Published: September 25, 2001
HARTFORD, CONN. – The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company announced May 24 that it will donate its extensive collection of American art to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, giving state residents and visitors greater access to these important paintings.
The collection, which focuses on artists who worked in Connecticut from the late Eighteenth through the early Twentieth Centuries, will be displayed in a new waterfront art gallery being built on the museum grounds. The museum intends to raise additional funds to house and care for this collection as part of its current capital campaign.
The collection of 188 paintings and other rdf_Descriptions includes works by prominent American Impressionists such as Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, John Henry Twachtman, and J. Alden Weir, as well as Connecticut natives Frederic Edwin Church and Charles Ethan Porter, among other artists. Works from the collection are currently on loan to the Florence Griswold Museum and other institutions. The remainder of the collection will be moved to the museum in the spring of 2002.
”We are deeply honored at having been trusted with the ownership and care of this extraordinary collection,” said Jeffrey Andersen, director of the Florence Griswold Museum. ”What Hartford Steam Boiler has done is nothing less than give back to the people of Connecticut their artistic heritage. Now it is our job to share that heritage with the wider world. I can’t think of a more enlightened or visionary act of corporate philanthropy.”
Located in a late Georgian-style mansion built in 1817, the Florence Griswold Museum houses a permanent collection of more than 900 paintings, drawings, and watercolors by nearly 130 American artists. Many of these artists were nationally known members of the turn-of-the-century Impressionist art colony at Old Lyme.
To house the Hartford Steam Boiler Fine Arts Collection, the Florence Griswold Museum will add a third exhibition gallery and larger collection and storage areas in a new 9,200-square-foot facility overlooking the Lieutenant River. Once the collection is moved from the company’s headquarters to the museum, works from the collection will be displayed and made available for educational programs, research, and loaned to other institutions.
Hartford Steam Boiler began assembling the collection more than 20 years ago under the leadership of former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wilson Wilde, who saw the value of supporting the arts as part of Hartford Steam Boiler’s community affairs program. The collection has been viewed by many over the years in small, guided groups. Given Connecticut’s unsurpassed support for the arts, Hartford Steam Boiler decided it was important to give the public wider access to the collection.
”It was our goal to preserve and share this precious artistic heritage,” said Wilde. ”The Florence Griswold Museum has been of great assistance as we assembled the collection. Many of these works were actually painted at the art colony that flourished on the site of today’s museum. The merging of these two collections will heighten the museum’s reputation as a center for American art.”
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company is a global provider of specialty insurance products, inspection services, and engineering consulting. Hartford Steam Boiler was founded in 1866 to provide loss prevention service and insurance to businesses, industries, and institutions.
For information about the collection, visit www.hsb.com/art/ARTfine.htm. For information about the museum, visit www.flogris.org or call 860-434-5542.
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