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.

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!

Recent Posts

We are eager to hear from readers!
Leave a comment, question or critique below and Hill-Stead staff will respond as soon as possible.

2021 Fresh Voices Winners

On May 12, Fresh Voices finalists read their poetry for this prestigious panel of judges. At the conclusion of the readings, the winners were announced. [Read more]


Virtual Programs at Hill-Stead

Hill-Stead is pleased to offer brand-new virtual programs for all students’ levels–kindergarten through college. Recent programs include everything from a 300-person session to highly customized tours to meet specific curriculum goals. [Read more]


The Unwavering Power of Art

Maggie Foster best describes the indelible impact of an authentic experience at Hill-Stead. Dancers in Pink, Edgar Degas. She toured the Museum nearly 25 years ago and never forgot her experience. [Read more]


February Marks a Special Month for Hill-Stead

February marks the birth month of our founder and architect, Theodate Pope Riddle (b. 2/02/1867). However, we did not always know her actual birthdate. [Read more]


Alfred Pope, the Collector

Hill-Stead Museum, in Farmington, Connecticut, was formed in 1946 (officially opening to the public in April 1947), when Alfred Atmore Pope’s daughter bequeathed the entirety of the household, including her father’s unparalleled collection of paintings. [Read more]

Dreams and Air Castles

On January 18th, 2021, young learners tuned in to Hill-Stead Museum’s very first virtual MLK program, “Dreams and Air Castles.” [Read more]


“Volume of Light (Hill-Stead)”

The purchase of artist Fritz Horstman’s sculpture The Volume of Light (Hill-Stead) supports Hill-Stead! [Read more]

1 comment

Hill-Stead Featured on Better Connecticut

Hill-Stead was featured on Better Connecticut this week! [Read more]


Communicating with the Spirts on Grating the Nutmeg

Kicking off 2021 with a new episode of Grating the Nutmeg on Hill-Stead founder Theodate Pope and her fascination with Spiritualism. [Read more]


Thank you from Hill-Stead

Thank You from Hill-Stead! [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.