Thursday, February 05, 2009

Love Letter to Lyme

Taking a walk through our galleries it dawns on me that Thomas Nason was deeply enamored not just of New England but of Lyme in particular. From his grand view of the Lieutenant River to The Grey Barn and A New England Scene, our current exhibition is filled with lovingly rendered views of Lyme and the surrounding countryside. Nason recalled his first drive up Joshuatown Road in 1931: "The road was unpaved, rough, winding and hilly... It was indeed back country... This was the beginning of the end of the truly primitive condition in this region. We were among the early invaders from the city."

Perhaps none of his works is more of a labor of love than Summer Storm, which Nason himself described as one of the most difficult prints he'd ever attempted. "I printed a hundred of this but upon going over them I found so many defective proofs that I destroyed the whole run and started afresh, with far better results." The finished work is his masterpiece of chiaroscuro printmaking that turns rural Lyme into a sublime and Romantic landscape.  Thomas Nason's love letter to Lyme is waiting to be discovered at the Florence Griswold Museum.  Visit The Road Less Traveled: Thomas Nason's Rural New England this Valentine's Day and see anew the land that inspired this "pastoral poet on wood."

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