NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of "Discovering New Beauty: Watercolor Landscapes of the Northeast." This exhibition features more than 50 works of art examining the varied landscapes of the Northeast over the last century and a half. The show will be on view through Aug. 3.

"Discovering New Beauty" considers how artists have utilized watercolor to depict the Northeast beginning in the 1870s, a time when watercolor experienced a surge in popularity. The formation of the American Society of Painters in Water Color (later, the American Watercolor Society) in 1866 helped to promote the medium and professionalize its use, and watercolor was enthusiastically taken up by a generation of young artists.

Landscapes tell stories about place, history, and belonging, exploring the beauty of the physical world around us. With watercolors from the Lyman Allyn’s permanent collection and from several private collections, this exhibition suggests the range of styles, subjects, and approaches to rendering the landscape in watercolor. It features views of the sea, the shoreline, forests, fields, and the built environment. Watercolor’s portability and quick drying time has made it particularly useful for artists working outdoors. Some of the objects on view are preparatory sketches for larger paintings in oil or tempera, while others are stand-alone works of art.

In 1874, American artist William Trost Richards expressed his delight at exploring the varied Rhode Island landscape. With a rich source of artistic inspiration, Richards painted a series of large-scale watercolor views of Newport over the next decade, striving to "widen the limits of my material." Using both translucent and opaque watercolor (gouache), Richards and his contemporaries helped popularize and push the boundaries of the medium, giving watercolor a new depth, density, and grandeur that attracted new patrons and audiences.

Included in the exhibition are works by Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), William Trost Richards (1833-1905), John Henry Hill (1839-1922), William Louis Sonntag, Sr. (1822-1900), Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), John Marin (1870-1953), Robert Henri (1865-1929), Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), Ogden Pleissner (1905-1983), and Beatrice Cuming (1903-1974).

Check the museum website at and the Museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page for updates and additional programming.

Tours of the exhibition are available for groups. To schedule tours, call Director of Education, Caitlin Healy at 860.443.2545 ext. 2110 or e-mail

Connecticut Media Group