About Hill-Stead’s Haystacks

Grainstacks, White Frost Effect, Claude Monet

Grainstacks, White Frost Effect (1889)

Welcome to The Haystacks, the blog of the Hill-Stead Museum, a beloved cultural hub in the heart of Farmington, Connecticut. Launched in September 2020, the blog is a project of the entire Hill-Stead community, penned by our executive director, curator, educators, scholars, digital experts, director of communications, and many more.

The name is a nod to two of Hill-Stead’s most iconic Impressionist paintings, Grainstacks, White Frost Effect (1889), and Grainstacks in Bright Sunlight (1890) both by legendary artist Claude Monet. It’s also a nod to Hill-Stead’s original farm complex constructed in 1898 by its visionary founder Theodate Pope Riddle. It is reflective of the ideology and intentions of her philosophy to celebrate both art and nature.

Grainstacks in Bright Sunlight (1890)

The blog is an original, just like Hill-Stead itself! The works in the collection, the well-preserved 1901 National Historic Landmark that houses them, and the surrounding 152-acre estate are all originals. In fact, Theodate—one of our country’s first female architects, designed both the 33,000 square foot Colonial Revivalist home and expansive gardens & grounds. We hope you enjoy reading more about all that is Hill-Stead!

We Want to Hear from You!

We are eager to hear from readers with questions, comments, and critiques. Leave a comment on a post relevant to the topic or email the editor directly.

The Hill-Stead team reads and moderates comments Tuesday through Friday, and we strive to respond to questions as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours.

Recent Posts

Successful Summer Series Leads to Autumn on the Hill

It was the second week of June when we began our preliminary plans for an outdoor summer art program for local children.  [Read more]


Painting on the Hill: Drawing Inspiration from the French Impressionists

On Sunday, September 20, the trees around Hill-Stead were tinged with orange and red. With a slight chill in the air, it was a perfect day for painting. [Read more]


X Marks the Spot – A Lesson in French Impressionism

A Lesson in French Impressionism by Dr. Anna Swinbourne – There is a spot in the drawing room, marked with an “X” in the nearby photograph, which is one of my favorites at Hill-Stead, if not the whole world. Standing on that spot, facing south to gaze at Monet’s haystacks in summertime, one can rotate clockwise to appreciate example after example of the magnificent paintings the Pope family acquired and installed in this room. [Read more]


Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Find Your Pot of Gold by Bidding Now on our Silent Auction

Hill-Stead created a custom-for-2020 version of our gala this year, made up of five al fresco farm-to-table dinners by celebrity chef Tyler Anderson on the West Lawn. [Read more]


Terms: This blog is for educational and discussion purposes; views expressed are those of the individual authors only. Comments are moderated to ensure they are not abusive, defamatory, obscene, unlawful, invasive of another’s privacy or rights, or commercial or political in nature.