Fulfillment of Mission
The Museum achieves this goal through the acquisition, preservation, and interpretation of original artifacts of American art and history. To this end, the Museum recognizes its responsibility to present exhibitions, educational programs, and publications that contribute to a greater appreciation of the nation's artistic accomplishments and the region's distinctive cultural history.
The Museum's ongoing commitment to improving both its institutional infrastructure and the way it serves audiences has transformed the Museum into one of Connecticut's premier cultural institutions. Over the past four years, the Museum has seen a steady rise in exhibition attendance and total visitorship, culminating in 58,800 visitors in 2010. According to a recent economic impact study, out-of-town visitors spend an average of $479 per family while in the area, resulting in an estimated annual economic impact of $16.5 million. While drawing a national and international audience the Museum is also growing in stature among its core constituency of visitors from Southeastern Connecticut as a valued gathering place for the community. With support from the Connecticut Humanities Council, the Museum is invesing heavily in efforts to reach new audiences through technology, having created a distinctive website presence and an innovative series of web-based learning tools about Florence Griswold and the artists of the Lyme Art Colony. Approximately 40,000 unique web visitors interact with FGM's website each month, while over 11,000 people now subscribe to the monthly electronic newsletter. Subscribe now!
for a more detailed history.
To preserve the legacy of the artists who thrived here from 1899 to the 1930s, the Florence Griswold Association was incorporated in 1936 to establish a museum dedicated to the art colony. When the Association merged in 1955 with the Lyme Historical Society, the trustees recognized that the mission of this institution, now known publicly as the Florence Griswold Museum (FGM), must be grounded in both art and history. A 501(c)(3) organization, the Florence Griswold Museum has continuously maintained accreditation by the American Association of Museums since 1978, and in 1993 was designated a National Historic Landmark
Over the last decade, the Museum has invested more than $16 million in a series of sweeping capital improvements designed to preserve the legacy of the Lyme Art Colony and the Museum's important collections of American art and artifacts, while widening the public's access to and interaction with these collections through technology and innovative programming. Guided by strategic plans adopted by the Board of Trustees, the Museum has acquired significant portions of Florence Griswold's original estate, restored her gardens and orchard, built an education center for hands-on children's programs, constructed an award-winning exhibition gallery, and completed a thorough restoration of the Griswold House as a boardinghouse for artists, c. 1910. In 2009 a historic 19th century barn immortalized in many art colony era paintings was transformed into the Rafal Landscape Center for educating the public on the role of the local landscape in the identity of the Lyme Region.