May 5, 2016

Duck River Garden Club Plant Sale Opens Tomorrow in Old Lyme, Continues Saturday

Geraniums and more will be on sale tomorrow and Saturday at the Duck River Garden Club's Annual Plant Sale.

Geraniums and more will be on sale tomorrow and Saturday at the Duck River Garden Club’s Annual Plant Sale.

Enjoy a weekend of flowers, plants and more!

The annual fundraising plant sale, sponsored by the Duck River Garden Club of Old Lyme, will be held Friday, May 7, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Lyme Shopping Center field on Hall’s Road (near The Hideaway Restaurant.)

Pick out that special gift for Mom. Or browse the club’s selection of heirloom tomatoes, annuals, and vegetables, herbs, hanging baskets, geraniums, perennials and shrubs that will be available.

If you are a gardening bargain hunter, Member’s Plants and “The Shed” offer wonderful “pickings.” Check out the new Shrubs, Trees and Knockout Rose Table this year. And to top things off, “Delectable Edibles” has special treats for all to enjoy.

All proceeds from the sale go to ongoing civic projects, which include scholarships, senior’s garden therapy program, holiday wreaths for public buildings, baskets for families in need, and maintenance of plants at town locations. The Duck River Garden Club members look forward to seeing you and can help with any questions.

Call Agnes O’Connor to pre-order your geraniums at 860-434-9094

For more information about membership in Duck River Garden Club, call Kathy Burton at 860-434-8024 or president, Barbara Rayel at 860-434-2354

 

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Free Day For All at FloGris, Saturday

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

The Florence Griswold Museum presents its annual Community Free Day on Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Old Lyme. The event offers free admission to the Museum’s 11-acre campus, and includes family activities as well as two performances by Master Storyteller Tom Lee.

Storyteller Tom Lee

Storyteller Tom Lee

A performer for all ages, Tom Lee presents Mysteries at the Museum: Stories That’ll Make You Think at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. With training in classical theater, Lee has been performing in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art for over 15 years (www.tomleestoryteller.com).

“Our Community Free Day is a great way for all ages to spend the day at the Museum,” stated David D.J. Rau, Director of Education and Outreach. “The fun and educational activities planned for this year are a wonderful introduction for the many first-time visitors we get on this annual day.”

Museum-goers visiting the original Florence Griswold House are treated to guides sharing stories of the Lyme Art Colony artists who stayed with Florence Griswold in the boardinghouse over 100 years ago. The house, decorated as it was in 1910, includes the original paintings that artists created on the door and wall panels of the house.

On view in the Museum’s Krieble Gallery is Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum. The exhibition details the growth of the Museum’s art collection over the past forty years, including a range of American art from the Tonalist style of the late 1800s to today’s modern Abstraction.

Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum, will be on view on Community Free Day, May 7 at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum, will be on view on Community Free Day, May 7 at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Community Free Day attendees can also visit the Chadwick Art Studio, presented as it would have looked in 1920, the Rafal Landscape Center, as well as the Museum’s gardens and grounds along the Lieutenant River.

Family-Fun on Community Free Day

Community Free Day highlights family enjoyment of the Florence Griswold Museum. In addition to performances by Tom Lee, the Museum offers a special family craft activity in the Hartman Education Center from 11am to 4pm.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

While at the Museum, families are encouraged to follow scavenger hunt cards in the Florence Griswold House, and uncover art details in the Krieble art gallery with “Can You Find Me” game cards.

A historic center for American art, the Florence Griswold Museum is considered the Home of American Impressionism. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95.

For additional information contact the Museum at 860-434-5542 or www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.

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Budget Passes Easily in Both Towns, Turnout Extremely Low

With voter turnout so low, it was the end of "a painful day" for poll workers after the votes had ben counted at the Cross Lane Fire House

With voter turnout so low, it was the end of “a painful day” for poll workers after the votes had been counted at the Cross Lane Fire House.

Voters in both Lyme and Old Lyme today overwhelmingly approved the Lyme-Old Lyme school board’s proposed $33,470,376 budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which represents a 2.84 percent increase over the current 2015-16 budget.  The total vote numbers across both towns were 368 supporting the budget and 184 against, representing almost exactly a 2 to 1 majority in favor of the budget.

Looking at the results by town, in Old Lyme there were 267 Yes votes to 150 No votes while in Lyme, 101 Yes and 34 No votes were recorded.

A delighted Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented to reporters gathered at the Cross Lane Fire House to hear the result, “We appreciate the continued support of both communities for the budget.”

Tired poll workers at Cross Lane Fire House were glad to clear away their tables at the end of the evening, with one describing it as “a painful day,” because voting had been so slow.  Turnout was likely one of the lowest on record with the total number of voters in Old Lyme today representing a mere 8 percent of the 5,211 registered voters in town.

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Vote Today on Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education’s Proposed $33.5M Budget for 2016-17

With voter turnout so low, it was the end of "a painful day" for poll workers after the votes had ben counted at the Cross Lane Fire House

With voter turnout so low, it was the end of “a painful day” for poll workers after the votes had ben counted at the Cross Lane Fire House

The polls are open today from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Lyme and Old Lyme for residents to vote in a referendum on Regional District 18 Board of Education’s budget proposal for the fiscal year July 1, 2016.  Residents can vote respectively in the Hamburg Fire House in Lyme and the Cross Lane Fire House in Old Lyme.

In April, the school board voted to present a $33,470,376 budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which represents a 1.83 percent increase over the current 2014-15 budget.

The referendum result will be reported on LymeLine.com immediately after it is announced.

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Essex First Selectman Needleman to Declare State Senate Candidacy Today, Challenging Linares

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (D) will announce his candidacy for the 33rd State Senate District at a press conference to be held Tuesday, May 3, at 5 p.m. in the Gelston House in East Haddam.

Needleman, a Democrat who is currently serving his second two-year term as Essex First Selectman, will challenge incumbent Art Linares (R), who is completing his second two-year term as 33rd District State Senator and is running for a third term. Linares is Assistant Minority Leader of the state senate.

Apart from Lyme, the 33rd senate district includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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Safe Grad Committee Hosts ‘Dumpster Day’ Saturday

Dumpster-300x214The committee organizing this year’s Safe Grad Party for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2016 is hosting a Dumpster Day this Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. This is a great opportunity to dispose of your junk while supporting a safe and substance-free event to celebrate our new graduates achievements.

A $20 donation is suggested.

The dumpster is being generously donated by Jansky’s Rubbish Removal Co. of Lyme, Conn.

The following items will not be accepted: hazardous waste, propane tanks, computer monitors, liquid/paint solvents, car batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, mattresses/box springs, couches/sofas, yard waste, motor oil, antifreeze, and gasoline/kerosene.

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“Help Stop the Train” This Afternoon at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme

PosterAll members of the community are invited to attend a May Day event this Sunday, May 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. either indoors (in the case of rain) in the large studio or outdoors on the lawn at Gil Boro’s Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds at 80-1 Lyme Street in Old Lyme.

Apart from the pleasure of good company and great music, the purpose of the event is to hear the latest information on the proposed high speed rail track routes from Washington DC to Boston, which are currently under discussion.  One of the alternatives being considered, Alternative 1, travels through Old Lyme.

There will be a great line-up of finger-picking musicians with Ramblin’ Dan Stevens, Clayton Allen and friends, the Localmotives with Eleanor Robinson, the Shrivers and friends.

Feel free to come by a little early, the music should be playing by 1:30 p.m. The event will be shutting down at 4 p.m., but the music will carry over afterwards at the Bee and Thistle Inn from 5 to 8 pm, with Stevens and Allen.

Parking is available in Lyme Academy College next door.

For more information about the rail track proposals, visit SECoast’s Facebook page.

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World-Renowned Egyptologist to Speak at Lyme-Old Lyme High School Today

Kent Weeks (photo from www.ancient.co.uk)

Kent Weeks (Photo from www.ancient.co.uk)

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Luxor Library Student Ambassadors and the Friends of Luxor Library will present a lecture by world-leading Egyptologist Kent R. Weeks at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. The lecture is free, open to the public, and appropriate for both children and adults.

Dr. Weeks will share highlights from his remarkable career searching for, excavating, and mapping the tombs, monuments, and temples of ancient Egypt. He will talk about his major discovery – the unearthing of the tomb belonging to the sons of Ramses II, considered the most significant find in the Valley of the Kings since Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. He will also share the latest news about the hidden chamber that archaeologists believe they will find behind the walls of King Tut’s tomb.

Dr. Weeks, who lives in Old Lyme when he is not in Egypt, will discuss how a teacher first sparked his interest in ancient Egypt and why he believes education is the key to preserving Egypt’s heritage. To that end, he has created the Theban Mapping Project Library in Luxor, where each week hundreds of local children engage in activities designed to teach them about the importance of protecting the monuments of ancient Egypt.

A fundraising reception to benefit the library will follow the lecture at a private home on Lyme Street ($50 per person).

For information about the reception, email friendsofluxorlibrary@gmail.com.

For more information about the lecture, visit friendsofluxorlibrary.blogspot.com.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School is located at 69 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.

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Musical Masterworks Celebrates Conclusion of its 25th Season

Violinist Chee-Yun

Violinist Chee-Yun

Musical Masterworks’ 25th Anniversary Season will end with a burst of excitement as eight extraordinary musicians perform works of Richard Strauss, Bartók, Mendelssohn and contemporary composer Giovanni Sollima.  The last concerts of this season, which will feature veteran violinist Chee-Yun, will be held Saturday, April 30, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m. 

The anniversary season will be celebrated with a free 25th Anniversary Party after the final concert on May 1, to which all ticket buyers will be invited.

The finale of each concert will be one of the best-loved works in the chamber music repertoire: the Mendelssohn Octet.  It promises to be a wonderful conclusion to the group’s first quarter century. 

Artistic Director, Edward Arron commented,  “I feel privileged to be the curator of this unique concert series. As the years go by, I continue to be inspired by the beauty of the Congregational Church, the art of chamber music, the artistry of my colleagues, and the warmth of our audience.”

To learn more about Musical Masterworks, visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.  This summer information will be posted about the 26th season, which begins in October 2016.

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Old Lyme Historical Society Hosts Tag Sale Today

The Old Lyme Historical Society is hosting a Tag Sale tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at their building – the former Grange Hall – on Lyme Street in Old Lyme.

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Old Lyme Library’s BookCellar Holds Spring Half Price Book Sale Today

BookCellar Co-Managers Ann de Selding (right) and Claudia Condon check entries in the BookCellar's master catalog.

BookCellar Co-Managers Ann de Selding (right) and Claudia Condon check entries in the BookCellar’s master catalog.

The BookCellar at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library will be hosting a special Spring Half-Price Sale on all regular items (with the exception of “Collectibles”) on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The BookCellar is open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Phoebe’s BookCellar is a volunteer-run used bookstore managed by the Friends of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. Besides the special editions, there is a wide range of gently used books in what is now the only remaining general interest bookstore in Old Lyme.

Inside the BookCellar.

There’s room to relax and read inside the BookCellar.

Many best sellers, mysteries, science fiction, History and Biography, general literature, DVDs, audio books and children’s books, as well as special interest areas such as Cooking, Gardening, Art and Photography are to be found on its shelves. Recent hardcover books are generally priced about $4, with children’s books as well as mass market and trade paperbacks at 50 cents to $2.

For further information, including direct inquiries about the Collectibles, contact the BookCellar at phoebesbookcellar@gmail.com

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, Old Lyme CT 06371. Opening hours are Monday and Wednesday from 10am to 7pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 6pm; Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.  The Library is closed on Sunday. For further information, call 860.434.1684 or visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.org

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Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet, Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Today

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Logo - DEA

Since the first Lyme-Old Lyme Drug Take Back event in 2011, citizens have returned more than 500 pounds of medications to prevent misuse.

On Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lyme Street Fire House, the Community Action for Substance Free Youth (CASFY) Coalition will give residents another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinets. Twenty seven percent of seniors at Lyme-Old Lyme High School report it would be “very or sort of easy to obtain a prescription drug without your own prescription.”  (Lyme-Old Lyme Youth Survey, Dec. 2015). You have the opportunity to return unwanted medications at this bi-annual event, so that you don’t inadvertently contribute to someone’s misuse of a drug.

Should you miss this Drug Take Back event on April 30, you can dispose of your medications at Drug Drop Boxes located in area police stations including Troop F in Westbrook and the East Lyme Police Station in Niantic.

The misuse of prescription pain relievers and tranquilizers is more prevalent in the U.S. than use of all types of illicit drugs, except marijuana.  These medications are readily available in many home medicine cabinets and are easily diverted, misused and abused.

According to the Center for Disease Control, drug overdose deaths now kill more Americans than car crashes.  Prescription pain pills are driving the increase in overdoses.  Studies show that the majority of young people who abuse medicines obtain their supply from family and friends.

This event is co-sponsored by CASFY Coalition, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, Old Lyme Police Department, Troop F State Police, and Old Lyme Fire Department,

For more information about the Drug Take Back event, or CASFY Coalition, contact LYSB at 860-434-7208 or visit www.lysb.org

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‘Shred It’ Fundraiser Today Benefits Class of 2016

Shredded_paperOn Saturday, April 30, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2016 will shred documents for businesses and individuals. Anyone can bring their papers to the Lyme-OId Lyme High School parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to shred for a donation.

Many people have unwanted papers sitting in boxes or on desks around their house.  The papers could be old tax returns, bank statements, bills, credit card statements, newspapers or school ditto sheets.  This fundraiser provides the community an opportunity to securely discard unwanted papers from houses or businesses.

“We are excited to hold this Shred-it Fundraiser because the demand for secure document shredding services is growing.  This fundraiser provides a low cost way to accomplish this community service,” said Mary Beth Schreindorfer, a high school physical education teacher.

Last year, this high school class conducted this same fundraiser.  It collected over 120 bags of unwanted papers and generated over $1,200.

The class used the funds for its class activities. Class activities included three dances and many community service projects throughout town.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women Celebrate Spring at Art-Inspired Fundraiser This Evening

LOLJWC_A_Toast _to_SpringIn ‘A Toast to Spring’, the Lyme Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) are popping the cork and putting a twist on their annual fundraising art show. Club members invite the public to join them for this great event on Saturday, April 30, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme.

The event will feature beer and wine tasting; complimentary hors d’oeuvres; a silent auction; live entertainment by ‘Java Groove’; a photo booth, and, of course, the perennially popular art show.

For more than 50 years, the Club has generously supported local charities and causes throughout the shoreline community. This year, the LOLJWC has selected the ‘Love Your Playground’ project at Town Woods and Cross Lane Parks as their main beneficiary. In addition to the playgrounds, the club will continue to support other local beneficiaries and provide scholarships to graduating Lyme-Old Lyme High School students.

Ticket prices are $50 per person and can be purchased from any LOLJWC member or online at LOLJWC.com. Attendees must be 21 years or older.

For additional information, visit the LOLJWC website at www.loljwc.com

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Old Lyme Tree Commission Celebrates Arbor Day

Members of the three groups gather around the new oak tree. From left to right are Kathy Burton, Joanne DiCamillo, Joan Flynn. Anne Bing, Emily Griswold and Barbara Rayel.

Members of the three groups gather around the new oak tree. From left to right are Kathy Burton, Joanne DiCamillo, Joan Flynn. Anne Bing, Emily Griswold and Barbara Rayel.

“One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade” – Chinese proverb

The Old Lyme Tree Commission is pleased to announce the partnership of three community groups who combined their energy and experience to organize and implement the planting of five new trees in town to celebrate Arbor Day and to enhance the landscapes at Town Woods Park and Lyme Street.

Offloading a tree.

Offloading a tree.

Two red maple trees and one copper beech tree were planted behind the playground at Town Woods Park with a goal of providing some much needed shade to the area as they mature. The Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club ‘Love Your Playground’ Project provided the funding for the trees.

From left to right, Emily Griswold, Joanne DiCamillo and Barbara Rayel shovel soil around the beech tree.

From left to right, Emily Griswold, Joanne DiCamillo and Barbara Rayel shovel soil around the beech tree.

The Duck River Garden Club participated in The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut ‘Plant a Connecticut Native Oak’ project. The oak is our state and national tree and one of the finest for sustaining wildlife. The oak tree is located behind the concession building where it will grow into a large, stately specimen. In addition, a new columnar maple tree was planted in front of Town Hall by the Old Lyme Tree Commission.

River End Nursery crew plants a maple at Old Lyme Town Hall.

River End Nursery crew plants a maple at Old Lyme Town Hall.

After two disappointing postponements due to cold and rain, Mother Nature provided a beautiful, cool, sunny morning last week, perfect for tree planting. There was excitement in the air when the carriers from Millane Nursery and Canterbury Nursery arrived at the park with the trees. River End Landscape was onsite to unload them, remove the shipping materials, prepare the holes and set them into the ground. After the last tree was planted in front of Town Hall, they staked and mulched all of the trees.

The Junior Women’s Club and the Garden Club have established a watering schedule at the park. The Tree Commission will water the tree at Town Hall.

It was wonderful to work together on a noteworthy project that brings beauty and longevity to the landscape. The Old Lyme Tree Commission encourages all community members to celebrate this Arbor Day. Plant a tree!

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Lyme Art Association Hosts Two New Shows Through June 3

Del-Bourree Bach's 'The Good Life' is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition opening at the LAA tonight.

Del-Bourree Bach’s ‘The Good Life’ is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition opening at the LAA tonight.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents the annual showcase of the best new works of art by Elected Artists Members. These artists are professionals of note and significance whose works are known, collected, and exhibited throughout the country, as well as along the Shoreline.  The LAA hosts an opening reception for this show and Body Language, displaying artwork based on the human figure in all its forms, on Friday, April 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. All are welcome and admission is free — come and meet the artists, enjoy the music and celebrate fine art.

The 95th Annual Elected Artist Exhibition and Body Language are both on view through June 3, 2016.

Also on view in The Art Market is an unjuried show featuring an entirely new collection of affordable smaller works.  All artwork on display is for sale.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

 

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Letter From Paris: Madrid and the Incredible Wealth of its Museums

Nicole Prévost Logan

Nicole Prévost Logan

The silent crowd stands with emotion as it would in a cathedral, keeping respectfully a few feet away from “Guernica” – the huge (11 by 27 ft. ) scene painted by Pablo Picasso in 1937 after the bombings by the Nationalist forces led by General Franco of the Basque village of Guernica.

A weekend spent stomping the art collections of Madrid is mind-boggling.  Spend six hours a day and you will only have a glimpse at the Thyssen museum, the Prado, the house studio of Sorolla and the Reina Sofia modern art museum.

Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son Heinrich had an unusual flair when they selected outstanding works of art in the 1920s and 1930s to create one of the world’s richest private collections at the Thyssen.

Some of the early masterpieces there include, “The portrait of Giovanna degli Albizzi Tornabuoni” (1480), which is a beautiful example of the work of Florence Quattrocento, showing the idealized profile of a woman. “A young man in a landscape” was painted by Vittore Carpaccio, probably from the Venetian school.  Nature is codified with each animal having a symbolic meaning related to good and evil.

In his “Jesus among the doctors” (1506), Albrecht Dürer – the most important representative of the German Renaissance – depicts the 12-year-old Jesus surrounded by a group of old men.  Some of them have been touched by grace while others have sin written all over their ugly faces, hands like claws threatening the child.   In The “Portrait of a lady” (1530?) painted by Hans Baldung Grien – the remarkable disciple of Dürer – the influence of Cranach the Elder is noticeable in the rendering of the decorative elements of the dress, necklaces and large hat with feathers of a supremely elegant model.

Flanders – or modern Belgium and Netherlands – was part of Spain in medieval times and the Prado has many Flemish paintings, which reflect the highly sophisticated culture of trading towns like Ghent or Bruges.  Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Gerard David or Hans Memling are the best representatives the 15th century “Northern Renaissance.”

Contacts were frequent between artists who traveled from the “Low Countries” of Northern Europe to Italy.  Unlike the Italians who painted with tempura and an egg base applied over a thin layer of wet plaster called “gesso,” Flemish painters used oil directly on panels of wood without knots, such as mahogany or oak.

The Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.

The Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.

The “Garden of Delights” by Hieronymous Bosch is one of the highlights of the Prado — it is a display of amusing, bawdy or frightening details intended to give a didactic message to the population of his time.  The Flemish landscape painter Joachim Patinir (1480-525) offered panoramic views, with details at some times naturalistic, and at others, fantastic.  Instead of using linear perspective, which Florentine artists had mastered at that time, his way of showing distance was by drowning the landscape in bluish colors.

One room of the Prado is turned into a gallery of family portraits of the Spanish dynasty of the Habsburgs.  An equestrian painting by Titian of Charles V (1500-1558) at the battle of Mulhberg shows the most powerful sovereign in the world.  His kingdom went from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.  Velasquez painted many of his descendants: Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV and his son, the young prince Balthazar Carlos, riding a frisky horse.  His death, at age 17 from smallpox was a tragedy.  And there is poor Charles II, the end of the Habsburg dynasty, who was a total mental and physical disaster because of repeated consanguine marriages.

“Las Meninas”  (ladies in waiting), also by Velasquez, is one the most famous paintings ever.  It is a complex composition, which has puzzled art historians through the centuries.  At the center stands the five-year-old infanta Margareta Teresa, Philip IV’s daughter. Velasquez is looking at us and working on a huge painting, which he never painted.  The infanta’s parents are not far away and we see their reflection in a mirror.  There are two sources of light, which is quite unusual.  In 1957, inspired by the masters of the past, Picasso tackled the deconstruction of “Las Meninas,” particularly of the dog.

Velasquez (1599-1660) was the leading painter of the Spanish “Golden Age,”  during the Baroque age which lasted until 1690.  As a court painter, he had an immense influence living and working in the el-Escorial palace and was not only honored as an artist but also as the curator of the Kings’ art collections.

The love for animals is strong in Spanish painting.  Just two examples:  “Agnus Dei”, by Zurbaran (1640) showing a lamb with its  four legs garroted is probably the most heartbreaking sight in the Prado, with the animal accepting his fate.  The other one is a dog by Goya.  In an undefined brownish background of sand and sky, a dog is looking in panic at his master as he is being pulled down by quicksand.

It was not until 1840 that Spanish art began to be known in France.  The Pyrenees constituted an insurmountable barrier separating Spain from the rest of Europe.  In 1835, French King Louis Philippe sent Baron Isidore Taylor to Spain to acquire some Spanish paintings intended for the future Galerie Espagnole or Spanish Gallery at the Louvre.  After his visit to Spain in 1865, Manet said, “the scales fell off my eyes.”  The Spanish influence on Manet and Courbet is clear, especially their use of black.

Beside the works of the well-known artists like Miro, Dali or Juan Gris, the presence of Ignacio Zuloaga (1870-1945), Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), Santiago Rossignol (1861-1931), and Ramon Casas (1866-1933) at the Reina Sofia museum attests to the importance of Spanish contemporary art.

'Guernica' by Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous paintings in the world.

‘Guernica’ by Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It hangs today in the Reine Sofia Museum in Madrid.

In the attic of the old convent of Grands Augustins, near the Seine, Picasso completed  “Guernica” – probably the most important artistic statement of the 20th century against war.  The Spanish civil war from 1936 to 1939 left 500,000 dead.  Dora Maar, his companion, photographed each stage of the work , leaving a unique document on the creative process of the artist.

The composition is a frieze, powerful, fluid, easy to read and devoid of any narrative. The horse and the bull – the main actors of the bullfight about which he was so passionate – are treated like human characters.  The horse underwent many changes from deep suffering to the defiance he shows in raising his head.  The bull is aloof and protective of the population.  The dead warrior lying on the ground has the profile of Marie Therese Walter, his previous companion.  To balance the duo of bull and horse, Picasso created a screaming mother, head thrown back, with a tongue like a dagger, her dead child hanging limp from her arm.

Painted in May and June of 1937, “Guernica”  traveled the world, stayed several years at MOMA at the request of Picasso, then returned to Spain in 1981 and hangs today in the Reina Sofia museum of Madrid, never to be moved again.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole LoganAbout the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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It’s Presidential Primary Day in Connecticut — Don’t Forget to Vote!

All registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in today’s Presidential Primary election. Unaffiliated registered voters must wait until the November election to cast their ballots.

Voting locations in Lyme and Old Lyme are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. as follows:

Lyme residents:

Hamburg Fire House

Old Lyme residents:

Cross Lane Fire House

We will report the results of the election in both towns here on LymeLine.com shortly after they have been announced at the respective polling stations.

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Lyme Library Board President Steps Down After 31 Years

Lyme Library Board President Judith Lightfoot is retiring after more than 30 years service.

Lyme Library Board President Judith Lightfoot is retiring after more than 30 years service.

After more than three decades of service to the Lyme Public Library, Judith Lightfoot has announced her intention to resign as board president this spring. Jack Sulger, a library trustee, will take over from Lightfoot.

Lightfoot’s resignation comes a year and a half after the opening of the library’s new, 6,800-square-foot, state-of-the-art building near Lyme Town Hall, an undertaking she first championed and then helped shepherd through construction and completion.

“Under Judy’s leadership, the library has evolved into a dynamic and modern institution that still retains its small-town charm, and the new library building for which she advocated so passionately for so many years is now a reality,” said Theresa Conley, Lyme Public Library Director. “It has been a privilege to work with and learn from her.”

Lightfoot was first appointed to the Lyme Public Library Board in April 1985 and was elected board president in 1989. During her 31 years of service, the library has won the Award of Excellence for Small Libraries, Excellence in Public Library Service Award, and the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge Award.

In addition to moving into its new, larger, and more modern headquarters, the library has grown in ways that Lightfoot finds particularly important, becoming a busy, popular destination and gathering space for patrons of all ages. It has also become a community center where the unique qualities of Lyme and its residents can be adequately celebrated and honored.

The new building has several meeting rooms, including a large program room where large-scale events are regularly held, from author talks, poetry readings, and book groups for adults to reading, art, and science programs for children. The library also has a designated archive room, where the Lyme Local History Archives and the town archivist are now headquartered.

Lightfoot, a quintessential people person, was instrumental in inspiring others to support the library, its programs, and its mission. She and her husband, Richard, helped create a series of community-building and fund-raising initiatives for the library, including a popular concert and Mystery Dinner event, a centennial lecture series, panel discussions with local authors, and a tour of Lyme artists’ studios. 

In part through her efforts to promote and honor local talents, the library became the beneficiary of several important donations and collections. The late author Dominick Dunne, a Lyme resident and patron of the library, donated all the videos he had reviewed for the Oscars to the library, and the Jewett family donated 500 gardening books from the collection of the late Tucky Jewett.

The library has also received several important works of art, adding to its impressive collection of paintings by Lyme artists. Recent donations include a Lyme landscape by the late painter Barbara Eckhardt Goodwin and a collection of four collages by Judy Friday, two of the artists featured in the first Lyme Artist Studio Tour. This winter, Elizabeth Enders, featured in the second Lyme Artist Studio Tour, donated a contemporary landscape.

Lightfoot, who moved to Lyme with her husband and four children in 1976, has also served the local and broader community through her work with High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, where she served for many years as president and trustee. In addition, she served as president and trustee of North American Riding for the Handicapped of Denver, President and trustee of Horses and Humans Foundation of Cleveland, President and member of the Westchester, N.Y., Council of Junior Leagues, Secretary and trustee of the Hopkins School, New Haven, and Secretary and director of the Lyme Public Library Foundation.

For her many volunteer efforts, Lightfoot has received several awards, including the James Brady Award from North American Riding for the Handicapped and the Hartford Courant Volunteer of the Year Award. In 1990, she was invited to attend the White House signing of the American with Disabilities Act 1990.

Lightfoot, who has four children and 13 grandchildren, said she feels this is the right time to step down from her position on the library Board. “It has been a pleasure to serve the library for three decades,” she said. “I have so enjoyed watching it grow and thrive, and I am thrilled to be leaving it in the capable hands of my colleagues, Library Director Theresa Conley and incoming Board President Jack Sulger.”

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Registration for ‘Tour de Lyme’ Now Open; Event Benefits Lyme Land Trust, Bikes For Kids

SiloSmile Small Web viewThe Lyme Land Conservation Trust announced it is pleased to again host used bike drop offs along with Reynolds Subaru for Bikes for Kids, Old Saybrook, CT.  Any sized donated bike is welcome.

Reynolds Subaru, 286 Hamburg Road (Rte. 156), Lyme, Conn., is accepting used bike donations from May 9 to May 21, 2016.

Registered riders for the Tour de Lyme can drop off used bikes for donation on May 15, 2016 on arrival at Ashlawn Farm’s parking lot prior to signing in for their cycling event.

Bikes for Kids is a charity organization that collects, refurbishes and distributes bikes primarily to kids, teenagers and some adults to CT families in need.  All refurbished bikes are distributed with new cycling helmets.

Bikes for Kids since its founding in 1989 has collected, refurbished and distributed 18,000 bikes to  families primarily in the inner cities of New Haven, New London, Middletown and Hartford.  Bikes for Kids efforts extend beyond CT and include deliveries to Bell Harbor, New York, Haiti and 30 mountain bikes to Tanzania.

John Pritchard, President of the Lyme Land Trust the organizer of the Tour de Lyme, said “Bikes for Kids is one of our area’s outstanding outreach organizations.  We’re delighted again to serve as a host site along with Reynolds Subaru for  used bike donations.”

David Fowler, President of Bikes for Kids, and a former science teacher in Lyme Old Lyme’s Middle School, indicated we put people on wheels who would either be walking or not really going anywhere at all.  “Last year we delivered almost 1,400 bikes and with the help of the Tour de Lyme collected 150 bikes in the last two years.  We hope to deliver and collect more this year.”

The motivating factor of Bikes for Kids’ Founder was “every kid needs a bike”.

For Early Bird home pick-up contact: Dave Fowler, 860-388-2453 or davefowler05@gmail.com

Or drop offs can be made from May 9 to May 21, at Reynolds Subaru, 286 Hamburg Road ( Rte 156), Lyme, CT 06371.

For additional information on the Tour de Lyme go to www.tourdelyme.org; for Bikes for Kids, www.bikesforkidsct.org

 

The Lyme Land Trust inaugurated Tour de Lyme in 2013 as an annual bike ride to raise funds to support its mission of preserving and protecting environmentally important land in Lyme.  More than 725 riders participated last year.

The Tour de Lyme is intended for all to enjoy. It is not competitive (there are no “races” or timed finishes), but rather is designed as a way to showcase and celebrate the preservation of Lyme’s spectacular natural beauty. While some of the courses will be challenging, there are others intended for casual cyclists, and there is even a family ride.

Departure times are designed so that all riders will return to Ashlawn Farm for lunch at about the same time.

Details of the ride options are as follows:

The Challenge– 60 miles – The name says it all.  Changes we have made are sure to please returning riders. A few more beautiful miles, a hill or two eliminated but still a challenge. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Challenge Ride 2016. Ride departs at 8:00am. Follow red arrows.

The Valley35 – 35 miles –The popular Valley rides are less hilly than the Classic. The Valley35 is a longer version of the original with the northern loop of 9 added miles along beautiful roads. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the  Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 9:00am. Follow green arrows.

The Valley26 – 26 miles – A scenic fun ride. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 9:30am. Follow green arrows.

The Classic – 25 miles – Shorter than The Challenge but still challenging. Ride departs at 9:30am. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Classic Ride 2016. Follow blue arrows.

The Family – 8 miles – ideal for families riding with children. For returning riders, please note we have reversed the route direction to avoid confusion at some turns.  Ride departs at 10:15am. The Family Ride cue sheet here and a map of the Family Ride. Follow purple arrows.

The Church Goers Ride – 7.6 to 8.8 miles – After services, approximately 11:45am riders leave Old Lyme Congregational and Christ the King and meet up with other riders at Saint Ann’s and then ride to Ashlawn Farm. Follow purple arrows.  Detailed cue sheet and map coming soon.

To register for any of the rides listed above, visit http://www.tourdelyme.org/register/

For additional information about the Tour de Lyme, visit http://www.tourdelyme.org/

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