Connecticut Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Connecticut Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for details.


Texts contained in Resource Library by named authors listed by author name in alphabetical order:

The Lyme Academy Story by Elisabeth Gordon Chandler

Connecticut Composed by Erica E. Hirshler

The Great River Remembered: Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley by William Hosley

In Retrospect: Selected Works by Lyme Art Association Members by Michael Lloyd

Art Is Upon the Town: A Retrospective Exhibition by Willa T. Schuster

Yale University Art Gallery by Marie N. Weltzien


Articles contained in Resource Library without named authors listed by article name in alphabetical order:

The Artist in the Connecticut Landscape

A Circle of Friends: The Artists of the Florence Griswold House

A Connecticut Place: Weir Farm, An American Painter's Rural Retreat

A Matter of Style: The Influence of French Art on the Old Lyme Art Colony

The American Art Colony at Lyme

The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920

Connecticut Impressionists

Connecticut State Capitol Statuary Collection

The Cos Cob Art Colony: Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore

The Cos Cob Art Colony: Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore

The Lure of Lyme: Celebrating 100 Years of the Lyme Art Colony

Lyme art colony

Painter's Paradise: A Land Distinctly Lyme

Picture Perfect: Images of Northwest Connecticut

With Needle and Brush: Schoolgirl Embroidery From the Connecticut River Valley

Articles from the Florence Griswold Museum often favor Connecticut artists.

Northeast Art: 20-21st Century Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Painting (for years 1997-2000 also includes Southeast and Southern American Paintings)


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Please click on the name of each source to view articles and essays related to that source:

Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

Bruce Museum

Bush-Holley Historic Site

Connecticut Historical Society

Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail

Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University

Florence Griswold Museum

Lyman Allyn Art Museum

Mattatuck Museum

New Britian Museum of American Art

Saint Joseph College Gallery

Silvermine Guild Arts Center

Stamford Museum and Nature Center

Wadsworth Atheneum

Walsh (Thomas J.) Art Gallery at Fairfield University

Weir Farm National Historic Site

William Benton Museum of Art at University of Connecticut

Yale University Art Gallery


Other online information:

An American Place, the Art Colony at Old Lyme, an ongoing exhibit from the Florence Griswold Museum. Accessed July, 2015.

Art and Artists in Connecticut, by Harry Willard French, from Google Books. Accessed July, 2015.

Art for Everyone: The Federal Art Project in Connecticut, from The Mattatuck Historical Society. Includes five categories of art. Accessed July, 2015.

Art in Farmington Village is a 2018 exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art which says: "Organized in collaboration with the Farmington Historical Society and the first Museum exhibition to examine this subject in depth, this presentation explores the emergence of Farmington's art colony, its key patrons, and the role of individual artists, including James McDougal Hart (1828-1901), Aaron Draper Shattuck (1832-1928), Robert Bolling Brandegee (1849-1922), Charles Foster (1850-1931), Cecilia Beaux (1855-1942), Allen Butler Talcott (1867-1908), Helen Andrews (1872-1960), and James Britton (1878-1936)." Accessed 9/18

Artists from Connecticut from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Bush-Holley House, the Cos Cob Art Colony and American Impressionism from Greenwich Historical Society. Accessed August, 2015.

The Cartoonists of Silvermine: Past and Present is a 2017 exhibit at the New Canaan Historical Society which says: "The Cartoonists of Silvermine: Past and Present" is an historical retrospective exhibiting over seventy reproductions of seventeen cartoonists who at one time worked and/or lived in Silvermine from 1900 though the present." Accessed 6/17

The Celebrated Gardens of Lyme Artists from Florence Griswold Museum, published May 7, 2014. Accessed December, 2015.

Coming Full Circle: The Greenwich Art Society Celebrates 100 at the Bruce Museum, an exhibit held February 11, 2012 - April 1, 2012 at the Bruce Museum. From the Bruce Museum. Accessed May, 2014

Connecticut (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

"Connecticut and American Impressionism," by Hildegard Cummings, courtesy of The Florence Griswold Museum, from Connecticut Humanities. Accessed August, 2015.

Connecticut History Illustrated is a virtual library enabling searching across media and institutions to discover cultural treasures. Accessed September, 2015.

Cos Cob art colony from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015

"The Cos Cob Art Colony," by Carl White, November 8, 2010, from Greenwich Library. Accessed August, 2015

"The Cos Cob Art Colony, Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore," article by Carter B. Horsley. From The City Review. Accessed August, 2015.

Edward Balthazar: Urban Artist  is a 2019 exhibit at the Mattatuck Museum which says: "This on-line exhibition features Waterbury scenes that Edward J. Balthazar (1890-1956) produced during the 1930s and 1940s in a selection of works from the Mattatuck's permanent collection. Balthazar's paintings and many etchings celebrate his hometown in views of city and country as diverse as the natural gas works and the Pomperaug River." Accessed 10/19

Emil Carlsen's Quiet Harmonies is a 2018 exhibit at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum which says: "A close friend of artist Julian Alden Weir, Carlsen spent time at both the Weir farm in Branchville, Connecticut and at Weir's Windham home before acquiring his own Connecticut residence in 1905 in Falls Village, at the foot of the Berkshires."  Accessed 1/19

Farmington Artists and Their Times: Giverny in Connecticut: Part I, By Charles Leach, M.D. Republished from the Farmington Historical Society newsletter, December 2007. Accessed July, 2015.

Farmington Artists and Their Times: Giverny in Connecticut: Part II, By Charles Leach, M.D. Republished from the Farmington Historical Society newsletter, March 2008. Accessed July, 2015.

Hartford Steam Boiler Collection from The Florence Griswold Museum. Accessed July, 2015.

Jan Dilenschneider: Dualities was a 2015 exhibit at the Bellarmine Museum of Art which says in its press release: "This exhibition will feature about 20 paintings by Connecticut artist Jan Dilenschneider. A champion of artistic freedom of expression, Dilenschneider is an award-winning artist, who regularly exhibits her work in Paris. She has been painting since childhood, and finds much of her inspiration in nature and its wonders. Dilenschneider's influences include Impressionism and Expressionism, while her affinity for landscape and the atmospheric effects of light and color link her to the venerable Connecticut tradition of landscape painting exemplified by the late 19th- early 20th-century Cos Cob School." Accessed 1/17

The Lyme Art Colony from the Florence Griswold Museum. Accessed July, 2015.

Lyme Artists Abroad is a 2014 exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum which says: "Expeditions to places as far-flung as the Zuni pueblo, the hills of Italy, and the warm waters of the Caribbean demonstrate artists' perpetual quest for intriguing subject matter and varied landscapes to contrast with the familiar pastures and woods of Connecticut." Accessed 12/18

Natalie Van Vleck - True to Her Art, Life & Land is a 2018 exhibit at the Mattatuck Museum which says: "Organized by guest curator Marc Chabot and the Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust, this exhibition presents more than 50 paintings, works on paper, hand carved wood frames, furnishings and archival material by the American Modernist artist Natalie Van Vleck (1901-1981), longtime resident of Woodbury." Also see artist's biography from Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust.  Accessed 12/18

"New Deal Art Revisited," by Kathryn Boughton, from Connecticut Humanities. Accessed July, 2015.

NEW/NOW: Paul Baylock is a 2018 exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art which says: "During the early part of the 20th century, New Britain was known as the "Hardware City" and the "Hardware Capital of the World."...This legacy is perhaps nowhere better expressed and celebrated than in the vibrant paintings and sculptures of artist Paul Baylock, a New Britain native."  Accessed 7/18

The New Spirit and the Cos Cob Art Colony:Before and After The Armory Show, an exhibit held October 9, 2013 to January 12, 2014 at Greenwich Historical Society. Accessed May, 2014

Old Lyme Colony Painters from Accessed July, 2015.

Oscar Fehrer: Reflecting and Reflections is a 2017 exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum which says: "This installation will present a selected retrospective of work from every period of Fehrer's career-early charcoal drawings, portraits, and plein air landscapes-to reconsider Fehrer's contribution to the art world on both a local and international level." Accessed 11/17

Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism, an exhibit held March 22 - June 22, 2014 at the Bruce Museum. Includes video and .pdf of driving tour. From the Bruce Museum. Accessed February, 2016.

Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts is a 2019 exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society which says: "About 30 stunning selections from the CHS's approximately 150 quilts, ranging from the last quarter of the eighteenth century to the present day, will be displayed alongside costumes, photographs, and artifacts that illustrate the stories behind Connecticut quilters and quilting."  Accessed 6/20

Thistles and Crowns: The Painted Chests of the Connecticut Shore is a 2014 exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum which says: "Useful in their form and beautiful in their ornament these chests tell a complicated story about the way that colonists in eighteenth-century Connecticut used humble objects to express their place in the larger world." Accessed 12/18

Three Women/Three Artists/Three Centuries, an exhibit held October 3, 2014 - January 25, 2015 at the Florence Griswold Museum. Includes exhibit brochure with essay by Jeff Andersen, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum. From Florence Griswold Museum. Accessed February, 2016.

World War I and the Lyme Art Colony is a 2017 exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum which says: "The exhibition will draw on the Museum's permanent collection and selected loans from public and private collections to illuminate the significant role played by artists with ties to Connecticut in mobilizing public sentiment for America's entry into the war and in defining a new role for art in the field of modern warfare." Accessed 11/17

Yale Peabody Museum's dioramas from Yale Peabody Museum. Accessed August, 2015.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

The Freedom Business: Connecticut Landscapes Through the Eyes of Venture ..., by Marilyn Nelson - 2006 "This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition The Freedom Business: Connecticut Landscapes Through the Eyes of Venture Smith at the Florence

The American Artist in Connecticut: The Legacy of the Hartford Steam Boiler ... by Jeffrey W. Andersen, Hildegard Cummings - 2002 "Published on the occasion of the exhibition ... at the Florence Griswold Museum from July 2, 2002 through June 22, 2003"--T.p. verso.

Women Artists of New Britain, May 30-July 15, 2001, by Douglas Hyland, Lindsley Wellman - 2001

Connecticut Impressionists: New Britain Museum of American Art, June 2 ..., by Douglas Hyland. New Britain Museum of American Art - 2000.

Connecticut's Monumental Epoch: A Survey of Civil War Memorials, By David F Ransom, Connecticut Historical Society. Published by Connecticut Historical Society, 1994

The Connecticut Shore: A Selection of Paintings from the Kathleen & Arthur J ..., by Florence Griswold Museum - 1992. Exhibition held at the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Conn., Aug. 15-Nov.1, 1992.

The Cos Cob Art Colony: Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore, By Susan G. Larkin. Published by Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0300088523, 9780300088526. 246 pages. Google Books says: "Exhibition organised by the National Academy of Design Museum, held at the same venue, Feb. 13 to May 13, 2001; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, June 17 to September 16, 2001; and the Denver Art Museum, October 27 2001 to January 20, 2002." Yale University Press says: "During the art-colony period, says Susan Larkin, Greenwich was changing from a farming and fishing community to a prosperous suburb of New York. The artists who gathered in Cos Cob produced work that reflects the resulting tensions between tradition and modernity, nature and technology, and country and city. The artists' preferred subjects-colonial architecture, quiet landscapes, contemplative women-held a complex significance for them, which Larkin explores. Drawing on maritime history, garden design, women's studies, and more, she places the art colony in its cultural and historical context and reveals unexpected depth in paintings of enormous popular appeal." (right: front cover of The Cos Cob Art Colony: Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore,. image courtesy of Google Books)

The Lieutenant River, by Susan Hollingsworth Ely, Elizabeth Bull Plimpton - 1991 - 71 pages

The Lyme Historical Society Presents a Retrospective Exhibition of the ..., by Bruce Crane. Lyme Historical Society, Florence Griswold Museum - 1984 - 31 pages

Old Lyme, the American Barbizon, by Lyme Historical Society, Florence Griswold Museum - 1982 - 51 pages "Published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Florence Griswold Museum, June 6-August 29, 1982"--T.p. verso.

Book information courtesy of Google Books.



Jeffrey W. Andersen: "The American Artist in Connecticut" American Art Review July-August 2002 (Volume XIV, Number 4)

Pamela G. Bond: "The Early Years of the Lyme Art Association" American Art Review July-August 2002 (Volume XIV, Number 4)

Tammi Flynn: "The Florence Griswold House Restoration" American Art Review September-October 2006 (Volume XVIII, Number 5)

Dolores M. Gall: "The New Haven Paint & Clay Club" American Art Review September-October 2000 (Volume XII, Number 5)

Amy Kurtz Lansing: "The Artists of the Florence Griswold House" American Art Review May-June 2007 (Volume XIX, Number 3)

Amy Kurtz Lansing: "The Artistic Heritage of Connecticut" American Art Review November-December 2007 (Volume XIX, Number 6)

Susan G. Larkin: "Light, Time, and Tide: Theodore Robinson at Cos Cob" American Art Journal ( vol. 23, no. 2; 1991)

Susan G. Larkin: "The Cos Cob Art Colony" American Art Review January-February 2001 (Volume XIII, Number 1)

Willa T. Schuster: American Art Review "Art is Upon the Town: Mystic Art Association" April-May 96

Ann Smith: "Images of Northwest Connecticut" American Art Review May-June 2003 (Volume XV, Number 3)

Marilyn Symmes: "Once Upon a Page: Illustrations by Cos Cob Artists" American Art Review November-December 2007 (Volume XIX, Number 6)

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