Selected material from the Lyme Historical Society's Lyme Art Colony Archives relating primarily to the activities of the Lyme Art Association and Lyme Art Colony (4.0 ft.) and including Florence Griswold's personal papers (0.4 ft.)
REELS 4678-4680: Included are: constitution, by-laws, minutes of the "Lyme Exhibition," 1911-1914, and the Lyme Art Association and Artists' Committee; account books containing treasurer's reports, minutes of annual and artists' committee meetings, expenses, sales, cash assets, and other information; letters from members; files, chiefly on artists, containing letters, a few photographs, writings on the Griswold House, exhibition catalogs, and summaries of conversations and interviews about Griswold and the art colony, conducted in 1954 by a Society staff member;
photographs of artists, the Florence Griswold House, and an exhibition; 4 scrapbooks of clippings, 1933-1940, and a scrapbook about William Henry Howe, ca.1880-1930; notebook of James Weiland chiefly on painting technique; diaries of Clark Voorhees, 1890-1905; a Robert Vonnoh sketchbook; specifications for the Lyme Art Association Gallery; list of locations of artists' work; directions for gilding by Griswold; "Wilson's Return," an account of President Woodrow Wilson's return visit to Lyme; an album containing information on Alphaeus P. Cole's career compiled in 1986; an autograph book, "Ghosts of My Friends," 1909-1914 containing signatures;
exhibition catalogs, announcements and posters; and articles, 1902-1966, regarding the Lyme Art Colony and artists Childe Hassam, Henry Ward Ranger and Louis Dessar.
Also, spliced to end of reel 4680 are additional photographs of artists, exhibition installations, and a photograph album. Included are: Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Charles Vezin, Harry Hoffman, William Henry Howe, Henry Ward Ranger, Will Howe Foote, Frank Vincent DuMond, William O. Goodman and his wife at a ceremony marking his retirement as President of the Association, Florence Griswold, and others; interior and exterior views of the Griswold House; art works; the first exhibition of the Association in the "new" gallery, summer, 1921, and an exhibition in 1926; and an album, "Illustrated Lecture on Wild Animals of New England," containing photos of Howe, Foote, Metcalf, Allen Talcott, Arthur Heming, and others, and the Griswold House.
Artists represented in the artists' files include Thomas Ball, Martin Borgord, William Chadwick, Bruce Crane, Charles H. Davis, Elizabeth Ebert, Will Howe Foote, Harry L. Hoffman, Richard F. Maynard, Henry Rankin Poore, Gregory Smith, Nelson White, and Margaret H. Wright (contains letters from W.Bicknell and Chauncey Ryder).
REEL 4599: Material (0.2 ft.) from the Florence Griswold papers, 1896-1938, includes a biographical note; a posthumous certificate from the American Artists Professional League honoring Griswold; correspondence with artists and others; estate documents and a copy of her will; "The Saga of Florence Griswold's Harp" by Clarence T. Hubbard, an account of the formation of the Colony; postcards showing Griswold and art work in the house by Childe Hassam, William Henry Howe and Henry R. Poore; and obituaries.
Correspondents included in Griswold's papers are George Ainslie, Frank Bicknell, Charles Bittinger, William Chadwick, E.H. Clement, Lewis Cohen, Frank DuMond, Schumacker Duncan, Charles Ebert, Will Howe Foote, Frank B. Gay, Charles L. Goodwin, Walter Griffin, Childe Hassam, Arthur Heming, Harry L. Hoffman, William Henry Howe, William H. Hyde, Lydia Longacre, Willard Metcalf, Curtis Moyer, Henry R. Poore, William S. Robinson, Edith and Edward Rook, Allen B. Talcott, Charles Vezin, Robert and Bessie Vonnoh, Everett Warner, and Ellen and Woodrow Wilson.
Biographical / Historical:
The Lyme Art Association was established in 1914 as an outgrowth of the Lyme Art Colony, in Old Lyme, Conn. In 1921, a summer art gallery was built to house its exhibitions. Henry Ward Ranger is the artist credited with discovering Old Lyme as a painters' haven in 1899, encouraging a few artists to come the following summer. Florence Griswold's summer boarding house became a center for artists who came to Lyme over the years; Griswold even acted as an agent for some of the artists. Gradually membership expanded and the number of exhibitions increased. Ranger and some of his colleagues painted in the Barbizon style, but Impressionism also gained favor there partially due to Childe Hassam's presence in Old Lyme from 1903 onwards.
Lyme Art Colony Archives
Lent for microfilming 1992 and 1993 by the Lyme Historical Society, Florence Griswold Museum. Records are maintained as the Lyme Art Colony Archives. Arrangement of the photographs was devised by the lender and has been maintained.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
An interview of Val Laigo conducted 1989 July 12, by Alan Lau and Kazuko Nakane, for the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American Project, in Laigo's home, Seattle, Wash.
Laigo speaks of learning how to paint at age eleven with watercolors; growing up with a heart condition known as Eisenmenger's Complex; teaching at Highline High School and creating a wolverine as the school's mascot; the inclusion of his life story in a Filipino oral history project; singing for an orchestra called the Gentlemen of Rhythm, at the Filipino Catholic Youth Activities events and other venues; Doug Bennett as an influence in composition and design; being a student at Seattle University and joining Art Equity in approximately 1951; remembering his painting, "Madonna" being shown at the Seattle Art Museum; his first show at the People's Furniture Store and later with Fay Chong at the Hathaway House; Zoe Dusanne became his agent; his introduction to the MacPaint software program and his first piece of computer art; his desire to study Mexican muralists, Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco, David Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo and becoming at student at Mexico City College; his life in Mexico with the woman who would become his wife; the strong influence of Nick Damascus on his painting; how his palette changed to brighter colors after living in Mexico; his health crisis there that lead him to abandon his work towards a master's degree and return to Seattle in 1959; having to start over from the beginning at the University of Washington; Tommy Kwazume hiring him at Boing as an artist in 1960; Lee Nordness and the RCA Victor album cover; his negative experience with Margaret Reed while showing at the Panaca Gallery; his exhibit at the Frye Art Museum in 1969 and criticism by Clark Voorhees; his Mexican experience having influenced his vigor and scale; the Lost Generation series; his comment about Picasso not being able to paint; encouragement from his family to pursue art training; the murder of his father in 1936; his mother's success as a new painter; and his work, "Dilemma of the Atom" featured on the cover of an RCA Victor record album. Laigo also recalls Perry Acker, Foster White Gallery, David Mendoza, Fred Mendoza, Tom Tooley, Ray Sadirius, Quincy Jones, Oscar Holden's Orchestra, Fred Cordova, Mits Katayama, Rudy Bundis, Kal Chin, Paul Horiuchi, James Washington, Dick Kirsten, Frank Okada, John Matsudaira, Walter Froelich, Bill Ritchie, John Counts, Don Fenton, Kenneth Callahan, Fred Run, Barry Ferrell, Ken Harms, Andrew Chin, Ben Dar, Ruth Mora, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Val Laigo (1930-1992) was a Filipino American painter based in Seattle, Washington. Val Laigo was born in Naguilian, La Union, in the Phillipines. His family moved to the United States in 1931 and to Seattle in 1941. Laigo's full name Valeriano Emerenciano Montante Laigo.
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 48 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.