August 19, 2022

All-New Art Store Opens at Lyme Academy Today; Offers Art Supplies, Gifts, Collectibles

A view of the eclectic interior of ‘de Gerenday’s Fine Art Materials and Curiosities’ at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. All photos by Caryn B. Davis.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has announced the opening of de Gerendays Fine Art Materials and Curiosities, a new shop on the Academy’s campus in Old Lyme that offers a variety of art supplies and giftable objects from around the globe.

The official opening of the store will take place during Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival on Saturday, July 30, with a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. All are welcome to join the celebration. The store will then be open all day through 5 p.m.

During the Festival, the Academy will feature an art show and sale by Lyme Academy alumni along with art demonstrations, live musical performances, food, drinks and more. 

Modeled after the most famous and storied art stores in Paris and London, such as Sennelier and L. Cornelissen, this destination shop is as photogenic as it is substantial.

Almost every type and color of paint imaginable is on offer at the newly-opened store inside Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Artists will find a vast array of the finest quality oil, acrylic and watercolor paints, brushes of all sizes, fine linen papers, canvas on rolls, and sculpting tools, all chosen by the professional artists, who comprise the faculty of the Lyme Academy.

In addition to supplies for artists, a unique collection of curiosities” adds a sense of old-world charm and sophistication to the store. These include an extensive number of new and rare art books, taxidermy, architectural salvage, tapestries, and one-of-a-kind decorative items for the home.

The Academys Executive Director, Mora Rowe, utilized her background in fashion and design to develop her vision for the interior display and carefully curated items for the unique store.

A highlight of the store is the collection of plaster casts of classical European figurative sculptures (see above) available for purchase. These casts were sourced from notable collections in Italy and France and are used for both teaching and study by faculty and students attending the Academy.

Visitors to the store will find a variety of items for artists and non-artists ranging in price from $5 upwards. Consigned pieces of art, Italian leather journals, candles and jewelry are also for sale in the store.

Furthering a commitment to local artisans, Hardenco, a boutique denim manufacturer located in New Hartford, Conn. was commissioned to produce high quality, Lyme Academy logo-decorated artist aprons and zippered bags for the shop.  

It is part of our mission to create a store at which both artists and people, who appreciate art, can shop,” says Rowe, adding, “Our goal was to include some items that would be artistic in nature, allowing for their use by either artists for still life paintings or individuals and interior designers sourcing products for unique home décor.

Rowe notes, “Additionally, we have ensured that there is something for everyone who visits the store. Whether you are a local artist in need of a new canvas, or a community member looking for a gift, de Gerendays will be top of your list as a place to shop, while also supporting the Academy.”   

Special orders, drop-shipping, online shopping and gift certificates are available.

In keeping with the Lyme Academy’s pursuit of excellence in arts education, we feel it is important that the materials and tools we offer reflect our values,” says Co-Artistic Director Jordan Sokol.

He explains, “We spent many months hand-selecting each brand to ensure the quality of every product. We are thrilled to have the convenience of the store right here at the Academy as many of the artists attending classes and workshops are often in the studio for up to 12 hours a day.”

Sokol notes, “You won’t find many of these products in art supply chains or on Amazon.”

Fine art brands sourced for the store include Michael Harding, Old Holland, Rublev, Artefex, Raymar, Holbein, Winsor & Newton, Chelsea Classical Studio, Silver Brush, Trekell, Robert Simon, Isabey, Raphael, New Wave, Strathmore, Fabriano, Arches, Stonehenge, Staedtler, Derwent, Sennelier, Apollon, Centurion and more. 

The shops name honors Laci de Gerenday, the husband of the Academys founder, Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, who was himself a successful sculptor and administrator at Lyme Academy.

The opening of this art store marks one of many planned ventures by the new staff, faculty, and board of the Academy to welcome the Old Lyme community to the campus, support the town’s thriving local art scene, and re-establish Lyme Academy as a premier destination site for artists and art enthusiasts from all over the world.

Editor’s Notes: i) de Gerendays is accessible by the South Campus entrance located at 84 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn. and is currently open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ii) The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the foundational skills of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. By its commitment to training students in these skills and an engagement with contemporary discourse, the Academy will empower a new generation of artists. Through its programs, the Academy is committed to enriching the cultural life of the community. Learn more by visiting www.lymeacademy.edu.