Learn About the People in the Boardinghouse
The cast of characters that enlivened the Griswold boardinghouse was as distinctive as the art of the Lyme Art Colony. Miss Florence and her small domestic staff provided year-round assistance to the boarders, made up almost exclusively of artists and their family and friends. On occasion, they would host a dignitary such as Woodrow Wilson. Non-boarding visitors also came on a regular basis and included tourists, art students and locals coming to dine. Together they formed an artistic community that continues to influence American art today.
“I find the make-up of the household here a good deal altered. People come and go. You no sooner get interested in them then they are off. It is always the interesting ones that go. The others, to whom you never give a thought and who serve as a sort of filling, are fixed and stationary, as are their counterparts in nature. But, fortunately, even the commonplace ones are not, in this house, of the ordinary boardinghouse breed. It is, even in its mere ballast, an artists’ house.”
~ President of Princeton University Woodrow Wilson, 1909
Postcard identifying the house as the Home of the Artists at Miss Florence’s
Artists on the lawn of the boardinghouse, c.1903
“It is around ‘Miss Florence’s’ house that most of the art life centers, or has originated. Every painter who has ever been to Lyme knows Miss Florence Griswold. She takes good care of them, is interested in their work, and they find there that intangible thing, an art atmosphere.”
~ Travel Writer Clara Walker Whiteside, 1926