Thomas Hudson Connell

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Thomas Hudson Connell (died February 17, 2015[1]) was an attorney and a Cape Cod-based artist whose works spanned more than four decades. His work was primarily large abstract and semi-abstract acrylic and oil paintings based on natural elements. He also painted landscapes both en plein air as well as in his studio.



Connell received his bachelor's degree in English from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, in 1956.[2] He graduated from the United States Navy OCS Class 28 and was trained as a diver, underwater swimmer and in ordnance disposal (U.S. Navy EOD). He served as a lieutenant (senior grade) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Randolph (CV-15) where he was an Officer of the Deck Underway.[3]


After completing his military service, he worked full-time as a commercial artist and copy writer in the Sales and Promotion and Advertising Department of Connecticut Mutual Life. At night, he attended the University of Connecticut School of Law. He received his Juris Doctor in 1966.[4]

Connell was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1966 and to the United States District Court in 1967. He was subsequently admitted to the United States District Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of the United States.[5] He specialized in heavy construction law and, prior to his retirement as president of a Hartford "boutique" law firm,[6] he was an arbitrator on the Construction Panel of the American Bar Association, a frequent speaker at programs on construction law presented by Lorman Educational Services,[7] taught law to paralegals at Manchester Community College, and served as Contributing Legal Editor of Plastics Engineering Magazine of the Society of Plastics Engineers.[8]

Connell was the 1978 Republican candidate for Connecticut's 2nd congressional district, losing the election to Christopher Dodd, who went on to become a United States senator and presidential contender.[9]

Artistic career

During the years of his legal practice, Connell continued his art studies at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Connecticut. He had a one-person show at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, Connecticut. He also exhibited in a student group show at the Atheneum and was in a number of Connecticut-area group shows. After retirement, Connell devoted more time to his artwork. He has had four one-person shows on Cape Cod.[10][11][12] He was interviewed and his work featured on a local television station serving Cape Cod.[13] Several Cape Cod newspapers have reviewed his artwork, and in June 2009 one of his paintings was used as the cover illustration for the Hartford Courant's Sunday magazine.[14]

In addition to painting, Connell was a volunteer naturalist at the Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and was the leader of a group of outer Cape Cod En Plein Aire painters.[15]

His artistic inspiration and influences included his observations of nature and the sea, the poetry of William Wordsworth, and the color field painting of Mark Rothko. His oils and acrylics are done on gesso-primed Masonite in larger sizes (24 x 36, 30 x40, 40 x 80). His en plein air landscapes and traditional landscape works are painted on canvas in sizes ranging up to 15 x.


  2. Wesleyan University Alumni Office, Wesleyan Station, Middletown, CT 06459
  3. National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Park Avenue, St Louis, MO 63132-51009
  4. "1966 June 13. Commencement Programs. Paper 3". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  5. Juris Numbers: Connecticut: CT01-0672; Federal: CT 05681
  6. Michelson, Kane, Royster & Barger, P.C. 10 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, CT 06106
  7. Lorman Education Services, P.O. Box 509, Eau Claire WI 54702
  8. Plastics Engineering Magazine, Society of Plastics Engineers, 13 Church Hill Rd., Newton, CT 06470
  9. "Statistics of Election of November 7, 1978". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  10. "Wellfleet Public Library Show". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  11. "Cape Cod Exhibit". The Cape Codder. 23 December 2005. 
  12. "Wellfleet Exhibit". The Cape Cod Voice. 4 December 2005. 
  13. "Gallery Talks, C3TV Cape Cod Community Television interview". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  14. "Thomas Connell of Vernon". The Hartford Courant. 7 June 2009.,0, Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  15. "Nauset Newcomers En Plein Aire". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 

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