Founded in 1906, by In 1906, the sculptor Solon Borglum purchased a modest farmhouse near the Silvermine River. He chose the area for its natural beauty and proximity to New York City. Soon after, artists Addison T. Millar, D. Putnam Brinley, Richard B. Gruelle, along with his sons Justin and Johnny, and Carl Schmitt joined him. They became known as the Silvermine Group of Artists, or “Knockers”, because they met weekly in Borglum’s studio to critique or knock each other’s work. They also held annual exhibitions, which attracted large crowds.
After Borglum’s death in 1922, the Silvermine Guild of Artists was founded on the ideals of artistic excellence and mutual encouragement that had begun with the Group. Activities expanded to art classes, performances, poetry, and theater. Unlike most major artist colonies, including Old Lyme and Hudson River School, the Silvermine Guild did not promote any one style or sensibility. Individuality was celebrated.
The Museum’s permanent collection includes The Italian Quarter (1925) and Study for Emerald Pool (1913) by D. Putnam Brinley, Justin Gruelle’s Five Aesops Fables commissioned by the WPA, Autumn Morning (1912) by Addison T. Millar, ceramics by Mabel Gruelle, drawings by Richard Gruellle, and paintings by Howard Hildenbrandt.