Behind the unassuming yellow storefront of The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut you will find four light-filled rooms exhibiting one or possibly all of the gallery's specialties in American art. In one gallery you might find premier examples of American Impressionism or Tonalism by artists from the Lyme art colony like Guy Wiggins, Childe Hassam, Wilson Irvine, Clark Voorhees, Bruce Crane, Frank Vincent DuMond. In another you could find exhibition of historic oils by Samuel Colman, or Richard Hubbard or Aaron Shattuck or watercolors by a member of the Hudson River School. In the other two galleries you might find pastels by a newly discovered historic painter near the work of an emerging contemporary sculptor. Whatever you find, if you are a fan of American art, you will not be disappointed.
The gallery has been described as “an oasis” in the historically rich village of Old Lyme. Along Lyme Street, within walking distance from the gallery, is the site of the century-old Impressionist art colony and The Florence Griswold Museum. Closer still is the Lyme Art Association and the Lyme Academy College of Art; hardly a desert. Within this oasis of art is the oasis of The Cooley Gallery where fine American paintings are exhibited year round to be experienced, talked about, and collected by every level of art enthusiast.
The mission of The Cooley Gallery is to find and represent exceptional works of art by renowned or lesser-known artists and make them available to all levels of collectors. Regardless of budget, buying art can be intimidating. Although the quality and selection at Cooley's matches that of any large metropolitan area it's presented without pretense or condescension. The gallery’s staff is friendly and as eager to help you in your quest wherever you are on the art collecting curve.
Jeffrey W. Cooley, the owner and founder, has been involved with art throughout his life. His father, Paul Cooley, was a highly respected antiques dealer in Hartford. As a young man Jeff began to buy and sell paintings and participated in the Christies program in the American paintings department. Circumstance and opportunity have lead Jeff to where he is today. He has built a solid reputation over the last thirty-five years and is respected for his skills in appraising, buying, and selling art.
“I've worked hard to establish a high level of connoisseurship and to combine it with a friendly, inclusive atmosphere in my gallery here in Old Lyme. While there are disadvantages to being out of the so-called mainstream, visitors to the website or to the gallery itself consistently remark upon the high quality of the art they find and the charm of the space in which we exhibit it."
Jeffrey W. Cooley