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A Letter from the Chairman of the Board, Michael Duffy

Life often comes full circle.

That’s what happened with Lyme Academy. It took some time, but the collective wisdom of those who care about the Academy’s future was that we had to look to the past to find answers about where we were headed.

We looked back to the art colony that sprang up in Old Lyme in the late 19th century and recognized that the same factors that attracted artists back then are still true. Being at the confluence of the Connecticut River and the Long Island Sound, the light in the sky has a special hue. We are far from the maddening crowds, in a place where you can hear yourself think and find the space to create. The birthplace of American Impressionism is as beguiling today as it was then and has a new appeal to a generation of artists seeking creative havens outside of densely populated urban neighborhoods.

We delved into the archives to see what we could learn from Lyme Academy’s founder, Elisabeth Chandler. Her vision of teaching foundational artistic skills to prepare for one’s career continues to be as relevant today as it was when the Academy first opened its doors in 1976. At that time Chandler, herself a celebrated sculptor, looked around and saw too many art schools that walked away from their responsibility to teach their students human anatomy, how to sculpt or draw or to paint. With an energetic new leadership team at the helm, we are proudly rededicating ourselves to the mission she first articulated.
So, if you are looking for a place that is going to challenge you, if you’re willing to work hard and devote yourself to a life changing course of study with roots that stretch back to the Renaissance, then we invite you to join us.


Michael Thomas Duffy
Board Chair
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts