The Augusta Simon Room

Having lived in New Canaan for almost 90 years, the late Augusta Simon is an artistic icon of New Canaan. Relying on memory and photographs, as well as personal observation, she crafted a detailed portrait of New Canaan. The paintings recall some of her fondest memories of growing up and living in New Canaan: Monroe’s Pond where children skated before it was drained for the construction of Route 123; the Birdsall House hotel and social center which is now the Morse Court parking lot, Mead Park, and Jelliff Mill among others. Augusta Simon was not always an artist, she was a teacher and legal secretary until her career was interrupted by injuries sustained in a car accident at the age of 60. During her recuperation from the accident Augusta turned to paints and palettes. Although she was self-taught, her paintings reflect the influence and inspiration of Grandma Moses in their primitive simplicity and Norman Rockwell in their realistic portrayals of everyday life. She painted on boards, not paper, which have retained their unique vibrancy.