Director’s Message – September 22, 2023

Dear Friends,Happy. How I love those moments that can only be described by that word. Travel + Leisure named Hill-Stead the best small-town art museum in the country. To see in print what I’ve long believed as well as the 14 others behind number one Hill-Stead… made for a lot of happy!Autumn here at this small, mighty place is going to be wonderful. In addition to the breathtaking foliage coming soon are two new programs.Our fall exhibition, Born in 1867: Theodate’s Generation, opens in late October with a special event with award-winning author Deborah Goodrich Royce on October, 26 at 6 pm. The exhibition will showcase 20 women who share our founder’s birth year. Hailing from all parts of the country and all different fields, these women all refused to let societal norms dictate their lives. Instead, they designed their own paths and became pioneers of great accomplishment. From Laura Ingalls Wilder and Madame CJ Walker to Nellie Charlie and the unsinkable Molly Brown, they wove a tapestry of change to better our world. And together they present a smorgasbord of inspiration for anyone inclined to follow their dreams.

One ongoing dream we have is to connect contemporary artists with the museum’s extraordinary masterpieces and setting. So we’re thrilled to announce Hill-Stead’s First Annual Juried Members Exhibition, which we’ve titled Modern-Day Monet. Calling all artists inspired by nature and light, we invite you to submit a piece(s) from your outdoor scenery of choice, or visit the museum to work here. Hill-Stead offers a visual feast of gardens, meadows, sweeping vistas, trails, barns, sheep and brand-new haystacks.

When considering these new programs, I can’t help but think about a widespread misconception of Hill-Stead, namely that it’s a stuffy old historic house that you visit once. How very untrue! As recent years have shown, this museum uses its incredible assets and its imagination to create new, exciting reasons to visit. Hill-Stead is not a One and Done; it’s a beautiful place where you can learn, experience awe, and feel more alive.Please come and see for yourself.

Looking forward to welcoming you,

Dr. Anna Swinbourne
Executive Director & CEO