Grating the Nutmeg Podcasts About Art History


Episode 107: Miss Florence’s Boardinghouse and American Impressionism
31 minutes. Release date: December 6, 2020

In this episode, Mary Donohue, assistant publisher of Connecticut Explored, talks to Florence Griswold Museum curator Amy Kurtz Lansing about one of the most beautiful places to visit in Connecticut: the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. Did Old Lyme become the home to an art colony because of the good food at Miss Florence’s boardinghouse or because of the soft, lovely light on the salt marshes along the Lieutenant River? The episode uncovers the roots of the Old Lyme Art Colony and also new exhibitions up now including Celebrating 20 Years of the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection, an exhibition that marks the arrival of 190 works of art in 2001, a gift that transformed the museum, and The Centennial of the Lyme Art Association Gallery, about the museum’s neighbor, that partially recreates their 1921 inaugural exhibition in their shingle style building designed by society architect Charles A. Platt, designer of the Freer Art Gallery in Washington, DC and the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, Connecticut. Florence Griswold was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in 2002. This episode was produced by Mary M. Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan.

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Read more!
The Spirit of Miss Florence Restored,” Winter 2005/2006
“‘Only waiting to be painted’: The Inspirational Landscape of Old Lyme,” Summer 2006

Episode 99: Connecticut’s Mount Rushmore Connection
21 Minutes. Release date: August 1, 2020

Mary Donohue, Assistant Publisher of Connecticut Explored, reveals Connecticut’s connection to Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, and the run up to his most contentious project, the Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota.

Perhaps the largest outdoor sculpture in the country, Mount Rushmore has been controversial since it was proposed. Where it’s located, who it commemorates, and its sculptor are all part of the national conversation right now. Built on Native American land, featuring the faces of four American presidents–two of whom were slaveholders (Washington and Jefferson) and two of whom  were involved in efforts to uproot Western Native American tribes (Lincoln and Roosevelt). And the sculptor behind the design, Connecticut resident Gutzon Borglum? He was someone who, according to New York Times article “How Mount Rushmore became Mount Rushmore” (July 1, 2020), formed great bonds with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and participated in their meetings to secure funding for the Stone Mountain project in Georgia. Borglum also espoused white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideas.

This episode was produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan.

Read more
Connecticut’s Mount Rushmore Connection, Spring 2015
To read more about his career, visit this post on Stamford Museum and Nature Center’s site.

Episode 70: Anni and Josef Albers in Connecticut
34 Minutes. Release Date: May 1, 2019

This episode celebrates the 100th anniversary of the most influential design school of the 20th century, the Bauhaus, and Connecticut’s connection to it. Connecticut Explored’sAssistant Publisher Mary Donohue and conceptual artist, photographer and frequent Connecticut Explored contributor Bob Gregson talk about pioneering Modern artists Anni and Josef Albers, who escaped Nazi Germany in the 1930s and made New Haven their home in 1950. It’s a remarkable story. Josef was associated with the Bauhaus for longer than any other artist and Anni was the last surviving teacher from the Bauhaus. Both had independent careers as world  famous, influential teachers and artists. Read Bob’s story from the Winter 2017-2019 issue.

We wish to thank Bob Gregson. This episode was hosted and produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan.

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“Josef & Anni Albers in Connecticut,” by Robert Gregson, Winter 2018-2019


Episode 67: Louis Comfort Tiffany in New London
38 Minutes. Release Date: March 1, 2019

The story behind this episode started with the high-profile heist in 1991 of a stained-glass window from the 19th century mausoleum of a New London industrialist. The window was designed by world-famous artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.  But the thieves hadn’t counted on a persistent detective. Tiffany, best known for his brilliant innovations in glass, had deep Connecticut roots. A new permanent exhibition about his work, including 100 fine- and decorative-arts objects, is now on view at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London. Join host Mary Donohue and curator Tanya Pohrt and museum director Sam Quigley to discover more about Tiffany’s career, his family ties to New London, and his life-long pursuit of beauty.

Read our story about Louis Comfort Tiffany in the Winter 2018-2019 issue online at For more information about the Lyman Allyn’s exhibition “Louis Comfort Tiffany in New London” and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum visit To see a fantastic interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his firm Associated Artists, visit the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford.

This episode was hosted and produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan with music by Miles Elliot.


Episode 48: Mid-Century Modern in Connecticut
38 Minutes. Release Date: May 1, 2018

A group of architects known as the Harvard Five made their mark on New Canaan, Connecticut—a suburb within commuting distance of New York City—designing and building there some of the most influential and significant examples of Mid-century Modern architecture in the country. Today you can visit Philip Johnson’s Glass House, now a museum operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

But stellar Modern architecture can be found in other Connecticut towns, too, commissioned by sophisticated clients including homeowners, mayors, and factory owners. Long-time architecture fans Robert Gregson and Peter Swanson take listeners to Hartford, New Haven, and Litchfield to discover some of the state’s other Modernist landmarks.

Every wonder what that big concrete building in front of Ikea in New Haven was? Find out in this episode. If you thought all there was to Connecticut was Colonial homes, this will change your mind!

See photos that go with the podcast HERE.

This episode presented by Attorney Peter Bowman, helping the seriously injured and holding distracted drivers accountable for their actions. More at

And Connecticut Humanities, co-publisher of Connecticut Explored magazine. Episode produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan. Visit

Read More!

See Connecticut Explored, Winter 2009-2010
     including Bob Gregson’s “Modernism in Connecticut
    “Philip Johnson in His Own Words”
    “Jens Risom: The Answer is Risom!” by Mary Dunne
     “Modern in Manchester,” by Mary Dunne

“Discovering LaGardo Tackett” By Peter Swanson, Winter 2010-2011
“Destination: Ingalls Rink and the Yale Bowl” By Patrick Pinnell, Fall 2009

Episode 36: Fidelia Bridges’s Connection to Old Lyme & A Ride on the Air Line Trail
33 Minutes. Release Date: August 30, 2017

Two stories from eastern Connecticut: a Ride on the Air Line State Park Trail, a rail trail with history, and the story of artist Fidelia Bridges and her newly discovered connection to Old Lyme. Featuring Carolyn Wakeman and Jenny Parsons of the Florence Griswold Museum and its summer 2017 exhibition, Flora/Fauna: The Naturalist Impulse in American Art, on view through September 17, 2017.

Read related stories and see images:
“Desination: The Lyman Viaduct,” Summer 2008
Florence Griswold Museum’s History Blog

Thanks to Carolyn Wakeman, Jenny Parsons, and the Florence Griswold Museum.

Episode 29: Art, Agency, Legacy: 30 Years of The Amistad Center for Art & Culture
31 Minutes. Release Date: April 24, 2017

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford, which documents the history and art of people of African descent in America, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Connecticut Explored’s Elizabeth Normen talks with executive director Frank Mitchell about the center’s history and takes you on a tour of its special exhibition “30 for 30: Art, Agency, Legacy” on view at The Amistad Center through the Fall 2017.

The episode features music by Connecticut-based Self Suffice, the RapOet. Find Self Suffice’s music on iTunes and on Facebook.

Watch for Frank’s story in the Fall 2017 issue!

We wish to thank Frank Mitchell and The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, and Self Suffice, the RapOet. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Normen and Patrick O’Sullivan.



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