Connecticut’s Top Iconic Artists

May 14, 2012 6:00 AM

The Truant, J Alden Weir (credit:

Mention iconic artists and Connecticut in the same sentence and five names immediately come to mind. Of course, there are far more than five iconic artists known for their work while living in the Nutmeg state, but the following five are world-renowned painters and/or sculptors whose art lives on far beyond Connecticut borders. You’re most likely to see works by these artists in various locations throughout the state.
wethepeople declaration Connecticuts Top Iconic Artists

(credit: Yale University Art Gallery)

John Trumbull
Yale University Art Gallery
111 Chapel St
New Haven, CT 06513
(203) 432-0600

Price: Free and Open to the Public
Hours: Tues to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Mon – Closed

John Trumbull (1756-1843), is best known for the art he created during the American Revolutionary War and his most prominent painting, “The Declaration of Independence,” which anyone can find on the reverse side of a two-dollar bill. However, a visit to the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, features the original “The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776” and his “Self Portrait” in its current exhibition “Defining the Nation, Part II” through April 8. You can also find John Trumbull’s unfinished painting, “The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton,” on view in the Yale’s Study Galleries, where works are installed at the request of Yale instructors for use in their curriculum.

laundry jaldenweir Connecticuts Top Iconic Artists

The Laundry, Branchville by J. Alden Weir (credit:

J. Alden Weir
Weir Farm Art Center
735 Nod Hill Road
Wilton, CT 06897
(203) 761-9945

Price: Free
Hours: Thurs to Sun – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

J. Alden Weir (1852-1919) was an American impressionist who belonged to a group of artists in the Cos Cob Art Colony in Greenwich. His works are in many prominent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford. So important is this artist’s work, that his farm and studio have become a National Historic Site and Connecticut’s only National Park. According to Kristin Lesssard, a park ranger, the landscape has been preserved so well that one can actually step into one of Weir’s paintings. The landscapes that he painted are there for the viewing and many artists like to recreate their own version.

barnyard Connecticuts Top Iconic Artists

Barnyard by John Henry Twachtman (credit:

John Twachtman
Florence Griswold Museum
96 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, CT 06371
(860) 434-5542

Price: Adults – $9, Seniors – $8, Students – $7
Hours: Tues to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

John Twachtman (1853-1902) is another important painter who also painted in the Cos Cob Art Colony with Weir, as well as with a group of artists in Old Lyme, Connecticut centered in the boardinghouse of Florence Griswold. Not only can his work be seen in major museums all over this country, and often in exhibits at Weir Farm, but the Old Lyme Art Gallery, located next to the Griswold house, has Twachtman’s work in its permanent collection and frequently on exhibit.

bearsculpture Connecticuts Top Iconic Artists


Anna Hyatt Huntington
Collins P. Huntington State Park
Sunset Hill Rd
Redding, CT 06896
(203) 938-2285

Price: $9 – $15
Hours: 24/7, limited area open to archery-only deer hunting Sept 15 through Dec 31

Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973) is known internationally for her sculptures. However, it was at what is now known as the Collins P. Huntington State Park in Redding, Connecticut where this sculptress had her studio and worked her magic with clay. The more than 100-acre park welcomes visitors with her sculptures of bears and wolves at the park entrance. However, you can see examples of her work at many locations in the state including Putnam Park in Redding and a gorgeous sculpture of Abraham Lincoln in front of the Bethel Library in Bethel.

ryhscaparn Connecticuts Top Iconic Artists

(credit: Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Rhys Caparn
Western Connecticut State University
181 White St
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 837-8200

Price: Free
Hours: Vary depending on building

Rhys Caparn (1907-1997) is an American sculptress renowned for her natural subjects such as animals and birds. While her work appears in museums such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, because she lived much of her life in Newtown, she donated major pieces of her collection to Western Connecticut State University. Four of her works are found in the University’s library and lobbies.

Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at

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