Director’s Message – November 27, 2021

Dear Friends,

Sometimes I don’t make it, but I try hard to count my blessings every day. This includes the many –no, better– countless quiet words of thanks for the people who also believe Hill-Stead is incredible and worthy of our love and support.

Three of these people are stepping forward now, to collectively fund a matching gift of $7,500 for this year’s Giving Tuesday. An artist, a professor, and a local parent of school-aged children – perfectly aligned with our annual fund pillars of art, education, and the future – are each donating $2,500 to inspire our donors to match their support this upcoming Tuesday, November 30. I find their leading gesture, in line with the “in it together” spirit of our times, beautiful and humbling. And now I say more quiet words of enormous thanks.

The Tub, Edgar Degas

Photo by Anne Day

I am also thankful for those things that speak loudly and reach far, such as the recent feature on Hill-Stead’s Degas, The Tub, written by Sebastian Smee for his Washington Post column, “Great Works, In Focus.” In admirably few words, he presents an ingenious read on this pastel, showing us all how something made across the sea, over a century ago, can and should matter to us today. If you have not, I urge you to take a few minutes and read his brilliant piece, found here.

We at Hill-Stead cherish this Degas (true confession: it is my favorite work in the collection!) and the 5,000 other objects that have been entrusted to our care. We know that they continue to teach us and that it is our job to preserve them and to work tirelessly to increase access to them, for everyone.

In this, we are helped immeasurably by every supporter who gives of their time and resources, such as our board member, George R. Trumbull IV, seen in the short video below.

For that, and for all of you, I feel overwhelming gratitude.



Dr. Anna Swinbourne
Executive Director & CEO

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