Smithsonian exhibition featuring hand-written letters of famous artists comes to Florence Griswold

Robert Motherwell writing in June, 1944. (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)
Robert Motherwell writing in June, 1944. (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

A traveling Smithsonian exhibition titled “Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art” will be making its way to the Florence Griswold Museum this month.

Curated by Mary Savig, curator of manuscripts at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, the exhibit showcases a selection of over 50 handwritten letters ranging from casually jotted notes to elaborate epistles written by celebrated artists such as Alexander Calder, Mary Cassatt, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Motherwell, Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollock, among others. The letters will date from the early 19th century to the present and will offer intriguing insights into the lives of these great artists. Accompanying the Smithsonian collection, the Florence Griswold has also pulled handwritten letters from its own archives to form another exhibit titled “P.S.: Letters from the Lyme Art Colony.” Works of art from artists featured in the show will accompany many of the letters for added effect.

The show will be open to the public on Friday and will run through May 6. A reception for members will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Krieble Gallery. The museum is located at 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for students, $5 for members, free for ages 12 and under; (860) 434-5542, www.florencegriswoldmuseum.org.

— Mary Biekert

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