Adopted by the Board of Trustees November 16, 2017
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum strives to make art enjoyable, inspirational and accessible to the people of New London, New England and beyond. We preserve, enhance, display and illuminate a collection of fine and decorative arts, held in trust for the public and in accordance with the highest ethical standards and practices. We are driven by a commitment to make our museum a gathering place for learning and the passionate exchange of ideas that educate, enrich and resonate with the lives of all in our communities. Our goal is to reveal the power of art with thought-provoking exhibitions and dynamic programs in and around our historic buildings and grounds.
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum, founded in 1926, is a community-based museum. It attracts approximately 25,000 visitors annually and all New London residents enjoy free admission. The 32,000 square foot stone Neo-Classical building, designed by Charles A. Platt, is comprised of nine galleries, an auditorium, bookstore, research library, art studio, and conservation labs. LAAM is an independent non-profit organization with 501(c) 3 designation from the IRS and accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. LAAM’s operating budget is prepared by Museum staff with the Board’s Finance Committee. The Museum’s operating budget is approved by the Board of Trustees and is monitored monthly by the Finance Manager and Board Treasurer. An eighteen to twenty-four member Board of Trustees provides governance.
The Lyman Allyn is the only museum in Southeastern Connecticut to offer a comprehensive collection of European art as well as American fine and decorative art: the permanent collection is comprised of over 17,000 objects. We serve people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds, but our emphasis is on serving the area schoolchildren. LAAM works closely with the New London public school system and fully subsidizes all field trips (transportation, admission, tours, and curriculum-based hands-on activities) for the New London public schools. In addition we offer partial subsidization for field trips to schools across Eastern Connecticut.
There is ample evidence in the field of arts education to suggest the many benefits of housing a children’s education program within a museum. Major research initiatives from Harvard’s Project Zero state that learning in museum galleries boosts critical thinking skills as well as language arts capabilities. The program at the LAAM supports the learning that is taking place in the public schools by reinforcing curriculum themes, reading skills, and creative thinking. The inquiry-based method used in our galleries echoes and supports the teaching required to prepare students for various strands of the Connecticut Mastery Tests. Beyond the gains in testing, learning through the arts empowers students and is known to build confidence in learners and enhances cultural literacy.
The Lyman Allyn is committed to underwriting most of the cost of the Education Program so that all children, regardless of their family’s or their school’s economic circumstances, can enjoy the rich resources at the Lyman Allyn.