Lyme Historical Society records, [undated] and 1882-1986

Lyme Historical Society

Collection size: 4 microfilm reels.

Collection Summary: Selected material from the Lyme Historical Society's Lyme Art Colony Archives relating primarily to the activities of the Lyme Art Association and Lyme Art Colony (4.0 ft.) and including Florence Griswold's personal papers (0.4 ft.)

REELS 4678-4680: Included are: constitution, by-laws, minutes of the "Lyme Exhibition," 1911-1914, and the Lyme Art Association and Artists' Committee; account books containing treasurer's reports, minutes of annual and artists' committee meetings, expenses, sales, cash assets, and other information; letters from members; files, chiefly on artists, containing letters, a few photographs, writings on the Griswold House, exhibition catalogs, and summaries of conversations and interviews about Griswold and the art colony, conducted in 1954 by a Society staff member;

photographs of artists, the Florence Griswold House, and an exhibition; 4 scrapbooks of clippings, 1933-1940, and a scrapbook about William Henry Howe, ca.1880-1930; notebook of James Weiland chiefly on painting technique; diaries of Clark Voorhees, 1890-1905; a Robert Vonnoh sketchbook; specifications for the Lyme Art Association Gallery; list of locations of artists' work; directions for gilding by Griswold; "Wilson's Return," an account of President Woodrow Wilson's return visit to Lyme; an album containing information on Alphaeus P. Cole's career compiled in 1986; an autograph book, "Ghosts of My Friends," 1909-1914 containing signatures;

exhibition catalogs, announcements and posters; and articles, 1902-1966, regarding the Lyme Art Colony and artists Childe Hassam, Henry Ward Ranger and Louis Dessar.

Also, spliced to end of reel 4680 are additional photographs of artists, exhibition installations, and a photograph album. Included are: Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Charles Vezin, Harry Hoffman, William Henry Howe, Henry Ward Ranger, Will Howe Foote, Frank Vincent DuMond, William O. Goodman and his wife at a ceremony marking his retirement as President of the Association, Florence Griswold, and others; interior and exterior views of the Griswold House; art works; the first exhibition of the Association in the "new" gallery, summer, 1921, and an exhibition in 1926; and an album, "Illustrated Lecture on Wild Animals of New England," containing photos of Howe, Foote, Metcalf, Allen Talcott, Arthur Heming, and others, and the Griswold House.

Artists represented in the artists' files include Thomas Ball, Martin Borgord, William Chadwick, Bruce Crane, Charles H. Davis, Elizabeth Ebert, Will Howe Foote, Harry L. Hoffman, Richard F. Maynard, Henry Rankin Poore, Gregory Smith, Nelson White, and Margaret H. Wright (contains letters from W.Bicknell and Chauncey Ryder).

REEL 4599: Material (0.2 ft.) from the Florence Griswold papers, 1896-1938, includes a biographical note; a posthumous certificate from the American Artists Professional League honoring Griswold; correspondence with artists and others; estate documents and a copy of her will; "The Saga of Florence Griswold's Harp" by Clarence T. Hubbard, an account of the formation of the Colony; postcards showing Griswold and art work in the house by Childe Hassam, William Henry Howe and Henry R. Poore; and obituaries.

Correspondents included in Griswold's papers are George Ainslie, Frank Bicknell, Charles Bittinger, William Chadwick, E.H. Clement, Lewis Cohen, Frank DuMond, Schumacker Duncan, Charles Ebert, Will Howe Foote, Frank B. Gay, Charles L. Goodwin, Walter Griffin, Childe Hassam, Arthur Heming, Harry L. Hoffman, William Henry Howe, William H. Hyde, Lydia Longacre, Willard Metcalf, Curtis Moyer, Henry R. Poore, William S. Robinson, Edith and Edward Rook, Allen B. Talcott, Charles Vezin, Robert and Bessie Vonnoh, Everett Warner, and Ellen and Woodrow Wilson.

Biographical/Historical Note: The Lyme Art Association was established in 1914 as an outgrowth of the Lyme Art Colony, in Old Lyme, Conn. In 1921, a summer art gallery was built to house its exhibitions. Henry Ward Ranger is the artist credited with discovering Old Lyme as a painters' haven in 1899, encouraging a few artists to come the following summer. Florence Griswold's summer boarding house became a center for artists who came to Lyme over the years; Griswold even acted as an agent for some of the artists. Gradually membership expanded and the number of exhibitions increased. Ranger and some of his colleagues painted in the Barbizon style, but Impressionism also gained favor there partially due to Childe Hassam's presence in Old Lyme from 1903 onwards.

Lent for microfilming 1992 and 1993 by the Lyme Historical Society, Florence Griswold Museum. Records are maintained as the Lyme Art Colony Archives. Arrangement of the photographs was devised by the lender and has been maintained.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 4599, 4678-4680 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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