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In the Galleries: Mystic Museum of Art holding summer exhibition

The Mystic Museum of Art will hold a special summer exhibition, “The Founders: Reclaiming Mystic’s Artistic Roots” through Sept. 12, featuring about 90 works by early members.

The works by 39 artists now fill all three of the museum’s galleries, “illuminating the place of the newly formed Mystic art colony in the current of American art history,” as a press release states. The show looks at a period from 1913 to the 1930s, when the current museum was built. The organization was originally known as the Mystic Art Association.

Most of the work has been loaned by private collectors.

“As a newcomer to Mystic, I was surprised to find its importance as a major American art colony largely overlooked,” said MMoA Executive Director V. Susan Fisher in the release. “Ever since I arrived, I’ve wanted to develop an exhibition about the extraordinary founders of the art colony, who created a whole new art destination.”

The Mystic Art Association was founded in 1913 by Charles H. Davis his wife, Frances Darby Davis; artists Lorinda Dudley and Mary Read Leonard; Leonard’s husband; and two others, Elizabeth Tift Mallory and the Rev. Albert F. Earnshaw. Artist George Albert Thompson helped plan the Mystic Art Association’s first exhibition in 1914.

Henry Ward Ranger, who founded the art colony in Old Lyme, will beduring one of the most famous artists on display. Ranger lived in Noank beginning in 1904 after finding the Lyme area “too civilized.”

Another well-known artist represented in the founders show is Robert Brackman, a prestigious portrait painter who taught summer classes from his home studio in Noank.

The exhibition includes a new gallery feature: a place where visitors may draw, observe, or write about the museum and the exhibition, and share their experiences with others.

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