about the CT art trail

The Connecticut Art Trail is a nationally recognized collection of 24 world-class museums, nature centers and historic sites, created to promote Connecticut’s rich cultural assets as part of a travel experience. As of October 2022, the Trail is officially operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

a beautiful history

The Trail was launched in 1995 as the Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail, celebrating ten museums and historic sites which highlighted the state’s remarkable role in the founding of American Impressionism.

Connecticut’s flowing rivers, unspoiled shoreline, bucolic countryside and rural villages became a magnet for American Impressionist painters at the turn of the twentieth century. Artists flocked to the state to paint en plein air, forming colonies at the Holley House in Cos Cob/Greenwich (now the Bush-Holley House Museum) and Miss Florence Griswold’s boarding house in Old Lyme (now the Florence Griswold Museum), which were the cornerstones for the Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail. Such famous names as J. Alden Weir, William Chadwick, Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, John Twachtman and Elmer Livingston MacRae all were part of the Impressionism movement, leaving their indelible mark on both our state and the history of art, forever.

In 2005, the member museums wanted to showcase more of the abundant diversity of collections within the state. They voted to expand the group’s scope beyond Impressionism to include four more museums and historic sites. The Trail continued to grow significantly from 2008 to today.

see where it leads…

Travelers can now discover bucolic farms, art studios and former artists’ boarding houses, as well as grand and modern art museums in vibrant downtowns. Quality exhibitions rich in history and heritage feature European masterpieces, American
Impressionism, ancient art and contemporary culture.

Visitors will find ground-breaking installations, workshops and classes in every medium and for every ability level, once-in-a-lifetime curated experiences, expert lecturers and events with luminaries of the art world.

There is a treasure trove of family activities as well, including hands-on art and nature exploration programs, specially themed events and one-of-a-kind seasonal

art passport- journal

Make the most of your artistic adventures with the Art Passport-Journal – a $35 booklet that gives the passport-holder free access to each member museum for one year from the purchase date.

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