The Founders: Reclaiming Mystic’s Artistic Roots
For more than a century, the banks of the Mystic River, with their beautiful, rocky coastlines, centuries-old stone walls crisscrossing pastoral farmland, and old-growth forests, have been a draw to generations of talented artists. Beginning with Mystic Museum of Art (MMoA)’s founder, Charles H. Davis—and continuing with Henry Ward Ranger, Robert Brackman, George Albert Thompson, Y.E. Soderberg, and so many others—these artists arrived seeking to capture the area’s natural beauty, and many remained here because of the community they created.
This summer, MMoA is mounting a three-month exhibition exploring the founding and influential artists who made Mystic what it is today. There have always been bustling shipbuilding and fishing industries in the area, but before there was a Seaport Museum, before there was an Aquarium, Mystic’s first tourism industry was art.
In the continuing tradition of a community reinforced by its artistic history, more than fifty works of art and artifacts from early and influential members of the Mystic art colony have been graciously loaned for this exhibition by private local collectors, providing a unique opportunity to view artwork not generally available to the public.