Holiday Magic at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme - November 25 through December 31
Old Lyme, CT—The Florence Griswold Museum will be decked out in its holiday finery for the Holiday Magic celebration from November 25 through December 31, 2022. Eleven new works of art have been added to Miss Florence’s Artist Trees – bringing the total to 250! Since 2004 noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon – so many that now four trees are needed to hold the works of art. The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals.
The idea of contemporary artists creating paintings on artists' palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago. The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises! Visitors can find their old favorites and look for the new additions on four beautifully decorated trees, themed Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The palettes are displayed on four trees in the Krieble gallery, along with the current exhibitions, Dreams & Memories.
The decorations in the historic rooms of the Florence Griswold House feature a twist on the traditional décor. Imagine a fictional mantel-decorating contest in the Griswold boardinghouse between the historic Lyme Art Colony artists. Inspired by their paintings, they rummage through their studios as well as old trunks in Miss Florence’s attic for beautiful bits and baubles to decorate the historic rooms. Miss Florence (with the help of votes by visitors) will decide on winners and award ribbons on her birthday - Christmas Day! Watch the Museum’s social media accounts for the news. Meanwhile, three Designer Trees take holiday festivities to the next level in the orientation room and second floor galleries of the House. Glass artist Jeffrey P’an of Mystic brings an interpretive, one-of-a- kind art installation for his take on the traditional Christmas tree. Quilling expert Jennifer Avallone of Waterford may use tiny strips of paper for her art, but her work leaves a big impression! Delicate, intricate, and highly original, these decorations are sure to inspire. The Museum’s Marketing Department, Emily Clark and Tammi Flynn, return for their third year with a tree that is a cheeky nod to a favorite holiday carol—The 12 Days of Christmas.
Many special events and programs are held in conjunction with the Holiday Magic, including Miss Florence’s Ongoing Birthday Bash, Sundays, December 4, 11, and 18 from 11am to 3pm. These activities are free with Museum Admission and no advance reservations are required. The Museum’s namesake, Miss Florence Griswold, was born on Christmas Day in 1850. To celebrate, the Museum is hosting three Sundays of drop-in crafting parties complete with birthday treats. Come and create and wish Miss Florence a very happy birthday.
Other programs and activities include:
Gallery Talk: The History and Artistry of the Artist Trees on Sunday, December 11 from 2 to 3pm Join David D.J. Rau, Director of Education and Outreach, for a tour of the four palette trees on view in the Krieble Gallery and learn the history of this holiday tradition. The talk will highlight the newest palettes to join the collection of 250 artistic donations. This activity is free with Museum admission.
Adult Crafting: Art Bar Happy Hour Paint Your Own Palette on Thursdays, December 8 and December 15 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The Museum’s Art Bar combines creativity with light fare and libations. Join Julie Garvin Riggs, Manager of Youth Education & Outreach, and Sam Swap, Illustrator & Museum Educator to paint a palette for your tree at home. All materials included. Have a fun night out with friends or enjoy a festive solo crafting adventure.
Museum Theater: Meeting Miss Florence on Wednesday, December 28 from 11am to 3pm. Join “Miss Florence“ in her family home a few days after her birthday. Her house is decorated with elaborate mantels, the product of a friendly competition between the artists. Miss Florence has awarded the prizes and will share her thoughts about life among such creative folk. This activity is free with Museum admission.
Holiday Harp Music in the Gallery
Music in the Gallery: Holiday Harp Music on Saturday, December 31 from 11am to 3pm. Ring in the New Year with Faith Leitner and the sounds of the harp (Miss Florence’s favorite instrument) filling the Krieble Galleries. This activity is free with Museum admission and no advance reservation required.
Unique gifts from The Shop and memberships to the Museum make thoughtful holiday and hostess gifts.
When you visit the Museum during the Holiday Magic, please consider bringing a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.