Second century capital Campaign

Phase 1: $1 million to replace the skylight system

Interior of Lyme Art Association highlighting laylights

Imagine a strong and sustainable future for the historic gallery where groundbreaking American Impressionist artists showcased their work more than 100 years ago. Envision a remarkable place where we develop, support, and celebrate contemporary artists of every level while cultivating an appreciation for fine representational art. Think about an elevated visitor experience where our gallery, studio, and facilities are accessible to people of every ability.

Now is the time to strengthen the Lyme Art Association’s future so that even more artists, students, and community members can continue to learn and grow! Your support for the Second Century Campaign will help us make essential renovations and upgrades, ensuring that we can support our community’s remarkable artistic culture and heritage for the next hundred years.

So far we are at 51 percent of our phase 1 goal

The skylight project

Structural Integrity and a Sustainable Future

The Lyme Art Association’s iconic skylight system is one of the building’s most compelling and historic design features. The skylights bring natural light into the galleries, casting natural light on the walls and creating perfect conditions for viewing the art. After 100 years of use, though, leaking and energy loss have become major problems.

Installing a new, insulated skylight system will preserve the building’s historic character and make the building weathertight and sustainable.

With your financial help, we look forward to a strong and sustainable future for our thriving arts community! 

The Lyme Art Association has been a cornerstone of Old Lyme’s cultural heritage for over 100 years. Some of the most important American Impressionist artists, including Frank Vincent DuMond, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf, were founding members of this significant institution. The building itself is a work of art, opened in 1921 with the design contribution of of renowned architect Charles A. Platt. 

It is a testimony to the fine design of Charles Platt and attention to detail of unnamed builders that the sturdy structure of the building has held up so well in its first hundred years. Of course, nothing lasts forever, and the original exterior trim and cedar shingles gave out first. These were replaced in 2018 with help from member and patron contributions as well as grants from the Town of Old Lyme and the State Historic Preservation Office. 

We knew that this work was just the first in a series of projects needed to fully prepare the building for the coming century. Point One Architects  completed a Feasibility Study, evaluating design options for three areas of concern: the roof/skylight/laylight complex, accessibility and other code issues to make us a welcoming space for all, and updating the mechanical systems. 

The goal for the current phase of the campaign, the Skylight Project, is $1 million.

Attic of the Lyme Art Association

Supporting the Second Century Campaign

If you would like to help make the Skylight Project possible, you can make a donation online to pay quickly and easily by credit card. You can also give by mail by downloading and completing this form and sending it to Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.

We are pleased to help you find ways to support the Lyme Art Association that are most meaningful to you with personalized naming opportunities, including sponsored awards to honor a love one. We also welcome pledges, gifts of securities, planned gifts, and bequests. Remembering the Lyme Art Association in your financial planning is a thoughtful way to share your own personal legacy. If you would like to discuss any giving opportunities, contact Elsbeth Dowd, Executive Director, at 860-434-7802.

The Lyme Art Association is a 501(c)(3) organization, federal tax identification number 06-0932073. Your donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. 

Thank you for being a part of the Lyme Art Association’s story with your generosity and dedication to our future.

Kitchings Family Foundation logo

Testimonial from Harley Bartlett, Elected Artist and Past President

What a fantastic legacy to be a part of; Lyme Art Association’s Second Century Campaign. Speaking as an Artist I am in awe of the fact that this organization and its building have, not just survived but thrived over the last 100 years.

Realism in Art is not simply a photographic rendering of what is seen but it is a broad tapestry of dialect in the language of seeing. Our Founders not only understood this but practiced it. Just as in today, the walls of the LAA are adorned with a broad range of examples as to how an Artist interprets nature. We are Legacy Artists. The past matters and preserving it matters even more. All of us, including you, endeavor to carry forward and grow this mission. The fact that this important cultural niche of Connecticut, a rich bedrock of devotees to the arts, has supported so many important local art organizations, including the Lyme Art Association, speaks to fact that you care.

I am proud to be part of a group of folks at LAA who have recognized the importance of not just exhibiting art and providing art education, but that our history and the building in which we exhibit must be maintained. Over the last few years this group met with professionals who helped to chart the course we are on. I’m sure that Charles Platt and Florence Griswold would be so pleased that we are on this mission.

Why not join us in this so important endeavor? By giving you are helping the LAA stay the course of bringing to you and your community excellent Art and Art Programs.

Harley Bartlett at easel outdoors
A fundraising letter from the Lyme Art Association's very first capital campaign.

What Our Artists Love About Lyme Art Association

Check out these short 1 – 3 minute videos of our member artists describing what they like about being a part of Lyme Art Association’s art community and what it means to them.

Enjoy this interview with Elsbeth Dowd, our Executive Director, as she talks with SEC-TV Community Culture Showcase’s host, Harriet Grayson, about Lyme Art Association’s history, programs, artists, exhibits and the surrounding artistic community,