In 1914, the American Impressionist painters of Old Lyme formed an association and dreamed of building their own gallery to exhibit their work. For the sum of one dollar, Ms. Florence Griswold deeded a portion of her property to the artists; where, in 1921, the Lyme Art Association Gallery opened its doors. Sadly, nearly a century later, this landmark gallery had the same shingles, deteriorated and literally falling off the building, and rotted woodwork coming apart.
There was simply no choice; the three Rs – repair, restoration, and renovation – had to begin.
But makeovers take money, and so the Lyme Art Association’s Second Century Capital Campaign launched to bring the historic building back to life. Generous contributions have put the Association close to the $364,000 goal, and the progress of the project has been amazing.
“Just as the original artists raised money to open the Lyme Art Association’s doors, we, too, find ourselves working to ensure that our historic landmark gallery will thrive for the next 100 years,” said Kathy Simmons, Board President of the Association. As of mid February, generous donations have brought the Association to within $68,292 of their $364,000 goal.
Restoring this building is important for so many reasons. Today the Lyme Art Association continues its commitment to advance the cause of representational fine art, while maintaining and preserving its historic building and galleries. It is a vibrant art center and gallery where professional and developing artists mount major exhibitions year-round – open to the public and free of charge. The Association also has a robust schedule of art classes, workshops and lectures. The landmark means a great deal to artists, those who appreciate art and, of course, the community.
“The Lyme Art Association takes immense pride in its cultural, educational and historical significance in our community,” explained Gary Parrington, Lyme Art Association’s Development Director. “We are grateful for the financial support we have received already, and are excited to showcase the progress thus far made possible by our donors.”
“For those who give by April 30th, your gift will be doubled by a generous couple. Every donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000,” Parrington points out.
Carrie Walters, Capital Campaign Chair, Board Member, and the “go-to person” for the exterior restoration stated, “I’m honored to do that because it’s a wonderful building. It’s been the source of incredible art for so many years and it just deserves to exist for many more.”
Simmons said, “The Lyme Art Association building, designed by world renowned architect Charles Platt, is an integral part of Old Lyme’s historic district and stands as a reminder of Old Lyme’s important place in the history of American art” and added, “Every day, I am inspired by the thought that as we repair and restore the exterior of this grand, historic building, we honor Old Lyme’s place in the history of American art.”
We encourage you to visit the gallery, see the immense progress, the stellar job and quality of work, and to be part of this major preservation project. Your generous gift today will help complete the exterior restorations!
The Lyme Art Association is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am – 5 pm, and by appointment. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road. Please call (860) 434-7802 for more information, or visit www.lymeartassociation.org.
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