Departing New Haven
Two hundred years ago a group of courageous travelers arrived in New Haven to board—as passengers—a working whaleship set to sail on a treacherous trip around Cape Horn to the Pacific Ocean. This company of missionaries bound for the Sandwich Islands (now Hawai’i) comprised five clergymen, three teachers, a physician, and their spouses.
The New Haven Museum’s special exhibition Point of Departure: New Haven 1822, which opens September 22, will consider New Haven in 1822, how these intrepid voyagers prepared for a trip to the other side of their world, and how that extraordinary November 1822 departure was remembered by the city’s residents more than a century later. The story will be told through portraits, maps, documents, and never-before-shown images of New Haven in the 1820s from the collection of the New Haven Museum and other institutions.
New Haven Museum, newhavenmuseum.org
Saturday in the Park
Preservation Connecticut and the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office invite you to celebrate the 200th birthday year of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and the Olmsted landscape heritage in Connecticut! Join them on Saturday, October 1, for an afternoon of activities at Lewis Fulton Memorial Park in Waterbury. Designed by Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects beginning in 1920, the park is an urban oasis with woods and lawns, stone bridges crossing a babbling stream, and terraces overlooking two ponds. The event will offer a preview of the Olmsted documentation project, which includes a historical context specific to the Olmsted firm’s associations with Connecticut, plus a survey of nearly 150 properties. In addition, there will be tours of the park, exhibits, activities for kids, food trucks, and more. The rain date is October 15. For more information visit PreservationCT.org/Olmsted or portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Historic-Preservation/01_Programs_Services/Olmsted-in-CT-Landscape-Documentation-Project. For other Olmsted anniversary events in Connecticut and elsewhere visit olmsted200.org.
Life in 17th-Century Wethersfield
On view at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum through December 31 is a remarkable exhibition exploring the earliest years of Wethersfield history through archaeological evidence uncovered on museum property in 2017. The Story Beneath Our Feet: Pyquag and “Weathersfield” offers an extraordinary glimpse into the lives of Wethersfield’s settlers in the 17th century.
The exhibition features fragmented household and trade items unearthed during excavation behind the Silas Deane House. These important archaeological discoveries, together with loaned pieces from the Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut Landmarks and items from the museum’s own collection, help tell the story. Also discovered was physical evidence of a palisade wall. No other contemporaneous palisaded home has ever been found in Connecticut. A facsimile of the palisade is part of the exhibition.
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, webb-deane-stevens.org
Three Centuries of Wilton
From the town’s beginnings in the early 18th century, works depicting the people and landscapes of Wilton have reflected the ever-changing artistic tides of subject matter, materials, and styles of the following three centuries. A new exhibition, Lives and Landscapes: Art from the Permanent Collection of the Wilton Historical Society, on view through October 29, explores highlights of the art collection from the colonial era to the 1970s. Throughout that time Wilton has served as inspiration for a wide variety of creators. Whether they were simply passing through or ensconced as long-time residents, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression or fulfilling commercial contracts, Wilton’s artists produced a diverse body of work. Lives and Landscapes explores Wilton’s artistic legacy through a selection of rarely seen work from Wilton Historical Society’s permanent collection.
Wilton Historical Society, wiltonhistorical.org
Influential Photographer On View
Walker Evans American Photographs, on view September 18 through December 31 at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, celebrates the photographer’s landmark solo exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1938. A leading figure in the history of American documentary photography, Walker Evans is today considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. In the 1930s Evans traveled extensively throughout the eastern United States, creating a collective photographic portrait of the region during a decade of profound transformation.
Walker Evans American Photographs is based on an exhibition originally organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York and organized by Sarah Hermanson Meister, former curator, with Tasha Lutek, collection specialist, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Support provided by Art Bridges.
Mattatuck Museum, mattmuseum.org
100th Reunion of Lyman High School
Lebanon built its first high school (above) in 1922 with funds provided by resident George Lyman, for whom the school was named. Lebanon is one of only 11 (of 72) Connecticut towns with populations under 10,000 that operates its own high school. The first building was destroyed by fire in 1968 as it was being converted to the town hall.
In 2022 a graduates’ committee reached out to former students and collected ephemera and oral histories. The Lebanon Historical Society will add many of these new materials to its existing collections and will open an exhibit September 7 at the high school in time for the 100th anniversary reunion on September 9 – 11. The exhibit will close in mid-December.
Visit Lebanon on September 24 for the 52nd annual Lebanon Historical Society Antique Show, October 4 for the Lebanon Town Militia reenactment company encampment, and during The Last Green Valley’s annual Walktober event, September 17 to November 6.
Lebanon Historical Society, historyoflebanon.org
ASCH is for You!
Since 1970 the Association for the Study of Connecticut History (ASCH) has been promoting the study of the history of Connecticut via meetings and conferences. In 1974 ASCH began publishing Connecticut History, now Connecticut History Review, the only academic, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the history of Connecticut. Its meetings, conferences, and the journal serve many constituencies: academic scholars, museum and historical society professionals, history buffs, graduate students, and educators. Visit ASCH-CTHistory.org for its Fall 2022 conference theme and date.
Planning for the Future of Libraries
We are living in increasingly volatile, uncertain, and complex times, requiring a refreshed, flexible, and fluid mindset. As the saying goes, organizations strive for the cutting edge, yet organizations, including libraries, need to be on the bleeding edge, focused on what could come next. COVID-19 proved to be a real-time threat, forcing adaptive change in the ways libraries serve their communities. Empowered with Natural Foresight® training, librarians can grow the skills to plan for future shifts, transforming into collaborative innovators, community motivators, and library catalysts.
The Connecticut State Library Division of Library Development (DLD) identified Natural Foresight, a framework for preparedness planning for multiple possible futures, as a critical discipline and practice for librarians. In 2021 the Connecticut State Library was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services, Laura Bush 21st Century Program grant partnering with Kedge and The Futures School for Transformation for Libraries.
Across the country 450 librarians and library staff are currently being trained in Natural Foresight, building resilience, adaptability, and opportunity in the library profession and field of influence. Libraries can use Foresight as an operating system, learning how to “pull” our organizations toward disruption, helping us be more transformative in our innovation efforts.
Stacey Aldrich, state librarian for Hawai’i, shares, “The highly engaging program provided foundations for all of the participants to begin integrating future foresight into their daily professional practice.” In fact, “future foresight skills should be a standard practice for our profession, organizations, and communities. The time spent understanding the trends, forces, and patterns that are shaping our local, state, federal, and global worlds enable our profession to work collaboratively with communities to find opportunities to build positive futures.” We all want to “ensure that our libraries are ready to adapt and serve the ever-changing needs of their communities.”
Connecticut State Library, Ctstatelibrary.org
Exhibition About Gardening
A special exhibition at Pequot Library in Southport on view through September 25 explores gardening, a universal activity that unites people around the world. The Lure of the Garden: The Enduring Desire to Work & Shape the Land invites visitors to explore the enduring desire to shape and cultivate the land, from the propagation of the “three sisters”—corn, beans, and squash — by Native Americans to garden clubs, war-era Victory Gardens, and community and pollinator gardens.
The founders of the library created a collection, with materials dating back to the 1500s, that would be of use to all classes of society—from financier to farmer. The library’s special collections contain practical advice for laying out gardens, raising poultry, keeping bees, propagating vegetables, and keeping the accounts of the farm. Diaries and day books from local farmers document the varieties of plants and fruit trees planted, including local produce like the Southport globe onions and potatoes shipped to New York City.
Pequot Library, pequotlibrary.org
2022 Charles Guilford Woodward Distinguished Lecture
Sebastian Junger (above), the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of WAR, The Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont, and Fire, will discuss his most recent works at the Connecticut Historical Society, September 21, at 6:30 p.m. Junger is the director of the documentary films Restrepo and Korengal and, as a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and contributor to ABC News, he has covered major international news stories. He has received the National Magazine Award and a SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism.
Junger will discuss Freedom (Simon & Schuster, 2021) and Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (Twelve, 2016). Tribeinvestigates veterans’ experiences and proposes that a major cause of pain is not war itself but coming home. He examines PTSD as a side effect of soldiers’ leaving the close bonds formed in military platoons and returning to a disconnected modern society. Regaining a sense of closeness, he argues, may be the key to our psychological survival. Freedom examines the tension at the heart of what it means to be human: the conflict between community and freedom. Tickets are available at chs.org.
Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library, chs.org
Hidden Historic Treasures
Across the state more than 160 museums, homes, churches, cemeteries, and monuments illuminate the roles that Connecticans played in working toward freedom, equality, and citizenship for Black, African American, and Indigenous people. The Connecticut Freedom Trail laces these sites together, allowing travelers to trace a path from ancient burying grounds to the homes of Black leaders, archaeological sites, churches, whaling vessels, and much more. The Connecticut Freedom Trail, a program in residence at Connecticut’s Old State House, offers training and support to these historic sites and brings private homeowners into the story by revealing the significant contributions made by former residents and providing information about state tax credits to restore and preserve these vital links to the past. For more information about how the CT Freedom Trail brings hidden history to light visit ctfreedomtrail.org.
Connecticut Democracy Center at Connecticut’s Old State House, CTOldStateHouse.org
A Hauntingly Good Time
Connecticut Landmarks celebrates spooky season with three events to delight and terrify. On Thursday and Friday evenings from October 13 through 28 the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry presents Things that Go Bump in the Night. These special candlelit tours take visitors around the property and into the house, up to the dark, shadowy attic. Hear staff and visitors’ ghost stories and spooky encounters, as featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. On Fridays and Saturdays, October 21 to 29, join CTL for an immersive event at the Isham-Terry House in Hartford: Mourning Wreath upon the Door, with Escapism Productions. Part theater, part escape room, the program allows participants to join the fictional Beddows family and guests for a 19th-century All Hallows Eve celebration. And celebrate Halloween at the Hempsted Houses in New London on Saturday, October 29. Get into the spirit and meet the ghosts of New Londoners with ghoulish stories to tell. Experience the city’s oldest house at twilight and make s’mores over an open fire. For more information visit ctlandmarks.org/events.
Connecticut Landmarks; ctlandmarks.org
Dreams and Fairies
From October 1, 2022 through May 14, 2023 the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme presents the exhibition Dreams and Memories, an exploration of historic and contemporary art from the museum’s permanent collection that considers these themes as drivers of artistic creativity and expressions of powerful forces in American society. Dreams and memories both manifest and generate ideas, perhaps no more powerfully than in art. Through works by such artists as Edmund Greacen, Mary Knollenberg, Willard Metcalf, Charles Ethan Porter, Winfred Rembert, and Bessie Potter Vonnoh, the exhibition explores these ideas through themes such as reverie, surrealism, identity formation, religion, social action, historical memory, and the American dream.
For 13 years the Wee Faerie Village outdoor installation has delighted visitors of all ages as they explore faerie-scaled architecture designed by artists and faerie aficionados throughout the museum’s 12-acre site. From October 1 to 30 visitors will enjoy this year’s theme Twinkle Point, an amusement park tailored for fay folk.
Florence Griswold Museum, florencegriswoldmuseum.org
West Hartford Hauntings, a spooky theatrical tour of Old North Cemetery in West Hartford, returns for its 18th year the last two weekends of October. Explore one of West Hartford’s oldest graveyards by lantern light with your ghostly guide and experience real tales of the town’s dearly departed residents. For tickets and information, visit noahwebster.yapsody.com.
Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, noahwebsterhouse.org
Art and Activism Exhibition
Opening October 22, 2022 and on view through January 16, 2023, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford hosts Art and Activism at Tougaloo College, a traveling exhibition co-organized by the American Federation of Arts and Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi.. Art and Activism examines the birth and development of the unique collection of modern art that is part of the historically Black college’s permanent collection. As civil rights protests swirled across the fiercely segregated South, the school’s collection was envisioned as “an interracial oasis in which the fine arts are the focus and the magnet.” Comprising approximately 35 artworks in a range of media by both European and African American artists such as David Driskell, Francis Picabia, Elizabeth Catlett, Alma Thomas, Pablo Picasso, Richard Mayhew, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff, the exhibition gives insight into a complex American collection established at the intersections of modern art and social justice.
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, AmistadCenter.org
John Henry Twachtman in Greenwich
On October 19 the Greenwich Historical Society opens a much-anticipated exhibition featuring artworks capturing Twachtman’s home and its surrounding landscape in Greenwich, Connecticut. Curated by Lisa N. Peters, Ph.D., Life and Art: The Greenwich Paintings of John Henry Twachtman considers Twachtman’s paintings of his beloved country home (above) in relation to his developing artistic maturity and family life. Incorporating insights gleaned from architectural study of Twachtman’s house—still extant—Life and Art establishes a new, detailed chronology of Twachtman’s Greenwich paintings, revealing a progression in the artist’s relationship to his subject. An exhibition catalogue is available for purchase through the Greenwich Historical Society Museum Store at greenwichhistory.org/museum-store. For more information about the exhibition and accompanying public programs visit greenwichhistory.org.
Greenwich Historical Society, greenwichhistory.org
Stowe Prize Part II
Stowe Prize Part II, How the Word Is Passed at Nook Farm, takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 22. (Rain date is September 23.) A free program, the event will be simultaneously live-streamed and screened for an in-person audience on the Stowe Center grounds. Original poems inspired by Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Dred, as curated by Versatile Poetiq, will also be performed on site and simultaneously streamed online.
“How the Word Is Passed at Nook Farm” features 2022 Stowe Prize winner Dr. Clint Smith in dialogue with Linda Norris of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) is co-founder of Akomawt Educational Initiative and former executive director of the Abbe Museum in Maine. He last wrote “A Return to Equal Suffrage in Connecticut,” Summer 2020.
As they delve into his incredible New York Times bestselling book How the Word Is Passed. The conversation will build on his June visit to the Stowe Center and his impressions of the center’s role as a museum teaching race history through the narrative of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s life and writing. For more information visit stowecenter.org.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, HarrietBeecherStoweCenter.org
This fall visit Hill-Stead Museum, the breakthrough architectural masterpiece of Theodate Pope Riddle (1867-1946), the fourth registered female architect in the country. As a pioneering female architect, Riddle developed her talent for design while cultivating her passion for historic preservation and beliefs about sustainable farming, education, and harmonious living. By choosing to build Hill-Stead in Farmington, Riddle forever changed Connecticut’s cultural and educational landscape.
The Colonial Revival house is filled with the family’s world-class Impressionist art, Japanese woodblock prints, and more than 2,000 decorative objects. And the house is surrounded by 152 acres of stunning natural beauty! In 2022, as Hill-Stead Museum commemorates its 75th anniversary, celebrate beginnings with the new state-of-the-art exhibition gallery, a new media space, a unique museum shop, and more. Guided tours of the museum are offered Wednesday through Sunday; access to the grounds is free daily, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Hill-Stead Museum, hillstead.org
Hands on History
Visit Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center (KTM&HC) in Ridgefield; the site is stunning in the fall! The historic tavern museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., through October, and in November, Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take a tour, peruse the rotating and permanent exhibitions, and explore the beautiful four-acre gardens and grounds.
This October the museum’s popular #HandsOnHistory exhibit and programming will engage visitors with the museum’s extensive collection of tools from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Located in the historic carriage barn, the It Takes a Village exhibit will showcase tools, daybooks, ledgers, and other objects that speak to the ways in which Ridgefield’s growing businesses and economy served the community throughout the years. KTM&HC will also host free family-friendly workshops and talks on weekends throughout the month. For more information visit keelertavernmuseum.org/events.
Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, Keelertavernmuseum.org
The Katharine Hepburn Museum, located in the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, is the only museum dedicated to offering an authentic view of the cultural and historical impact of Katharine Hepburn and her family. Newly expanded and reopened, the museum showcases letters, costumes, and artifacts associated with the famed actress. Highlights include her childhood letter to Santa Claus, her earliest Actor’s Equity contract, 1975 Primetime Emmy award, and a collection of her signature pants. “Classic Kate” films are shown on the big screen in the theater once a month. For a schedule of screenings visit thekate.org. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum admission is free; however, donations are gratefully accepted.
The Katharine Hepburn Museum, katharinehepburntheater.org/about/museum
Artists’ Views of Litchfield
Fall is the perfect time for a trip to beautiful Litchfield. As the leaves change and weather cools, the Litchfield Historical Society has exhibits, tours, and programs to introduce you to this quintessential New England town. Dive into the town’s vibrant past on a walking tour exploring Litchfield’s celebrated Historic District. Visit the Litchfield History Museum’s latest exhibition Painting Litchfield to see the many ways that artists have enjoyed and interpreted Litchfield’s rich history.
The whole family will enjoy the annual Scarecrows in the Meadow, on view in the Tapping Reeve Meadow October 15 – 31. Visit litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org for a full calendar of upcoming events.
Litchfield Historical Society, litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org
Fired Up: Glass Today, major exhibition of contemporary glass, is on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art September 16, 2022 to February 5, 2023. The show features work created out of the artists’ desire to connect with their material and engage greater conversations surrounding community. Visitors will discover more than 50 glassmakers who are pushing boundaries, forging new paths, and inspiring people in support of this art. The resulting works are exceptional not only for their sculptural beauty but also for their ability to make bold statements about our shared realities—both past and present. Beyond the exhibition, experience the magic of glass firsthand through a lineup of related programs and events, including live glass-blowing demonstrations at the museum. For more information visit thewadsworth.org.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, thewadsworth.org
CCSU Educates Next History Leaders
With the only Public History program in Connecticut, CCSU welcomes new faculty this year who will help us continue to graduate alumni who rise to leadership positions in the state and strengthen our relationships through grants and collaboration with community and in-house partners, including the Connecticut League of History Organizations and the Witness Stones Project.
History Department, Central Connecticut State University, ccsu.edu/history/
Portraits in RED
Portraits in RED, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Peoples Painting Project is on view from October 8 through November 5 at Wood Memorial Library. You are invited to an artist reception and presentation on October 14, 5 – 7 p.m. “This is a very sensitive subject for many people, which is why this message is so important,” says artist Nayana LaFond. Visit Nowashe.org for details.
Nowashe Village at Wood Memorial Library, Nowashe.org
Be There to Hear This Year’s American Voice
You’re invited to the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Awards Dinner on November 4 to celebrate this year’s awardee. During an elegant dinner, you’ll hear addresses by the award winner, the prize benefactor, international bestselling author David Baldacci, and one or more other leading literary figures. First presented in 2016, the award is a juried literary competition with a $25,000 cash prize. The award is given to the author of a work of fiction from the previous year that speaks with a uniquely American voice about American experiences, such as Twain created in his masterpiece, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Awards Dinner is presented by Bank of America, with support from Webster Bank, The Hartford, and Talcott Resolution Life Insurance Company. Visit MarkTwainHouse.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship and table information.
The Mark Twain House & Museum, MarkTwainHouse.org
Fall is a beautiful time to explore Cedar Hill Cemetery’s art, history, and natural beauty. Public programs continue in September and October. Take one of their popular themed walking tours including The Battle of Antietam, Notable Architects, The Plot Thickens, and Autumn Tree Walk. Special events include the Mystery Scavenger Hunt and Hallowed History Lantern Tour. Program information can be found at cedarhillfoundation.org.
For those visiting Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford on their own, quiet recreational activities, such as walking, birding, and photography, are permitted. A Guide for Visitors, A Guide to Notable Trees, and Guide by Cell Audio Tour are available for self-guided experiences.
Cedar Hill Cemetery, cedarhillfoundation.org
Featuring more than 40 banjos from an unparalleled private collection, America’s Instrument: Banjos from the Jim Bollman Collection, on view October 8, 2022 to January 8, 2023 at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, presents the compelling stories and surprising artistry of this often overlooked instrument and its music. An instrument with African predecessors and singular American roots, the banjo has played an important role in many musical genres, including minstrelsy, jazz, bluegrass, folk, and pop. America’s Instrument provides a fascinating look at how the banjo was deeply woven into the history, arts, and society of 19th-century America, ultimately becoming a powerful cultural symbol embodying a complex story of transformation and transition.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, lymanallyn.org
Boat Excursions & Trains!
The Connecticut River Museum, open year-round Tuesday through Sunday, offers guided and self-guided tours and boat excursions. To the delight of kids of all ages, the museum continues its winter tradition with the 29th Annual Train Show, on view November through February. Joyful faces watch in wonderment as model trains zip through tunnels, over bridges, and around familiar River Valley landscapes.
Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Ctrivermuseum.org; 860-767-8269
The Influence of Venetian Glass
From October 15, 2022 through February 23, 2024, Mystic Seaport Museum invites you to Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano, the first comprehensive survey of American engagement with the art world of late 19th-century Venice. Featuring more than 150 objects, this exhibition, organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will present exquisitely crafted glass vessels among paintings, watercolors, and prints by the many talented American artists who found inspiration in Venice.
Together these works show the impact of Italian glass on American art, literature, design theory, and science education, as well as period ideologies of gender, labor, and class relations. For Sargent, Whistler, and their patrons, these glass vessels were both works of art and symbols of collective esteem for history, beauty, and craftsmanship—a combination of connoisseurship and visual pleasure that continues to gratify today’s visitors to this enchanting island city.
Mystic Seaport Museum, Mysticseaport.org
Improving Visitors’ Experience
The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) is helping museums and historical societies improve the visitor experience with a program called Museum Makeover. Organizations accepted into the program receive two site visits from a team of traveling curators who examine the exhibition areas, period rooms, or collection storage and develop a set of recommendations for improvements. The participating organizations are actively involved and work closely with the traveling curators to implement the recommendations. Each participating institution receives up to $3,000 to help cover the costs.
In 2022 15 organizations participated in the program. The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and Wilton Historical Society focused on improving collection storage. The Slater Museum is developing new interpretive materials for its collection of reproduction Greek and Roman sculptures, and Sharon Historical Society is planning an exhibit about immigration and the iron industry. Learn more at clho.org/makeover.
American Realism Today
In 2018 the New Britain Museum of American Art presented a retrospective of paintings by Neil Jenney (born in Torrington in 1945) that explored the artist’s unique and influential brand of Realist painting, steeped in the landscape, people, and pastimes of America. Now, four years later, Jenney returns to the NBMAA as artist-curator of the museum’s forthcoming exhibition American Realism Today, on view September 15, 2022 – January 1, 2023. This is the first survey of contemporary American Realism made by the current New York scene in more than half a century. The exhibition encompasses more than 50 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by a network of 21 artists working across generations, including Robert Lobe, Kathleen Gilje, Joseph McNamara, and Faith Ringgold. Featuring depictions of the landscape and everyday life, American Realism Today celebrates the rich tradition of Realist art in America while reflecting the innovative spirit of our contemporary times.
New Britain Museum of American Art, Nbmaa.org
Slate Restoration at the Slater
In 2022 Slater Memorial Museum of Norwich Free Academy, dedicated in 1886, embarked on a restoration of its original 135-year-old roof. This is the first project of its kind to be performed on the museum building and will be a comprehensive restoration of the entire roofing system. Because of the nature of the project, the museum closed to the public on January 1 and aims to reopen toward the end of 2022. The museum’s collection and exhibitions will be preserved, and in some cases relocated, to maintain their safety and allow for a seamless restoration process. While the museum will be closed temporarily to visitors, the staff will be hard at work behind the scenes connecting with students and the public through digital means, and everyone is invited to join in this exciting journey. Visit slatermuseum.org to learn more and stay updated throughout the restoration!
Slater Memorial Museum, slatermuseum.org
Picturing The Pandemic
The Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library will host an exhibition from October 27 to December 15 in partnership with the Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP) to highlight images and experiences of ordinary people in Hartford and elsewhere during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PJP is a partnership between the University of Connecticut and Brown University to collect images and experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic from people around the world. Selections from the project, including images taken by children, will be displayed alongside photographs from the Hartford History Center’s Hartford 2020 collection, which features images taken that year by three Hartford documentary photographers including photographs of walk-up COVID-19 testing clinics, protests, and masked outdoor live performances. The exhibition opens October 27, 4 to 6 p.m.
Hartford History Center at the Downtown Library, Hartford Public Library, hplct.org
Protect our History, Our Present, Our Future
Advocates for Brookfield’s Laurel Hill Cemetery, a State of Connecticut historic site, are seeking oversight and regulation of the death-care industry in Connecticut, including cemeteries. The purpose of these efforts is to preserve historic cemeteries, protect the investments of families whose loved ones rest there, and exemplify a proud and recognizable character that Ben Franklin recognized when he said, “To know the character of a community, I need only visit its cemeteries.”
Part of the beauty of cemeteries has become one of their greatest challenges. These burial sites came to be in a variety of ways, in some cases created by a local church, in other cases by a family or broader community, and they evolved according to the needs of those who oversaw them. Today, decades and even centuries after their founding, many Connecticut cemeteries are struggling, having outgrown or outlived their founders and outstripped the abilities of community volunteers who may have stepped in to help. If you would like to join this advocacy effort call 203-775-3278 or visit centralcemetery.net.
Central Cemetery Association, centralcemetery.net