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.

Hill-Stead Featured on Better Connecticut

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

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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]

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Thank you from Hill-Stead

Thank You from Hill-Stead! [Read more]

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Outdoor day at Hill-Stead

Farmington students are empowered to learn everywhere they go! Students from Noah Wallace Elementary School in Farmington, CT, participated in their first Outdoor Days on two glorious fall days at Hill-Stead’s beautiful 152-acre property. [Read more]

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Connecting Girl Scouts to Local History, Art and Nature at Hill-Stead

In recent years, an incredible partnership has been growing between Girl Scouts of America and Hill-Stead! Our education team has been offering them a bevy of activities to help work towards or earn their badges. [Read more]

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We Sing in Her Honor

“We Sing in Her Honor” was the perfect capstone of From the Porch, Hill-Stead’s inaugural performing arts series. [Read more]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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