Daytime – In the galleries: the Mystic Museum of Art is organizing a summer exhibition

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

The works of 39 artists now fill the museum’s three galleries, “illuminating the place of the newly formed mystical art colony in the mainstream of American art history,” as a press release put it. The exhibition 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 works have been loaned by private collectors.

“As a newcomer to Mystic, I was surprised to find that its importance as a major American art colony was largely overlooked,” MMoA executive director V. Susan Fisher said in the statement. “Since my arrival, I wanted to develop an exhibition on the extraordinary founders of the art colony, who created a whole new artistic 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; Leonardo’s husband; and two others, Elizabeth Tift Mallory and Reverend 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 at Old Lyme, will present one of the most famous artists on display. Ranger lived in Noank from 1904 after finding the Lyme region “too civilized”.

Another well-known artist featured in the Founders’ Exhibition is Robert Brackman, a prestigious portrait painter who taught summer school from his home studio in Noank.

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

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Glenn Gosselin

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