Drawing on the agricultural heritage of Florence Griswold’s family estate and of the Lyme region and beyond, this exhibition examines the history and character of New England’s farms in works by artists from the 19th to the 21st century.
Paintings, drawings, and photographs from public and private collections trace the challenges of farming in New England, with its rocky soil, and the pastoral landscapes crafted through intense labor. Landscapes by George Henry Durrie will receive special attention as influential representations that translated the New England farmstead into an American icon in the mid-nineteenth century. Works by Ivan Olinsky, Thomas Nason, Martin Lewis, and Walker Evans will map the transformation and decline of the New England farm into the 20th century with the pressures of urbanization and suburbanization. The more recent revival of farming, with the enthusiasm for organic produce and farm-to-table cooking, will close the exhibition, with the inclusion of works by contemporary artists and photographers, including artist Judy Friday’s project on a year in the life of Lyme’s Tiffany Farm.
Image Credit: Edward Volkert, Ox with Haywagon. Oil on wood, 16 x 20 inches. Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Freedman