New Greenwich Historical Society Exhibition Explores Era of the Cos Cob American Impressionist Art Colony

In celebration of a recently acquired Childe Hassam painting, The Red Mill Cos Cob, the Historical Society presents an exhibit offering a view into Cos Cob at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and the role this town played in the development of American Art. Lost Landscape Revealed explores how Hassam, one of America’s foremost Impressionists, and fellow artists, including Elmer MacRae and Kerr Eby, captured the appearance of the waterfront community known as Cos Cob’s Lower Landing. Through paintings, photographs, and artifacts this one-time busy mercantile district will be brought to life.

Childe Hassam, The Red Mill, Cos Cob, 1896. Oil on canvas. Greenwich Historical Society, Museum Purchase with funds from Susan and Jim Larkin, Sally and Larry Lawrence, Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Malkin, Debbie and Russ Reynolds, Reba and Dave Williams, and Lily Downing and David Yudain.

“This is an exciting opportunity to debut an exceptional painting that speaks to the atmosphere and surroundings that attracted Hassam and many other noted artists to Cos Cob,” said Maggie Dimock, Historical Society Curator of Exhibitions and Collections. “Cos Cob was once at the center of Impressionism in America when Hassam, and other artists like John Henry Twachtman, Theodore Robinson and Elmer MacRae gathered at Holley House, now the Bush-Holley House, to paint and teach.”

Hassam’s The Red Mill, Cos Cob depicts a view across the Cos Cob Harbor toward the Palmer & Duff shipyard, which one stood on a peninsula in the Mianus River opposite the Holley boardinghouse. The “Red Mill” of Hassam’s title was not in fact a mill, but rather a large two-story building used by Palmer & Duff workers for sail making and ship carpentry.  In its heyday in the mid 1800’s Palmer & Duff built commercial sailing vessels for transporting farm products to New York City. The exhibition features several artworks from the Historical Society’s collections presenting views of the same shipyard over time, painted by Cos Cob colony artist Elmer MacRae, as well as artworks by Hassam and others depicting other scenes from the Holley House and the Lower Landing.

Lost Landscape Revealed: Childe Hassam and The Red Mill, Cos Cob will be on view January 16 – March 28, 2021.

Visitors to the Greenwich Historical Society must reserve tickets in advance by visiting Members of the Greenwich Historical Society are invited to enjoy special Member Preview Days on Wednesday through Friday, January 13 to 15. For more information on becoming a member, and to reserve tickets, visit