The Florence Griswold Museum, in Old Lyme, Connecticut, reopens to members on July 1 and to the public on July 7 with a new exhibition, Fresh Fields: American Impressionist Landscapes, and with opportunity to roam its idyllic countryside grounds in bloom. Advance ticketing online is required as well as additional protocols for visitors; please check the museum's website for details.
Fresh Fields is on view from July 7 to November 1, 2020. This exhibition of beloved landscapes created by Impressionist artists who visited Old Lyme brings new voices to bear on old favorites. The selection highlights major recent acquisitions, such as Childe Hassam’s Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme (1904).
Inspired by the opening of the Robert F. Schumann Artists’ Trail in 2019, the museum’s curators sought to place these landscape paintings in a fresh light by sharing new research as well as recent acquisitions, and inviting outside experts to help with an appreciation of the collections with deeper ecological and historical understanding. While these Impressionist paintings were created at a certain moment in time, the landscapes they depict can nonetheless teach us about events and attitudes that shaped the views composed by the artists, and reveal changes in the land between the Lyme Art Colony era and today.
American Impressionism and the study of landscape in art are being re-shaped by urgent concerns about the environment and recognition of the importance of seeking out diverse voices to fully describe the meanings of the landscape. In addition to labels by Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing, visitors will find texts with perspectives from ecologists, scholars of slavery, local history, and women’s history. Some entries build upon authors’ discoveries published on the museum’s history blog, From the Archives. Curators also collaborated with members of regional Native American tribes to develop conversation and understanding about the land where the museum stands. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center Executive Director, Joe Baker (Delaware Tribe of Indians), and its Collections Manager/Registrar Kimberly Hatcher-White, who is a tribal elder, provided insight. Their research and contributions reveal fresh fields for study, with an interest in inclusiveness.
In addition, learn more about The Art Colony at Old Lyme with an online overview of the museum's current exhibition.