The perennially popular “Magic of Christmas” exhibition is now open at the Florence Griswold Museum on Lyme St. in Old Lyme. For more than a century visitors to Miss Florence’s house and the quaint village of Old Lyme, Conn. have found the perfect destination to rekindle their holiday and creative spirit.
This year, the Museum will unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer — a generous gift of the Tamsky family — and host several new activities and budget-friendly discount packages along with the ”Magic of Christmas” exhibition, which runs through Jan. 4, 2015.
A holiday activity list for Museum visitors should include a ‘selfie’ in front of one of the three unique and iconic trees (use #FloGrisTree) dressed in more than 150 painted palettes in a variety of styles and scenes in the Krieble Gallery.
Enjoy a stroll through the historic late-Georgian style Griswold House decorated as it was in 1910 and stop in for a Sunday ‘Joy in the Making’ with hands-on arts and crafts.
It’s also possible to spend a day with the Snow Queen on Saturday, Dec. 13, and celebrate Miss Florence’s birthday at a party with cake and crafting on Sunday, Dec. 28.
For over a decade, visitors from across the region have admired the painted palettes on Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Krieble Gallery. This year 12 palettes will be added to the collection of pieces created by more than 140 noted artists from across the country who have donated works; an effort that alludes to the door and wall panels artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago.
The Museum is proud to unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer, a generous gift of the Tamsky Family that will be displayed in the historic Griswold House. Also on display in the Griswold House will be Three Fantasy Trees – one a nod to Tonalist art, one celebrates Impressionism, and the other captures the spirit of the painting “The Skaters.”
Painted in 1943 and inspired by the novel outdoor rink at New York’s newly-completed Rockefeller Center, Barer captures the energy of the city during the holiday season in ‘The Skaters.’ The New Haven-born Barer trained at the Yale School of Fine Arts, where she learned the ancient technique of egg tempera painting, using pigments she ground by hand. ‘The Skaters’ relies on this method, borrowed from early Italian painting, but the artist updates the composition with swooping angles and rippling silhouettes that announce the vitality of the contemporary American Scene. This painting captures the delight of winter.
Other events at the Museum through out the holiday season are as follows:
Christmas Time Teas
Tuesdays through Saturdays at 3 p.m. from Dec. 5-20
Museum visitors can relax and celebrate the holiday season at one of the afternoon Christmastime Teas featuring delicious scones with clotted cream, tea sandwiches and cookies prepared by Gourmet Galley, a local caterer known for delicious flavors and impeccable presentations. Savor a cup of “Miss Florence’s Tea” which is a special blended tea from Sundial Gardens. Reservations are required. Call 860-434-5541 x. 111. Cost is $35 (members $30). The fee includes admission to the Museum and a 10% discount to the Museum Shop, which is filled with a carefully curated array of gifts and treasures.
Art Bar Happy Hour: Decorate Glass Ornaments
On Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
This popular evening event takes a holiday twist. Gather your friends, enjoy a glass of wine and create a gift-worthy masterpiece. This event is for guests 21 and over and is a great excuse to have a girl’s night while creating gift-worthy piece of art with the assistance of the museum’s talented instructors. For reservations call 860-434-5542 or visit florencegriswoldmuseum.org.
Girls Night Out Special
December 5 – January 4, 2015
To extend a Museum visit or night out at the Florence Griswold Art Bar Happy Hour, walk across the road to the Old Lyme Inn for a holiday meal featuring traditional comfort food with a modern twist. Built circa 1856 and once part of a 300-acre-estate, The Old Lyme Inn’s bar and restaurant feature a full menu and holiday inspired cocktails including the Miss. Florence’s Chocolate Martini for $8 and a specialty FloGris Bailey’s Coffee for $6. The Inn’s SideDoor Jazz club features live music and was voted “Best Live Jazz” by Connecticut Magazine. For details and the discount code visit florencegriswoldmuseum.org.
Joy in the Making: A Creative Approach to the Holidays
Sundays, Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Sunday visitors of all ages are invited to make mirth and more during these fun-filled holiday craft workshops. Come delight in several creative projects relating to the spirit of the season and the decorations on view. Workshop included with museum admission.
“O Artist Tree,” An Old Lyme Escape for Ye
December 5 – January 4, 2015
The historic Bee & Thistle Inn has designed a relaxing escape for two in time for the holidays. Spend the day exploring The Florence Griswold Museum and shopping in Old Lyme and enjoy a perfect retreat and dinner for two. The winter package includes two night’s accommodations and gourmet breakfast each morning, Champagne and chocolates upon arrival, a one hour Swedish couples massage, dinner for two at the Chestnut Grille and lounge and two passes to the Florence Griswold Museum. Midweek package starts at $600 and weekend packages are $750. For details and reservations visit http://beeandthistleinn.com/
Meet the Snow Queen: Crafting and Tea Party
Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Children of all ages will love this daylong crafting and tea party, enjoying sweet treats and celebrating with the Snow Queen who will share stories and song before posing for pictures every hour on the half hour from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included with museum admission. And children 12 and under are always free.
Baking Chez Moi Book Talk & Signing
On Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.
Called a “culinary guru” by The New York Times, Dorie Greenspan is a celebrated author of nine cookbooks including Around My French Table and Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie will discuss and sign her latest book, Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, a collection of simple desserts from French home cooks and chefs. Talk included with museum admission and cookbooks will be available for purchase.
Miss Florence’s Birthday Bash
On Dec. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Museum will host a hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday in its Hartman Education Center. Guests will enjoy birthday cake and fun celebratory activities to honor the woman who started it all. Miss. Florence would be 164 this year, but age is just a number. Included with museum admission.
Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner
On Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Come and hear harpist Faith Leitner play Miss. Florence’s favorite instrument, a relaxing way to begin New Year’s Eve celebrations. Included with museum admission.
Life Stories in Art
Oct. 3-Jan. 25
Together, these three exhibitions highlight the contributions of three important women artists in Connecticut in three different media over the course of three centuries. The Museum’s Krieble Gallery will feature more than 70 works by 19th century painter Mary Rogers Williams; 20th century sculptor Mary Knollenberg; and contemporary glass artist Kari Russell-Pool. Although separate exhibitions, they each carry the theme “Life Stories in Art” and serve as an exploration of these women’s individual journeys of sacrifice, self-discovery, and balancing multiple roles in the pursuit of their art.
The Florence Griswold Museum’s Krieble Gallery and Griswold House are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10-5 and Sunday, 1-5 and will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day,. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students and free to visitors 12 and under. Admission includes access to exhibitions, the historic Florence Griswold House, and the rest of the Museum’s grounds.
Founded in 1936, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is a center for American art and history accredited by the American Association of Museums. Located in a stately Late Georgian mansion designed by Samuel Belcher and built in 1817, the Museum and its grounds served in the early years of the twentieth century as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, one of America’s most famous art colonies.
Today, the Florence Griswold Museum is complimented by the contemporary architecture of the award-winning Krieble Gallery and together stand as one of the only places in America where visitors can walk through a landscape setting, view paintings of those landscapes and experience first-hand where a colony of prominent American artists lived and worked. The recipient of a Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence and ranked as the number one attraction in Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe.
With an eye toward the integration of art, history and landscape in all of its program plans, the Museum has spent the last 10 years redefining itself as a central part of community life –building an education center for hands-on experiential programs, constructing an award-winning exhibition gallery for its collections, and completing a thorough restoration of the Griswold House as a boardinghouse for artists, c. 1910.
Visit www.florencegriswoldmuseum.org for more information, including history, events and hours of operation.