7 Artsy Outings: Must-Visit Museums & Galleries

We bring you 7 Museums & Galleries around CT to escape to the next time it’s pouring/scorching…fill in the blank…outside!

Pick 1, or make yourself an art trail checklist and visit all 7 of these unique museums & galleries. From the northwest to the southeast of CT, and from modern to masterpieces…this post has something for all!

7 Galleries & Museums is a sponsored post. Graphic image art by Bryan McGovern Wilson.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

(Ridgefield) We’re frequent visitors to The Aldrich – they always have incredible, thought-provoking exhibitions! The museum is an incubator for artists at critical moments in their careers, and as a non-collecting institution, you’ll always see something new. Admission to The Aldrich is free on the third Saturday of each month, and don’t miss the Sculpture Garden!

Upcoming Events:

Florence Griswold Museum

(Old Lyme) Spend an entire day here! The Florence Griswold Museum has a gallery of changing art exhibitions, education & landscape centers, a restored artist’s studio, the Robert F. Schumann Artists’ Trail, extensive gardens (wow!), and the site’s crown jewel, The Florence Griswold House.

The late Georgian mansion was transformed from a wealthy sea captain’s home into a boardinghouse for some of the most noted names in American art. Over 200 artists such as Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and Matilda Browne found the lush countryside of Connecticut the perfect location for an American art colony. The artists left behind a remarkable series of works painted directly on the wooden doors and dining room walls.

Upcoming Events:

  • The annual Wee Faerie Village returns from September 30 through October 29. Over 2 dozen faerie-sized installations across the museum’s campus. We can’t wait to go!
  • The museum turns into a winter wonderland Holiday Magic November 24 to December 31. Miss Florence’s Holiday Teas sell out quickly!

Kenise Barnes Fine Art

(Kent) Located in Kent Barns (a day trip in itself!) Kenise Barnes Fine Art gallery has a beautiful selection of paintings, drawings, and photography, as well as consulting services and collecting advice for the burgeoning to the seasoned collector. They currently represent 50 emerging and mid-career national-level artists working in all media.

In addition to curated exhibitions that change every six weeks, the gallery maintains a large inventory of work from artists’ studios in their on-site warehouse. This is a great (unintimidating!) gallery to know about if you’re thinking about adding something special to your walls!

Upcoming Events:

  •  Bet They Collect Things Like Ashtrays and Art, Kathleen Kucka, Donna Sharrett, and Eleanor White – August 26th – October 13.
  • Gabe Brown and Josette Urso – October 21 – December 10.

Lyman Allyn Art Museum

(New London) Located just off I-95, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum features southeastern Connecticut’s most distinguished collection of American & European fine and decorative arts. In addition to their ever-changing exhibitions, the permanent galleries feature collections that celebrate Connecticut’s art history and the Tiffany family’s ties to the area. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic and explore their 12 acres of gardens and lawns, including the outdoor sculpture trail.

And, they just celebrated their 90th anniversary!!

Upcoming Events:

Barkley L. Hendricks Gallery Talk – August 30

Saturdays at the Museum – 11 – 1 on the 1st Saturday of every month (free) – Kids should come dressed to get messy in the art studio!

MoCA – Museum of Contemporary Art

(Westport) We thought we had been magically transported to NYC when we entered MoCA -Museum of Contemporary Art. Modern and super cool! They showcase international, national, local, and even student artists. The Music at MoCA program delivers a diverse range of artists from jazz to classical to pop to folk.

Get creative! The Academy at MoCA provides learning opportunities for all ages in visual arts, music, wellness, and academic themes.

Upcoming Events:

  • Paint & Sip (select Thursdays).
  • Charles Ives Music Festival (August 8).
  • The Surrealist Soirée (their annual fundraiser): September 30.
  • Docent-led tours (Thursdays + Saturdays).
Photo credit: Jenna Bascom Photography

Studio Hill Gallery and Design Shop

(Woodbury) Located in the antique capital of CT, Studio Hill Gallery & Design Shop Studio is an award-winning art gallery featuring emerging, mid-career, and established artists. The Design Shop is the perfect partner for the gallery. You’ll find handmade, innovative design objects, jewelry, teas, and books. Studio Hill Gallery is THE source in the US for handmade Neapolitan nativities and angels as seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC as well as the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT.

Check out their popular Spoken Word “Speakeasy” series at the gallery featuring all creatives giving them a venue and platform to share their work; poets, authors, musicians, painters, sculptors, comics, and more. 

Upcoming Events:

  • Late September – Matt Wood’s “Walk Through Woodbury” one footprint at a time. Stay tuned to their IG for updates!

AmArtHouse – Contemporary & Modern Art

(Bantam) Another off-the-beaten-path gallery with a beautiful 3-acre sculpture park, AmArtHouse offers curated collections of contemporary artists in a wonderful 1745 Colonial building. Catch the current exhibition, a group show featuring Janet Adler Schur, Helice Carris-Bernstein, and Ken Elias until 8-27.

Upcoming Events:

  • Ed Smith sculpture and drawings – September 2 -October 2
  • Stay tuned to their IG for fabulous art openings throughout the year!

7 Museums & Galleries is a sponsored post

Pics: Lora Karam (except as noted)/ Words: Bev Canepari

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