Since I last wrote in late March, Spring has come to the hills and dales of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. They are cloaked in green, freshened by the April showers, and warming up toward the time when the Museum can welcome back our visitors and members. You are, after all, the reason the Lyman Allyn exists!
If you didn’t realize that or had forgotten, I wanted to remind you because it is literally the truth. The Museum came into existence almost 90 years ago because Harriet Upson Allyn, a widow without heirs, decided to create a museum and park for the people of New London in memory of her father, Lyman Allyn. The property lost some acreage to highway and bridge construction back in the early 70s, but there are still 12 acres of beautiful lawns, woods and rambles. And let me not forget slopes…ask any of the children and former children of the generations since 1932 who sledded down the big hill in front of the Museum.
Right now, in the time of social distancing, we can’t welcome you into the Museum’s indoor galleries, but outside the Lyman Allyn is still waiting to welcome families and anyone who would enjoy a stroll on the grounds and a leisurely look at the sculpture trail that starts at the lower end of the Connecticut College campus and winds down and around the hilly lawns.
In my last note I wrote about the talented and dedicated staff that puts on our exhibitions, educational programs and special events; it’s for you and your family that they do the amazing job they do every day. Because Harriet Allyn made her bequest specifically for the people of New London, any resident of the city can enjoy the galleries free of charge whenever they are open. However, anyone from anywhere is welcome to the Museum grounds free – now and always. Although this note is focused on the pleasures of our grounds, I want to also take the opportunity to point you to the trove of activities the staff and volunteers have created for you while we’re all trapped at home.
When will we be able to welcome you back inside? No one can tell, although it will only be after we are assured by the authorities that it’s safe to re-open our doors. Meanwhile, you can easily stay at a safe social distance while you take a walk on the grounds, or maybe even have a picnic here. It would be a wonderful family custom to start, and you are always welcome.
Stay safe and well,