1857-1915), Willow and Brook, Oil on artist board, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson C. White


A thin, flat piece of wood that can be used for painting.

Arthur Heming promised to bring the finished panel back the following summer to be installed in the dining room.


The workroom of an artist such as a painter or sculptor

Determined to be an artist, Sheila turned the unused attic into her studio where she could paint without interruption.

The William Chadwick studio

Types of Painting

En Plein Air

A French phrase that means “in the open air” and refers to painting outdoors

One often sees a plein-air painter at work when you drive by Tiffany Farm.

Art student painting along river, c. 1904

Genre Painting

A scene depicting everyday life

Our time at the beach last summer was filled with moments that would make for a wonderful genre painting.


A style of painting developed in the last third of the 19th century in France, which is characterized by short brush strokes of bright colors in immediate juxtaposition to represent the effect of light on objects

The artist who wanted to learn more abut Impressionism was smart to follow Childe Hassam to Old Lyme to watch him paint.

Childe Hassam (1859-1935), Late Afternoon (Sunset), 1903, Oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Robert Krieble

Landscape Painting

A genre of art dealing with the depiction of natural scenery

After his third summer in Lyme, the artist changed from painting dogs to landscapes, happy that his trees did not chase butterflies.

Frank Vincent DuMond (1865-1951), Grassy Hill, 1933, Oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Elisabeth DuMond Perry


A likeness of a person, especially of the face in a painting, drawing or photograph

The woman would talk to her husband’s portrait hanging in the hallway when she was too mad to talk to him directly.

Self Portrait

A likeness of the artist, especially of the face in a painting, drawing or photograph

The artist would often paint himself using a mirror when he didn’t have enough money to hire a model.

Louis Paul Dessar (1867-1952), Self Portrait, Oil on canvas, Gift of Jeff Cooley

Still-Life Painting

A representation of chiefly inanimate objects such as a painting of a bowl of fruit.

Since the artist was tired of painting models, he decided to do a still-life painting of a table and a vase of flowers.

Matilda Browne (1869-1947), Flowers, Oil on canvas board, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Larry J. Lawrence in Loving Memory of Isabel Scoville Peterson Patricelli


A style of painting that was favored by the early artists of the Lyme Art Colony. They used a limited number of colors and painted scenes that were filled with sentiment, emotion, and mood.

Dedicated to the style of tonalism, the artist painted at twilight to capture the golden light before sunset.

Matilda Browne (1869-1947), Cornfield Point, c. 1910, Oil on canvas, Gift of Ms. Helen Krieble in Honor of the Centennial

Related Terms

Artist Colony

A group of individuals having similar interests, occupations, usually living in a particular locality and forming a community

Bringing together all of his artistic friends was Henry Ward Ranger’s first step in forming the new artist colony at Old Lyme.

The Hot Air Club with artists on the side porch, 1905


A private house that provides accommodations (a place to stay) and meals for paying guests.

Miss Florence turned her house into a boardinghouse and charged $7 a week for a room and meals.

Winfield Scott Clime (1881-1958), The Artist’s Home, c. 1948, Oil on canvas


A person, such as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practice

Living the life of a true bohemian, Peter sleeps all day and paints to his music all night.

Arthur Heming painting en plein air


A public display of the work of artists or artisans, or objects of general interest

Each August, the Lyme artists would put together an exhibition of the paintings they finished that summer.

Second annual Lyme exhibition at the town library

Fox Hunt

Popular in England, this hunt features hunters on horseback following running hounds (dogs) in pursuit of a fox

The four prints over the fireplace in the dining room depict an English foxhunt.

F. C. Tanner (Painter), Charles Hunt (Engraver), Ackermann and Co., London (Publisher), The Fox Chase, Plate I: “A Southerly Wind and a Cloudy Sky,” 1834, Engraving on paper

In Situ

In place or position; undisturbed

Although many of Miss Florence’s belongings were sold, the painted doors and panels remained in situ over the years.

Miss Florence in dining room

Packet Boat

Also called packet ships, these small vessels carried mail, passengers, and goods regularly on a fixed route at sea, on rivers, or along coasts.

Florence Griswold’s father was the captain of a packet boat and he would sail from New York to London transporting people and packages back and forth.

Samuel Walters (1811-1882), The Northumberland, 1847, Oil on canvas, Gift in Honor of the Centennial; Donated by Mr. William E.S. Griswold, Jr.


A room in a private home or establishment where people can sit and talk and relax

The artists would gather in the parlor after diner to listen to music and play cards.

Woodhull Adams (1854-1922), Miss Florence’s Parlor, 1912, Oil on canvas, Gift of Dr. Matthew Griswold, Sr.

Wiggle Game

A drawing game in which one person draws squiggly lines on a sheet of paper and the other person uses those lines to make a picture of something

The artists would pass hours at a time playing the wiggle game in the parlor during the evenings.

Will Howe Foote (1874-1965), Wiggle Drawing (Woman Sitting on Man), Graphite on paper