Florence Griswold Museum

December is particularly delight-filled at the Museum.

Over the past ten years, visitors from across the region have admired the painted palettes on Miss Florence’s Artist Tree. Over one hundred and forty noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon. The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises!

The idea of contemporary artists painting palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago. To mark this special anniversary, the palettes will be displayed on trees and wreaths in the Griswold House, allowing visitors to more full enjoy the inspiration of each artist’s contribution.

Visitors can also enjoy the Florence Griswold House decorated for a 1910 Christmas. Historically accurate decorations reveal homespun creativity and the use of surprising materials. Christmastime Teas, special events for families, hands-on crafts for children and adults, and wonderful items in The Shop are sure to bring holiday cheer!

The Magic of Christmas exhibition is generously sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services and supported in part by a grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Magic of Christmas Party

Join us for an evening of holiday entertainment and good cheer!

Thursday, December 5

Your evening begins with a lantern-lit path to the Florence Griswold House where we mark the 10th Anniversary of Miss Florence’s Artist Tree, now displayed in the historic setting of the Lyme Art Colony. Meet the artists.

Enjoy hearty hors d’oeuvres. Libations, and live music sure to put you in a festive mood!

Cater to your inner elf with hands-on holiday creation stations in the Hartman Education Center.

The Magic of Christmas exhibition is generously sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services and supported in part by a grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

To guarantee your reservation, you must reserve by Monday, December 2
Contact Kristin at 860-434-5542 x 122 for more information

Members $35 per person
Non-Members $40 per person
(Amounts over $15 per ticket may be considered a charitable gift.)

Register Online

historic house decorated Christmas

In the historic rooms of the Florence Griswold House, visitors can see how families celebrated Christmas in 1910, as historically accurate decorations reveal homespun creativity and the use of surprising materials. The 1910 time period was an important era for the Griswold House, as it was the heyday of its use as boardinghouse for the artists of the Lyme Art Colony.

Christmas was also Miss Florence’s birthday! She was 60 years old in 1910.

2013 Palette Artists

Aaron B. Miller
Chicago, IL

Lisabeth Billingsly
Clinton, CT

Polly Seip
Uncasville, CT

Linda Bronson
Essex, CT

Helen Cantrell
Old Lyme, CT

Jeanne C. Potter
Old Lyme, CT

Philip Koch
Baltimore, MD

Janine Robertson
Madison, CT

Sadie Davidson DeVore
Mystic, CT

Susan Missel
Old Saybrook, CT

Julia Pavone
Old Lyme, CT

Outdoor Glass Installation

Mundy Hepburn


Sundays, December 8, 15, 22, 29 and January 5
Joy in the Making: A Creative Approach to the Holidays
Included with Museum Admission

Sunday visitors make mirth and more during these fun-filled holiday craft workshops. Come delight in several creative projects relating to thespirit of the season and the decorations on view.



Tuesdays through Saturdays
December 3 – 21
$35 (members $30) Reservations required, call 860-434-5542 x 111.
The fee includes admission to the Museum and a 10% discount in the Museum Shop.

Celebrate the holidays in style at one of the Museum’s afternoon teas prepared by Gourmet Galley, a caterer known for their delicious flavors and impeccable presentations. Delectables scones with clotted cream, assorted tea sandwiches, and cookies are accompanied by “Miss Florence’s Tea,” a special blend from Sundial Gardens.


A Cappella Performance by the Co Co Beaux

Sunday, December 8
short musical sets between 2-4pm

There’s magic in the music! Come enjoy the exuberant voices of the Co-Co Beaux, Connecticut College´s famous all-male a cappella ensemble. This talented group will delight young and old with their beautiful music in the gallery.

Art•Bar Happy Hour: Decorate Glass Ornaments

December 11
5:30 to 7pm

$25 (members $22)
Register Online

Where creative 21+ types mingle for an evening of creativity and cocktails. Museum Educators Julie Riggs and Matt Ferrer demonstrate how to decorate glass ornaments and votives with paint feathers, gems, and more. Bring your creativity, leave with holiday gifts for someone special, or great decorations for yourself!



Dreaming of a Snow White Christmas
Crafting and Tea Party

Saturday, December 14

Join Simply Enchanted's Snow White for a magic day.

Snow White appears at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm

“Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to craft we go…” Join our daylong Crafting and Tea Party and enjoy sweet treats and crafts while awaiting Snow White’s arrival.

Snow White will share stories and song before posing for pictures.


Book Talk

Sunday, December 15
Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
Mark J. Schenker, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean of Yale College; Dean of Academic Affairs

$7 (members $5)
Register Online

A Christmas Carol (1843), one of Charles Dickens' most popular works, was an enormous success as soon as it was published and has never been out of print. Schenker will lecture on the novella as a reflection of Victorian culture; on how it differs from its many adaptions on stage, screen and TV; and why it continues to capture the imagination of readers around the world more than 150 years after its first appearance.

Miss Florence's Birthday Bash

Friday, December 27
Included with Museum Admission
A Hands-On Creative Birthday Party
Come to our daylong celebration of Miss Florence who was born on Christmas Day in 1850. Enjoy a piece of birthday cake while making an assortment of fun craft projects.

Free balloon sculptures from 11am-1pm and free glitter tattoos from 1-3pm.

Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner

Tuesday, December 31
11am to 2pm

Included with Museum Admission

The sounds of yesteryear will welcome the new year. Faith Leitner will play a variety of songs filling the Griswold House with the heavenly sounds of the harp, one of Miss Florence’s favored instruments.



Open Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 5; Sunday 1 - 5
© 2014 | Florence Griswold Museum | 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371 | 860-434-5542 |

Meseum Membership

View this year's new palettes, as well as those from previous years.


Printable version

December 1
Boxed Cards

December 3
Items with Red

December 4
Featuring a Bird

December 5
Any Snowman Item

December 6
Children's Books

December 7
Wizard of Oz Themed

December 8
Angel Items

December 10
Florence Griswold Museum products

December 11
Hardcover Books

December 12
Art Supplies

December 13
Anything that Blinks

December 14

December 15
Softcover Books

December 17
Kid's Toys

December 18
Items with Silver or Gold

December 19
Anything that Glitters

December 20
Items featuring a Christmas Tree

December 21
Stocking Stuffers

December 22
20% off items that Sparkle

December 24
20% off Christmas themed items