November 14, 2022
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Dawson, Director of Communications
860.443.2545 ext. 2112 / [email protected]


NEW LONDON – Most people take their colorful surroundings for granted—a wide array of hues is available in everything we see, buy and touch. However, this easy availability is a recent development. For most of history, brilliant colors were expensive, rare and hard to find.

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s new exhibition, Chromatopia: Stories of Color in Art, which opens to the public Saturday, Nov. 19, explores the surprisingly rich history of pigments and dyes and their impact on art and culture. The story of color, and the search for ever more vibrant pigments, is a fascinating one, tying into biology and human evolution, alchemy, philosophy, chemistry, exploration and colonial exploitation, language and cultural meaning-making and artistic expression.

“Color inspires us, affects our mood and shapes what we see every day,” said Jane LeGrow, Lyman Allyn’s Director and Exhibitions and curator of the exhibition, which runs through March 5. “But what do we really know about color? This show offers some interesting answers.”

Chromatopia features more than 30 objects from Lyman Allyn’s collection, as well as other museums and private lenders. The objects range from ancient Greek and Egyptian artifacts, late medieval illuminated manuscripts, 15th century Chinese ceramics, 17th and 18th century Flemish oil paintings, 19th and 20th century European and American paintings, and traditional Australian Aboriginal bark paintings. Works by modern artists, such as Josef Albers, Richard Anuszkiewicz and Gene Davis, are featured, along with new works by artists using color in interesting ways, such as Carson Fox, Patricia Miranda and Porfirio Gutiérrez.

Sometimes amusing, sometimes tragic, the story of how pigments and dyes have been sought after, traded, fought over and accidentally discovered is a window into our wider human story. The show’s opening reception is Friday, Nov. 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 860.443.2545 ext. 2129 or emailing [email protected].

This exhibition is made possible with support from the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Bank of America, Trustee; and the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

For more information or to request images, please contact Rebecca Dawson by email 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 with a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neoclassical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents several changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present, including art 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 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 5 p.m.; it is closed on Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit

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