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home | Locations | 3 of 14 Types of Connecticut Recreat . . .

3 of 14 Types of Connecticut Recreational Facilities--Art Museums
Ivan Gillis
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Connecticut Art Museums

FarmingtonHill-Stead Museum

The Hill–Stead Museum is a Colonial Revival house and art museum set on a large estate at 35 Mountain Road in Farmington, Connecticut. It is best known for its French Impressionist masterpieces, architecture, and stately grounds. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark as a nationally significant example of Colonial Revival architecture, built in 1901 to designs that were the result of a unique collaboration between Theodate Pope Riddle, one of the United States' first female architects, and the renowned firm of McKim, Mead & White. The house was built for Riddle's father, Alfred Atmore Pope, and the art collection it houses was collected by Pope and Riddle.

Hill–Stead was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1991. The Hill-Stead has also been the venue of one of the longest running poetry festivals in the country, the Sunken Garden Festival.

HartfordWadsworth Atheneum

The Wadsworth Atheneum is an art museum located in Hartford, Connecticut. The Wadsworth is noted for its collections of European Baroque art, ancient Egyptian and Classical bronzes, French and American Impressionist paintings, Hudson River School landscapes, modernist masterpieces and contemporary works, as well as collections of early American furniture and decorative arts.

Founded in 1842 and opened in 1844, it is the oldest continually operating public art museum in the United States.

The museum is located at 600 Main Street in a distinctive castle-like building in downtown HartfordConnecticut, the state's capital. With 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) of exhibition space, the museum is the largest art museum in the state of Connecticut. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

The museum is a member of the North American Reciprocal Museums program.

Wadsworth in the heart of downtown Hartford. Its architects were Alexander Jackson Davis and Ithiel Town, who designed the "castle" that is the Atheneum's oldest building. Construction began in 1842 after the museum was incorporated on June 1 of that year. The museum opened on July 31, 1844 and has operated continuously since then.

The Wadsworth family, being one of the oldest and most affluent in the city, contributed numerous valuable pieces of art to be displayed at the time the museum opened. The first collection consisted of 78 paintings, two marble busts, one portrait miniature, and one bronze sculpture. In addition to the fine arts collection, the original building housed the forerunners of the Hartford Public Library and Connecticut Historical Society, giving rise to the name "Atheneum," an institution broadly devoted to culture and learning. In light of that public role, the Wadsworth has, since its founding, played host to a wide variety of cultural and community activities, including dramatic and dance performances, exhibits of historical artifacts, social functions, and benefits.

New BritainNew Britain Museum of American Art

The New Britain Museum of American Art is an art museum in New Britain, Connecticut. Founded in 1903, it is the first museum in the country dedicated to American art.

A total of 72,000 visits were made to the museum in the year ending June 30, 2009, and another 16,000 visits were made to the museum's satellite gallery at TheatreWorks in Hartford, Connecticut.

Walnut Hill Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is next to the museum.

The permanent collection includes colonial portraits, works from the Hudson River SchoolAmerican Impressionists and the Ash Can School. The collection includes works by John Singleton CopleyMarcus JansenFrederic ChurchThomas ColeRockwell KentGeorgia O'KeeffeN.C. WyethAndrew Wyeth, and Sol LeWitt.

American Colonial and Federal-era portraits are represented with works by John SmibertJohn TrumbullMather BrownJohn Singleton CopleyCharles Willson PealeSarah PealeGilbert Stuart, and Ralph Earl. The museum's holdings of early and late Hudson River School paintings include landscapes by Thomas ColeThomas DoughtyAsher B. DurandFitz Hugh LaneMartin Johnson HeadeJohn KensettAlbert Bierstadt, and Frederic Church.

Nineteenth-century still life works at the museum include paintings by Raphaelle PealeSeverin RoesenWilliam HarnettJohn PetoJohn Haberle, and John La Farge. Genre painting and sculpture is represented by John QuidorWilliam Sidney MountLilly Martin SpencerJohn George Brown, and John Rogers. The museum's holdings in post-Civil War figural painting and sculpture, include works by Winslow HomerThomas EakinsMary CassattJohn Singer SargentJ. Alden WeirGeorge de Forest BrushJoseph DeCampFrank BensonEdmund C. TarbellWilliam PaxtonElizabeth Nourse, and 19 plasters and bronzes by Solon Borglum.

New HavenYale Center for British ArtYale University Art Gallery

The Yale Center for British Art at Yale University in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. The collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, rare books, and manuscripts reflects the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period onward.

The collection consists of nearly 2,000 paintings and 200 sculptures, with an emphasis on the period between William Hogarth's birth (1697) to J. M. W. Turner's death (1851). Other artists represented include Thomas GainsboroughGeorge StubbsJoseph WrightJohn ConstableJoshua ReynoldsThomas LawrenceRobert Polhill BevanStanley SpencerBarbara Hepworth, and Ben Nicholson.

The collection also has works by artists from Europe and North America who lived and worked in Britain. These include Hans HolbeinPeter Paul RubensAnthony van DyckCanalettoJohann ZoffanyJohn Singleton CopleyBenjamin West, and James McNeill Whistler.

Old LymeFlorence Griswold Museum

The Florence Griswold Museum is an art museum at 96 Lyme Street in Old LymeConnecticut centered on the home of Florence Griswold (1850–1937), which was the center of the Old Lyme Art Colony, the main center of development of American Impressionism. The museum is noted for its collection of American Impressionist paintings. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993.

he Museum's Robert and Nancy Krible Gallery, featuring 9,500 square feet (880 m2) of exhibit space and sweeping views of the Lieutenant River opened in 2002.

In 2001, the Museum acquired the corporate collection of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, once the world's largest insurer against equipment breakdown. The collection included 157 oil paintings, 31 works on paper and 2 works of sculpture, all Connecticut-related.

American Impressionist artists lived and painted—often directly on the walls and doors of the house. The building is now part of the campus of the Florence Griswold Museum.

Leading artists of the Old Lyme Art Colony who stayed at the boarding house were Henry Ward RangerEdward Charles VolkertChilde Hassam, and Willard Metcalf. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and his family dined with "Miss Florence" and the artists in the house.

Old Lyme resident Harry Hoffman helped to save Griswold's house through a fund-raising campaign so that it could be converted into a museum.

Appearance and layout


I saw a charming house that appeared like a Roman temple among the trees. Admiringly, I beheld the broad steps surmounted by four huge ionic columns that towered to the roof and formed a magnificent adornment to the mansion's front, the handsome old doorway of which stood hospitably open. — Arthur Heming, artist of the Lyme Art Colony

The entire first floor has been furnished to reflect its appearance in about 1910, the height of its years as an artists' boarding house. Visitors enter through a wide center hall, where an "informal gallery" displays paintings on grass cloth walls. The hall also contains Colonial and Empire furniture. Two bedrooms are off the hallway — Miss Florence's bedroom and a guest bedroom. A parlor on the first floor has artists' brushes on the mantel. In that room the artist-boarders would present various types of entertainment for each other. The second floor is exhibition space.

Samuel Belcher, architect of the Old Lyme Congregational Church, designed the late Georgian-style house for William Noyes. It was built in 1817.

The artists who painted on the house's doors and walls were probably following a tradition imported from hostelries in the French art colonies at Barbizon, Giverny, and Pont-Aven. A total of 41 painted panels are in the downstairs rooms.

The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993. In July 2007 the building reopened after a 14-month restoration project.

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