OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum presents “Sanctuary,” a Juried Online Photography Exhibition, on its website through the end of May.

View exhibition at flogrisphotocontest.artcall.org/pages/web-gallery

While the museum is closed through at least May 31, the grounds are open as long as visitors practice social distancing and any other advised precautions. FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org has virtual tours, a history blog, activity tutorials, and learning resources, as well as a variety of online programs. Visitors can check the museum’s website and social media for reopening updates.

The Florence Griswold Museum’s ongoing exhibition, “Nothing More American: Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community – An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit” is now available online through the Museum’s website), motivated Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau and Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing to invite amateur photographers to submit examples of their own work on the theme of “sanctuary” for a pop-up exhibition. In February, the call for entries was sent out. Museum staff prepared to collect images online, jury the show, and then notify the artists whose photos were selected to send or bring their work to the museum to be shared with visitors May 1 through the end of the “Nothing More American” exhibition, May 24.

The museum’s closure because of the coronavirus meant that the exhibition had to be presented online. Nearly 300 submissions from around the world offered a moving portrait of the places and people that foster in us a sense of peace, security, and inspiration. The exhibition was juried by Kurtz Lansing and photographer Matthew Leifheit.

Although prompted by an exhibition that has been on view at the museum since October, the emergence of COVID-19 and the necessity of staying home to stem its spread created an urgent new context for the photo contest. Artists often reflected directly on what “sanctuary” meant to them during a time of social distancing and uncertainty about the future.

“I was especially interested in the points of view offered by high school students considering their restriction to home, often with new appreciation, as well as the perspective of older photographers drawn to the majesty of nature and places associated with memories of family and friends,” said Kurtz Lansing.

The online version allows the exhibition to live on indefinitely online. “We knew the topic of sanctuary would be appealing, and are thrilled by the number of entries. It’s so great that people are craving a creative outlet and the ability to connect through art,” Rau said.

The Florence Griswold Museum’s gallery show “Nothing More American:” Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community - An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit” includes contemporary photographs and historic paintings. The artworks tell the story of immigrant and refugee families who have found sanctuary from deportation or persecution in local churches and in the town of Old Lyme, where they have begun new lives. https://florencegriswoldmuseum.org/nothingmoreamerican/ A 3D tour of the exhibition with English and Spanish labels available through the link as well.

The museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. Visit FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for more information.

Connecticut Media Group