There is more to see in Mystic, CT than the well known historic seaport, aquarium, and bustling shops downtown. Visitors to the area should consider visiting the Mystic Museum of Art (MMoA), at 15 Water Street in the historic downtown.
MMoA’s Schuster gallery regularly features selections from the impressive permanent collection of 250 works by prominent American artists including Charles H. Davis, Robert Brackman, Henry Ward Ranger, and Carl Lawless. American Impressionism, Tonalism, and other forms of artistic expressionism are among the styles represented in the collection.
Currently showing through September 23 is the exhibition “Thinking in Color” by painter Robert Brackman (1898-1980), a renowned artist, teacher, and member of MMoA. The works ranging from 1916-1978 features his famed portraits of Charles A. Lindberg and Anne Morrow Lindberg lent by Amherst College. The exhibition is presented in the newly renovated Otto E. Liebig gallery spearheaded by Executive Director George G. King and will serve as the model for all future gallery renovations.
The Mystic Museum of Art’s 61st Regional Show and the solo show Fans and Vessels: The Works of Janvier Miller, in the Schuster Gallery.
This ambitious exhibition schedule along with future renovation and development plans reflect MMoA’s mission to inspire creativity and critical dialogue by engaging the regional community in the understanding, appreciation, and practice of visual art.
Looking for expert guidance in realizing this mission, the Board of Directors recruited George G. King as Executive Director in 2015. A fresh perspective and vision for the future emerged from King’s past experience as director of the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe, NM and the Katonah Museum, Westchester, NY. That year the Board also voted to change the Mystic Art Center name to the Mystic Museum of Art. King spoke of this as “asserting our wishes to conduct all aspects of our business according to the highest professional standards” and communicates to the broad community that MMoA is “elevating the level and quality of all our business.” The following year the Drawn From a Private Collection exhibition featured major works by American artists George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keefe, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Kara Walker, all loaned from a single private collection. This exhibition reflected King’s vision of presenting a wider view of today’s art world through curated exhibitions as well as the continued support of high quality art produced by regional artists.
Today’s Mystic Museum of Art has its origins in the 19th century, when American Impressionist painter Charles H. Davis established a Mystic art colony.
Davis was sent to Paris in 1880 to study at the famed Académie Julian. In 1890 he chose to return to America, eventually settling in Mystic, CT because he was influenced by the coastline landscape and its proximity to Boston and New York.
The Art movements in France at the turn of the century directly influenced the art colonies established not just in Mystic but also in Cos Cob, and Old Lyme.
Davis became a leader in the developing Mystic art colony and founded the Mystic Art Association in 1914. He is best known for his impressionistic cloudscapes and he remains the artist most associated with this initial era.
In 2016 MMoA hosted 20,000 visitors, provided educational programs to 3,232 area school children, and offered courses and programs to 6,700 individuals.
Learn more by visiting www.mysticmuseumofart.org