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Lyman Allyn exhibition explores Mystic's iconic seaside identity

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum presents the exhibition "Picturing Mystic: Views of the Connecticut Shoreline, 1890-1950" starting Saturday.

The show focuses on artistic depictions of the historic waterfronts and landscapes of Mystic, Noank, and Stonington. At the turn of the 20th century, a time when art colonies were also formed at Cos Cob and Lyme, Connecticut, Mystic emerged as a vibrant summer art colony. Artists gathered there to paint, inspired by the beauty of the Mystic River, the area’s rolling hills, historic architecture, and its coastal fishing and shipbuilding history.

This exhibition, which runs through Sept. 4, features the art of Mystic, Noank, Mason’s Island, and Stonington, with more than 60 landscapes dating from 1890 to 1950. It focuses on the area’s history as an art colony, with Charles H. Davis at the group’s founding center. Davis moved to Mystic in 1891 and was soon followed by other artists, including Reynolds Beal and Henry Ward Ranger. Artists taught summer classes in Mystic and established the Mystic Art Association in 1913, exhibiting as a group the following year.

The exhibition showcases art from the Lyman Allyn’s permanent collection and from the collection of Jonathan C. Sproul of Mystic, and it includes many pieces that have not previously been exhibited to the public. Historic maps, photographs and postcards help contextualize the art, tracing how the villages and landscapes have endured and changed over the past 130 years.

An opening reception will be held 5-7 p.m. Friday. A conversation with the collector is also planned for 5:30-7 p.m. July 14. Sproul and Tanya Pohrt, the Lyman Allyn's curator, will tour the galleries as they discuss a selection of works on view. Reservations for both events are recommended and can be made by calling (860) 443-2545, ext. 2129, or emailing

The Lyman Allyn, located at 625 Williams St., New London, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays.

Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for students, $7 for active military personnel, and free to museum members, to kids under 12, and to New London residents.

Call (860) 443-2545, ext. 2129, or visit



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