The Lyman Allyn Art Museum was founded in 1926 at the bequest of Harriet Upson Allyn, a life-long New London resident and the youngest of Captain Lyman Allyn’s six children. Harriet named the museum in memory of her father, a man who commanded a whaling boat by the age of twenty-one and who later became a director of a banking company, an insurance company and a railroad company. Furthermore, Lyman Allyn founded a school for boys in New London in 1817. In 1910 Harriet Allyn had requested, in her will, that the Connecticut Trust and Safe Deposit Company of Hartford use money from her estate to create a park and a museum. In addition, Allyn donated a significant tract of land to neighboring Connecticut College, which was then a women’s school. Allyn’s death in 1926 established the museum.
Initially there was no collection or building. Architect Charles A. Platt was hired “to design an elegant neo-classical granite structure on a hill overlooking New London and the Thames River” using a design similar to the one Platt created for the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. The museum opened in 1932, displaying a collection built by the first Director, Winslow Ames, which famously consisted of only thirteen works! After several additions and renovations, the Museum contains nine galleries, an auditorium, a library, conservation laboratory, offices, bookshop and café. Today, the permanent collection consists of over 15,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, furniture and decorative arts, with an emphasis on American art from the 18th through 20th centuries.
Address: 625 Williams Street New London, CT 06320
Phone Number: (860) 443-2545
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm, closed Monday and major holidays
Admission: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, students over 18 and active military personnel, $5 for students under 18, children under 12, members, and New London residents are free. Admission is also free on the first Saturday of every month and on your birthday.