Discovering Art and History at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum

Welcome to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, a delightful place where visitors from all over the world experience the beauty of art and the richness of history throughout the ages. Founded in 1932, this museum is located in New London, Connecticut, and houses an extensive collection of American art, European art, and decorative arts spanning four centuries. From the moment you step into the museum, you will be transported to a world of creativity and wonder, where every corner offers a new discovery waiting to be made.

The History of Lyman Allyn Art Museum

Establishment of the Museum

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum, located in New London, Connecticut, was established in 1926 thanks to a generous donation from Harriet Allyn in memory of her father, Lyman Allyn. Lyman Allyn was a prominent businessman who had owned a successful textile company.

Harriet Allyn was a philanthropist and collector who had a passion for the arts. She wanted to create a cultural center that would serve as a hub for the community and inspire people to appreciate and value the beauty of art. To realize her vision and homage her father, she donated $100,000 and shares of stock to launch the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.

The museum was designed by architect Charles A. Platt, a renowned designer who was famous for his beautiful country estates and gardens. It had a classical elegance and a grandeur that was fitting as a tribute to Lyman Allyn.

Growth and Expansion of the Museum

Over the years, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum continued to grow and expand its collections and facilities through donations from private collectors and purchases through the museum’s acquisitions budget. Today, the museum has over 17,000 art objects that span over 5,000 years of art history, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and artifacts from around the world.

In 2001, a major expansion was undertaken, which added a new wing to the museum and increased the exhibition space by more than three times. The new wing was designed by Ann Beha Architects, a Boston-based firm that specializes in museum and cultural center design. The new wing added state-of-the-art galleries, a dedicated education wing, a library, and an auditorium to the museum. It also added much-needed administrative space and improved parking facilities.

The addition was made possible by a $10 million fundraising campaign, which was spearheaded by the museum’s Board of Trustees and supported by the community. The expansion allowed the museum to showcase more of its fantastic collection and offer new educational and community programs.

Recent Developments

In recent years, the museum has renewed its focus on outreach and education programs, offering a variety of events and workshops for all ages and backgrounds. The museum has also implemented new digital initiatives that allow people to experience the museum’s collection online, enhancing accessibility and outreach. Visitors can now explore the museum virtually, view the collection, and take part in interactive tours.

The museum’s education programs have also expanded, with a focus on reaching out to schools and community groups. Students can visit the museum for guided tours, participate in art workshops and classes, or engage in virtual educational programs. The museum also offers outreach events such as family days, exhibitions, and film screenings, allowing people to engage with art in a casual and fun environment.

Additionally, the museum hosts lectures and discussions led by experts in various fields, exploring the art and culture of different time periods and regions. There are even opportunities for visitors to meet the artists and creators behind the works on display.

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum continues to be a center for cultural enrichment and community engagement, inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the beauty and wonder of art.

The Collection at Lyman Allyn Art Museum

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum boasts a vast collection of art pieces that capture different art periods and styles. From American Art to European Art and everything in between, the museum offers an enriching experience for art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

American Art

The museum’s collection of American Art is a sight to behold, with works spanning many centuries. The collection features works from renowned artists such as John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, and Mary Cassatt. Visitors can explore the different art movements represented in the collection, including the Hudson River School and American Impressionism. The works of art show the beauty and essence of different parts of the country, making the collection an excellent representation of American culture.

European Art

For those who love European Art, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum has an excellent collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art pieces. The collection features works by prominent European artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Salvador Dali. The art pieces are from different periods in Europe’s art history, allowing visitors to explore the evolution of art within Europe. Visitors can view multiple works from different artists that show the diversity in style and subject matter, with each piece giving a glimpse of the different regions and cultures that make up Europe.

Local Art and Artists

The museum has a deep connection to the local community, and this is evident in its collection of Local Art and Artists. The collection features works from both established and emerging artists from the region. Visitors can see paintings, sculptures, and other art forms that reflect the history, culture, and beauty of the region. The collection includes realistic, abstract, and conceptual pieces, created by talented and notable artists from the area. There are also pieces that capture the essence of the region’s landscapes, architecture, and people, providing visitors with a unique perspective of the area’s cultural heritage.

Overall, the collection at Lyman Allyn Art Museum is a treasure trove of different art movements and styles, providing visitors with a rich and engaging journey through the history and culture of the world. Whether you are an art enthusiast or on a casual visit, the different exhibits will provide you with a unique view of the human experience, complete with all its vibrancy, challenges, and beauty.

Special Exhibitions and Events

Not only does the Lyman Allyn Art Museum boast an impressive permanent collection, but it also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These rotating exhibitions feature works from artists all around the world and cover a diverse range of styles and mediums. Visitors can expect to see everything from contemporary photography to ancient sculptures in these special exhibitions.

Rotating Exhibitions

One of the goals of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum is to provide visitors with a unique and constantly changing experience. The rotating exhibitions achieve just that. With a new exhibition every few months, visitors can return to the museum and see something entirely different. The museum also frequently collaborates with other institutions, both nationally and internationally, to bring in art that visitors may not be able to see anywhere else.

The exhibition calendar is carefully curated to showcase a broad range of styles and mediums. From Impressionism to Surrealism, from oil paintings to textiles, visitors can expect to encounter works of art that challenge, engage, and inspire.

Community Events and Workshops

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is more than just a place to view art; it’s a hub of creative activity for people of all ages. The museum offers a range of events and workshops throughout the year, each designed to encourage visitors to explore their own creativity and learn more about art history and techniques.

For children, there are hands-on art classes that teach everything from painting to sculpture. Adults can attend lectures and discussions with artists, curators, and art historians that delve deeper into specific exhibitions and themes. Special events such as musical performances and poetry readings are also held throughout the year, offering visitors an opportunity to connect with the art in new and unexpected ways.

Fundraising and Support

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is a non-profit institution that relies on donations and support from the community to continue providing world-class exhibitions and programs. As such, it hosts a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, such as auctions and galas. These events not only help to raise crucial funds but also provide an opportunity for members of the community to come together and celebrate the museum’s success.

Donors have the opportunity to support the museum in a multitude of ways, from sponsoring exhibitions to making a one-time gift. Additionally, the museum offers membership programs that provide exclusive benefits and experiences to members, such as free admission to exhibitions and special access to events.

By supporting the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, donors and members play a vital role in ensuring that the museum can continue to inspire and educate visitors for generations to come.

Visitor Information and Planning Your Visit

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum located in New London, Connecticut is a must-visit place for art enthusiasts, students and travelers. It offers a comprehensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and artworks showcasing unique creativity of renowned artists from different centuries. The Museum is an excellent destination for those who want to learn about the rich history and artistic legacy of New London, and is open six days a week from Tuesdays to Sundays.

Location and Hours

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is conveniently located in New London, Connecticut. The visitor can reach the museum easily whether they live nearby or are traveling from a distant place. The museum’s website provides a detailed address with a map, which is helpful and useful for visitors who are not familiar with the area.

The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and visitors can check the website or contact the museum for accurate hours of operation. Moreover, the museum’s website also provides information about holiday closings, which can help avoid disappointment when planning a visit.

Ticket Information and Tours

The admission fee for the museum is affordable, making it an accessible destination for all. Guided tours are available for individual visitors and groups, and the tour guides are professional, knowledgeable, and passionate about the museum’s collections. The Museum offers discounts for seniors, students, and military personnel, adding to the museum’s accessibility.

Visitors can choose from a variety of tour packages, such as docent-guided group tours, audio tours, private tours, and school tours. The museum’s tours offer an opportunity to learn about the art and artists in a deeper, more meaningful way, with the added benefit of having a knowledgeable guide on hand.

Accessibility and Amenities

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities. The museum offers ample parking space and wheelchair access throughout the building, providing a convenient and hassle-free visit for everyone. The Museum’s elevators provide additional assistance for those who need it.

The museum’s cafe is a perfect place to rejuvenate mid-visit with a unique selection of snacks and beverages. Visitors can also relax and enjoy the ambiance of the museum as they taste some of the best snacks and refreshments.

The museum’s gift shop offers excellent collections of souvenirs and unique gifts that visitors can take home as a memento of their trip. The shop’s greatest attraction is the unique merchandise that is not available in other stores, making it an exclusive place to buy some wonderful gifts.


The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is a must-visit destination for art lovers and enthusiasts. The Museum offers a unique perspective on the rich artistic legacy of New London, Connecticut and showcases some of the most unique and impressive artworks in the region. The museum is highly accessible, with ample parking and convenient wheelchair access, and the guided tours and discounts make it an affordable and enjoyable experience for all.

Whether you’re a student, a traveler, or simply love art, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum is a perfect place to learn, enjoy, and experience the creative legacy of New London.

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