November 20, 2018
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Dawson, Director of Communications
860.443.2545 x2112 / [email protected]


New London – Emil Carlsen (1848-1932) is counted among an important group of American painters who flourished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Carlsen’s lush and painterly approach took French Impressionism and later Tonalists’ work a step further in the direction of serenity and quiet sensory beauty. His work reflects the American tendency to appreciate concrete form and clear meaning in subject matter. Carlsen, a master colorist, possessed a sophisticated sense of design and an ability to find subtle beauty in the everyday subject.

The exhibition Emil Carlsen’s Quiet Harmonies will open with an evening reception at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum on November 30, 2018 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. The exhibition was organized by the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana, and has also traveled to the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, West Virginia. Emil Carlsen’s Quiet Harmonies will be on view at the Lyman Allyn from December 1, 2018 through March 24, 2019.

As a young man, Carlsen emigrated from Denmark, and he brought European academic training to his new life in the U.S. He taught for decades in Chicago and on both coasts, and he experienced the common plight of artists who struggled to sell their work in an American market that valued European work more highly than homegrown. Carlsen’s livelihood depended much on teaching, with benefits to American art history that he may never have set out to attain. This exhibition will emphasize the critical importance of artists such as Carlsen, who influenced generations of artists not only through their own work, but through their effective teaching philosophies and methods.

Carlsen is known within the history of American art for his masterful still-life paintings, but this exhibition will be the first since the 1970s to focus on Carlsen’s equally compelling landscapes and seascapes. The exhibition’s curator Robyn G. Peterson notes, “All of these exquisite works reveal a technical facility and assured composition that deeply impress the viewer. Carlsen is remembered for his still-lifes, yet the landscapes and seascapes—a majority of them executed during the prime of his artistic life— are a true joy to experience.”

Emil Carlsen’s Quiet Harmonies is accompanied by a catalog with essays by noted art historian William Gerdts and Emil Carlsen specialist William Indursky, as well as an introduction by former Yellowstone Art Museum Executive Director Robyn G. Peterson.  The exhibition includes 40 paintings and works on paper from 21 museums private collectors in the U.S. and Canada.  Both exhibition and catalog have been supported in part by grants from the BNSF Railway Foundation, Fort Worth, Texas; the scan | design foundation, Seattle, Washington; the American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York; and numerous private sponsors.

The opening reception will be on Friday, November 30th from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Museum members are free and non-members are $10. Please RSVP to 860.443.2545 ext.2129.

Check the museum website at and the museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page for updates and additional programming.

Tours of the exhibition are available for groups. To schedule tours, call the Education Department at 860-443-2545, ext. 2110 or e-mail [email protected].

For more information or images, please contact Rebecca Dawson at 860.443.2545 x2112 or at [email protected].

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit us on Facebook or the web at:

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