Old Lyme — Florence Griswold Museum staff and dozens of patrons came together under sunny skies and before iconic views of the Lieutenant River Monday morning to celebrate the grand opening of the museum’s newest addition, the much-anticipated Robert F. Schumann Artists’ Trail.
Tying together the museum’s unique heritage with its landscape, the half mile-long artists’ trail encapsulates four distinct areas of the museum’s 12-acre property fusing together, for the first time, fragments of the original Griswold estate with the art, history and ecology that have come to define the property over the last century.
Besides encouraging visitors to experience the landscape that inspired the artists attracted to the Florence Griswold house during the American Impressionist art movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the trail also offers visitors a full picture of the site, creating an authentic sense of how the Lyme Art Colony painters interacted with the land and which aspects of the property specifically inspired them.
“You can walk outside and you can see exactly that landscape that inspired that artist. You can understand their story of creation — from the natural inspiration, to the creative process to the installation in a museum all at once,” museum director Rebekah Beaulieu continued. “While there are a number of museums now that are cognizant of natural landscapes, there is nowhere else, that I’m aware of, where you can come and have this process highlighted.”
“This (trail) encapsulates and essentializes a lot of what we’ve been talking about in terms of getting people to enact the natural experiences here on site. It’s not just about walking past the outdoors and saying, ‘Oh, I understand that this is the backdrop for all of this creation.’ Instead, you get to experience this site as a resident, as an artist would, and we are encouraging that for the first time,” said Beaulieu, while also explaining that such an experience…
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