c) Connecticut Explored, Summer, 2023
Inaugural Artist in Residence Exhibition
Merik Goma is the inaugural Joyce C. Willis Artist in Residence at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture. Through 18 months of exploration in The Amistad Center’s collection of art and artifacts, Goma found inspiration for the series My Heart is Light in the Void. A unique storyteller, Goma carefully places objects and human models in hand-constructed tableaux. Embracing cinematic concepts of lighting, his work invites the viewer to imagine the contexts in which people of color are both visible and invisible and the resulting parallels between dark and light.
My Heart is Light in the Void is on view at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture through the summer. The Joyce C. Willis residency program was designed and funded by the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation to serve as a catalyst to help Black artists excel in their careers and promote equity in the arts.
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street, Hartford. AmistadCenter.org; 860-838-4089
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. Its publication, Connecticut History Review, is the only academic, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the history of Connecticut. ASCH serves academic scholars, museum professionals, history buffs, graduate students, and educators.
The image to the left captures the aftermath of the 1938 hurricane on a small island off the coast of Branford, Connecticut. During the hurricane, the Thimble Islands were devastated by heavy wind, rain, and storm surge. The hurricane badly damaged island properties and stranded residents, and the storm swept entire residences into the sea. Seven people lost their lives.
The Connecticut State Library holds several statewide aerial photograph collections and additional smaller collections. Included in those collections are 132 oblique images of the damage that followed the September 1938 hurricane and flood. These images, taken by the 118th Photographic Section of the U.S. Army Air Corps and the 43rd Division of the Connecticut National Guard, would later be given to the Connecticut State Library. Today you can see many of them on the Connecticut State Library website.
Connecticut State Library, 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. Ctstate.library.org; 860-757-6500
River Cruises, Exhibitions, and Music
This summer at the Connecticut River Museum, enjoy cruises on the Onrust and RiverQuest, experience Water/Ways, a Museum on Main Street exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and listen to great music alongside the beautiful Connecticut River at Thursdays on the Dock in July and August.
Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Ctrivermuseum.org; 860-767-8269
Nook Farm Walking Tour
History buffs, this is your chance to Walk and Learn! The Seeing Is Revealing Nook Farm Walking Tour explores the historical landscapes occupied by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) and illuminates the social disparities and parities that continue to affect the contemporary neighborhood known as Asylum Hill.
Meet at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and travel through the urban green space where the historic homes of Stowe and Twain are located. Continue beyond the campus to explore Hartford’s broader Asylum Hill community and learn more about this dynamic neighborhood’s history. Just under a mile, the tour includes places to sit. In addition to guide-led walking tours, visitors can purchase a self-guided walking tour that includes ADA functions.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest Street, Hartford. 860-522-9258; HarrietBeecherStoweCenter.org
Outdoor Performances and Juneteenth Event
Visit Hill-Stead this summer! With our outdoor performing arts series From the Porch, Juneteenth celebration, 152 acres of gardens and hiking trails, and world-class Impressionist art, Hill-Stead has activities for all ages to keep you and your family entertained all summer long.
In keeping with the Pope-Riddle family’s tradition of bringing multicultural opportunities to the community, Hill-Stead’s From the Porch not only brings the arts to the public but acts as a fundraiser for the museum to sustain this dynamic cultural institution. The series features incredible artists and performers from Connecticut and beyond.
Hill-Stead also hosts a Juneteenth event as a day of celebration and discovery. The outdoor community event offers visual and performing arts, family activities, food, and more. The goal of the event is to support Black-owned businesses and educate the public about important racial issues and Black culture.
Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington. hillstead.org; 860-677-4787
Visitors gather at our July 4th Celebration to commemorate Independence Day with great food and fun activities with a historic twist!
Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center is a fantastic summer destination for visitors of all ages! Discover local history with national connections through engaging historic tavern tours and exhibits, and gather for community events like the July 4th Celebration and A Garden of Verse poetry series on our beautiful grounds.
Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, 152 Main Street, Ridgefield. 203-438-5485; Keelertavernmuseum.org
In 1864 Connecticut governor and Lebanon native William Buckingham donated $100 to his childhood church for the minister to use to purchase books. By 1869 so many books had been donated or purchased that church members met to plan how and where to store them. They voted to “erect on the Parsonage grounds a suitable building to be used as a Pastor’s library and study.” Buckingham, by then a United States senator, encouraged this effort and donated two walnut bookcases made by the cabinetmaker who furnished his U.S. Senate office. Today the library stands on the Lebanon Historical Society grounds. The walnut bookcases and many of the original books are still there. Detailed records of the library’s furnishing in 1869 and refurnishing in 1910 were used in creating the restored interior. The Pastor’s Library is open on summer Saturday afternoons or by appointment.
Lebanon Historical Society, 856 Trumbull Highway, Lebanon. historyoflebanon.org; 860-642-6579
Celebrated New London Photographer
Barkley L. Hendricks, Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People – Bobby Seale), 2009, pigment print, 23 x 19 inches. Lyman Allyn Art Museum, gift of Susan Hendricks, 2017.14.3. Courtesy of the estate of Barkley L. Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
The internationally celebrated Barkley L. Hendricks (1945–2017) is best known for his expressive, large-scale portraits, many from the 1970s, which present a powerful vision of modern Black identity. Barkley L. Hendricks in New London, on view at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum through September 3, considers the work of this influential artist from a regional standpoint, exploring the role of place, community, and teaching in Hendricks’s career. Hendricks taught studio art at Connecticut College for more than three decades. With 35 works of art in a variety of media, the exhibition explores the range and breadth of Hendricks’s artistic production. Hendricks was also an avid and prolific photographer who used his camera as a “mechanical sketchbook,” documenting everyday encounters and his wider travels. The exhibition includes 10 newly archived photographs taken in New London, which were uncovered and printed after the artist’s death in 2017.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 625 Williams Street, New London. 860-443-2545; lymanallyn.org
I SPY Walter Wick!
The whimsical world of Walter Wick has fascinated people of all ages since 1991, when his first children’s book series I SPY found its way onto the bookshelves of millions of American households. The success of Wick’s books has established him as one of the most celebrated photographic illustrators of all time. This spring and summer the NBMAA is thrilled to present the largest survey of Wick’s work to date, on view through September 3. Named after his most recent book, Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders! spans 50 years of innovation, wonder, and imagination. The exhibition pairs beloved images, including more than 15 never-before-seen works, with numerous three-dimensional models upon which his photographs are based. Celebrating five decades of creativity and Wick’s indelible role in the development of photographic illustration, this exhibition is a must-see for art lovers of any age. Plan your visit today!
New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington Street, New Britain. Nbmaa.org; 860-229-0257
National Voter Registration Day
On September 19 Connecticut’s Old State House, home of the Connecticut Democracy Center, will host a voter registration event for National Voter Registration Day. The mission of the CTDC is to inspire people of all ages to engage in civic life and strengthen their communities, and we’re taking the opportunity to stress the importance of local elections by encouraging our Hartford neighbors to register to vote. This year on National Voter Registration Day, the Old State House will offer free admission to the museum for any visitor who registers to vote or checks their registration status on site. The day’s scheduled events will include a panel discussion about the importance of local elections, along with live music and refreshments throughout the day. To learn more visit online or subscribe to our mailing list at ctoldstatehouse.org.
Connecticut Democracy Center at Connecticut’s Old State House, 800 Main Street, Hartford. CTOldStateHouse.org; 860-522-6766
Twain’s Summer Sojourns
The Mark Twain House & Museum is now showcasing its new exhibition For Business or Pleasure? Twain’s Summer Sojourns. This artifact-rich and informative new exhibition highlights the Clemens family’s summer getaways to Elmira, New York; Old Saybrook, Connecticut; Dublin, New Hampshire and more. Discover the leisure activities and vacation destinations popular during The Gilded Age. Exhibit admission is included with your house tour ticket.
The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford. 860-247-0998; MarkTwainHouse.org
While not an island in the traditional sense, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum’s three historic houses provide a retreat to the colonial era in the midst of modern suburbia. Each year thousands of regional, national, and international visitors make the museum a destination, exploring this tiny isle of historical significance while enjoying 21st-century amenities. The houses tell stories of national significance: the Webb House was George Washington’s headquarters in May 1781, when he met with French commander Comte de Rochambeau to plan what became the Yorktown Campaign; the Deane House was home to our nation’s first diplomat, whose efforts led France to recognize the U.S. as an independent nation; and the Stevens House provides a portrait of a successful mercantile Connecticut River Valley family. The museum’s campus, including the Webb Barn and Colonial Revival Garden, serves as a place of enjoyment and cultural enrichment. To learn more visit wdsmuseum.org.
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, 211 Main Street, Wethersfield. wdsmuseum.org; 860-529-0612
Summer is prime time to step out and explore the natural splendor that Connecticut has to offer. Greenwich Historical Society presents a celebration of the great outdoors through informative self-guided walking tours of notable local landscapes from the convenience of your own mobile device: simply search Discover Greenwich and download the app! From Greenwich Point Park to Montgomery Pinetum and countless sites in between, take a step back in time and discover the stories behind the vibrant town we know today.
To complement the self-guided tours and highlight the local beauty and history of the area, the Historical Society will host a lecture and book talk on Thursday, July 13, from 6 to 7 p.m. with Caryn Davis, author of Connecticut Gardens: A Celebration of the State’s Historic, Public, and Private Gardens, in association with the Greenwich Botanical Center.
Greenwich Historical Society, 47 Strickland Road, Cos Cob. greenwichhistory.org; 203-869-6899
Explore the History of Kent
Kent Historical Society’s Seven Hearths Museum offers a unique view of the early development of the Town of Kent. It contains an award-winning fur-trading post and was once the home and studio of noted New York artist George Laurence Nelson. It hosts special exhibitions in the summer and fall.
Kent Historical Society, 4 Studio Hill Road, Kent. 860-927-4587; kenthistoricalsociety.org
Enjoy a Landmarks Summer
Connecticut Landmarks museums are open! Experience more than 200 years of history through the eyes of the families who lived at the Palmer-Warner House in East Haddam. Walk the hallowed grounds of the 1678 Joshua Hempsted House and the 1759 Nathaniel Hempsted Stone House in New London. Explore the history of the Hale family, whose contributions and sacrifices helped reshape their community and nation on the cusp of the American Revolution, at the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry. Understand the evolution of the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden in Bethlehem, from its construction by Reverend Joseph Bellamy to its use as the summer residence of social justice and human rights advocate Caroline Ferriday. Take a look into the rapid growth of the emerging nation in the late 18th century at the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden in Suffield. Travel to Hartford’s past at the Isham-Terry House and Butler-McCook House & Garden. We hope to see you soon.
Connecticut Landmarks; ctlandmarks.org
Connecticut Collections is an online research portal from the Connecticut League of History Organizations that allows you to search museum collections from across the state in one place. Our 30+ member museums bring together a rich variety of topics related to Connecticut’s history, art, and culture. Our newly redesigned website allows you to search thousands of objects and documents in one place. You can even curate your own galleries of objects and images. Explore our state’s rich heritage with Connecticut Collections and learn more about the amazing museums in your own neck of the woods. Visit ctcollections.org to start your journey.
Connecticut League of History Organizations; clho.org
American Art: Race, Gender, and the Environment
This summer the Florence Griswold Museum is pleased to share a very special exhibition organized by Princeton University Art Museum. Object Lessons in American Art is drawn entirely from Princeton’s venerable collections and presents works of Euro-American, African American, and Native American art created between the 18th century and today. The traveling exhibition, on view June 3 through September 10, asks fundamental questions about artistic significance and how meaning changes across time, place, and context.
Focusing in particular on race, gender, and the environment, the exhibition features 73 works in 20 discrete groups, each intended to provoke new considerations and raise timely questions about American history and culture. These juxtapositions serve as “object lessons”—gatherings of tangible artifacts that communicate an embodied idea or an abstract concept—to anchor debates about the country’s complex social, racial, and political history, thereby expanding our ideas about American art history.
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. 860-434-5542; florencegriswoldmuseum.org
Slate Restoration at Slater
In 2022 Slater Memorial Museum of Norwich Free Academy, dedicated in 1886, embarked on a restoration of its original 135-year-old roof. The first project of its kind to be performed on the museum building, this 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, 2022 and aims to reopen in 2023. The museum’s collection and exhibitions have been 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, 108 Crescent Street, Norwich. 860-887-2506; slatermuseum.org
Preservation Connecticut Awards of Merit
Congratulations to the recipients of Preservation Connecticut’s Awards of Merit for 2023:
- Mordecai Prindle house, Ansonia, a homeowner-led rehab of an 18th-century house Bristol Arts & Innovation Magnet School, Bristol, an imaginative reuse of an historic school
- 99 Pratt Street, Hartford, a commercial building converted to apartments to spark revitalization of a broader neighborhood
- Hotel Marcel, New Haven, a Mid-Century Modern office building converted to a net-zero hotel
- New London City Council Chamber, New London, where restoration of a historic paint scheme dignifies local government
- Shirt Factory Lofts, Norwalk (pictured). a mixed-use rehab contributes to a transit-oriented district
- Old Mill Grocery and Deli, Westport, a grassroots effort to preserve a community landmark and gathering place
These seven projects were chosen from among 16 nominations for their excellence in bringing new life to significant historic places and enhancing their communities. The awards were presented on May 4. To read more about them, visit preservationct.org.
Preservation Connecticut; PreservationCT.org
Presenting New & Compelling Stories
The Ancient Burying Ground Association (ABGA) in Hartford debuts new tours this summer. ABGA has expanded its colonial-era narrative to include fascinating and diverse stories of hardship, struggle, and success among the people most likely to be buried there. AGBA, located at the corner of Main and Gold streets, is open to the public daily.
The Ancient Burying Ground, P.O. Box 347, Hartford. 860-337-1640; theancientburyingground.org
Cedar Hill Cemetery Tours
Discover the history, art, and natural beauty of Hartford’s Cedar Hill Cemetery on one of its popular themed tours. Learn about a famed barnstormer, a legendary industrialist, Mark Twain’s best friend, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, and more. Marvel at rare and notable trees, majestic monuments, and intriguing stories of cemetery residents.
Guided walking tours last approximately 90 minutes. Tour routes include small hills and uneven ground. Tours covering a variety of topics, ranging from Arts & Letters to Planes, Trains & Automobiles, are available throughout the summer. Tour admission is $10; free for Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation members. For more information and to register for programs visit cedarhillfoundation.org.
Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford. cedarhillfoundation.org; 860-956-331
What happens when an inventor’s home becomes a history museum? Using inspiration from Curtis Veeder, a Connecticut inventor, and the unique objects in the CHS’s collection, the Inspire Center brings history and problem-solving together in this hands-on, creative space designed for visitors of all ages!
Objects on display in the Inspire Center show us how everyday problems were solved long ago. Look closely, get inspired, and work together to create your own solution to these age-old challenges. Using everyday household items, art supplies, and building blocks, you can draw blueprints for your invention and then build a prototype. With objects and themes changing monthly, you can enjoy unique experiences all year long! The Inspire Center is open on weekends and is included with museum admission. The Inspire Center is generously sponsored by the Gawlicki Family Foundation. Learn more at chs.org/inspire.
Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library, 1 Elizabeth Street, Hartford. chs.org; 860-236-5621
Nowashe Village in South Windsor
National award-winning Nowashe Village is excited to open its third season of programming by inviting visitors to its Annual Artifact ID Day on June 10, 2023. Step behind Nowashe’s fence and learn about Indigenous lifeways, both past and present. Indigenous Educators explore topics such as Wampum, waterways, and storytelling. Visit Nowashe.org for details.
Wood Memorial Library, 787 Main Street, South Windsor. 860-289-1783; WoodMemorialLibrary.org
Hartford History Center Annex Opens
While the Hartford History Center’s location at the Downtown Library remains closed for repairs, the Hartford History Center Annex at the Ropkins Library (1750 Main Street., Hartford) is now open for students and researchers by appointment. This recently renovated location offers access to a large collection of bound volumes of The Hartford Courant and Hartford Times newspapers, along with Hartford city directories and thousands of historical photographs. Other research materials may be available upon request. Hartford History Center staff can assist with research questions by phone or email. To book an appointment at the Hartford History Center Annex, or for general assistance, please call 860-695-6927 or email email@example.com. Select Hartford History Center collections, including Hartford Times photographs and the Hartford City Parks Collection, are also available electronically on the Connecticut Digital Archive at ctdigitalarchive.org.
Hartford History Center at the Downtown Library, Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford. 860-695-6300; hplct.org
Indigenous Education Programs
For more than 45 years the Institute for American Indian Studies has provided hands-on, inquiry-based education programs about the 12,000-plus-year history of indigenous peoples in Quinnetukut – The Place of the Long Water. Our interdisciplinary programs are designed with state standards in mind to provide interactive learning experiences. We have recently revamped our education programs to address upcoming changes in the Connecticut public schools’ curriculum that will mandate the teaching of local Native American history. Updates to our programs include an educational game called “Quest Across Quinnetukut,” in which students represent experts with the goal of returning a cultural item to one Connecticut’s five recognized tribes by answering trivia questions about local Native American history. With programs ranging from school field trips to professional development workshops for teachers, our education department engages learners of all ages in thought-provoking discussions about local Native American history and culture. Visit iaismuseum.org for more information and to request a program.
Institute for American Indian Studies, 38 Curtis Road, Washington. iaismuseum.org; 860-868-0518
The call for action to address the lack of succession options available to Connecticut’s cemeteries has been escalated to the federal level and the Office of U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes. Compared to other states, Connecticut provides little in the way of oversight, audit, and enforcement of its death-care industry. That means there is no reliable path to succession that assures business continuity, fiduciary oversight, and consumer protection.
This problem has persisted since 1994 when a legislative initiative to create a cemetery commission, introduced by then Representative, now Senator Joan Hartley, was defeated. Under discussion is the possibility of recognizing the industry as an extension of the financial services industry because of the mortgage length contracts for prepaid services and land use.
Central Cemetery Association, 490 Federal Road, Brookfield. 203-775-3278; centralcemetery.net
How Maps Made America
Whether as handmaidens of diplomacy, instruments of social reform, or even advertisements, maps have the power to both illuminate and complicate our understanding of the past. On Thursday, July 13, at 7 p.m. join the Litchfield Historical Society in welcoming historian and author Susan Schulten for “How Maps Made America.” Explore the myriad ways that maps have both reflected and shaped American history, from the voyages of discovery to the digital age. To accommodate audiences in Connecticut, Ohio, and beyond, this lecture is being hosted in person at the Litchfield Historical Society and shared online via Zoom.
Litchfield Historical Society, 7 South Street, Litchfield. litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org; 860-567-4501
Alexis Rockman: Oceanus is a major exhibition now on display in the Collins Gallery of the Thompson Exhibition Building at Mystic Seaport Museum. The show features 10 large-scale watercolors and an 8-by-24-foot panoramic painting, all commissioned by the museum to become part of the permanent collection. The project represents a shift in perspective at the museum to raise awareness and inspire conversations around the critical global issues that face our oceans due to the impacts of maritime activities as part of our collective cultural, social, and economic heritage.
The central work, OCEANUS, takes viewers on a journey of global discovery beneath the world’s changing seas, deftly weaving natural history, archaeology, adventure, political analysis, and science into a story about the human condition. OCEANUS features 22 vessels, 16 of which were inspired by models of watercraft in the museum’s collection.
Mystic Seaport Museum, 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic. mysticseaport.org; 860-572-0711
Photos, maps, and graphics illustrating artifacts found at the Pardee-Morris House (PMH) during a recent archaeological survey will be on view at the historic house during regular summer hours, Sundays, 12 – 4 p.m., June 4 – August 27, 2023. Among the artifacts found at PMH by Public Archaeology Survey Team, Inc. are sherds from an English yellow-slipware baking dish, (ca. 1730-1780), a rim sherd of 18th-century blue Chinese porcelain, and a mid-section of an 18th-century drinking glass. Owned and operated by the New Haven Museum, PMH dates from about 1780 and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Built by Amos Morris around 1750, the house was burned by the British during their raid in 1779 and rebuilt and expanded by the Morris family. PMH hosts concerts, lectures, tours, and exhibitions, all free of charge, each summer.
Pardee-Morris House, 325 Lighthouse Road, New Haven. 203-562-4183; newhavenmuseum.org/visit/pardee-morris-house/
New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. newhavenmuseum.org; 203-562-4183
The Katharine Hepburn Museum hosts a special exhibition highlighting the collaboration between Katharine Hepburn and writer Ernest Thompson in both the film On Golden Pond and the Broadway play West Side Waltz. The exhibition features original costumes, artifacts, and memorabilia from both productions, including several items on loan from Mr. Thompson.
The Katharine Hepburn Museum is the only museum of its kind dedicated to the legacy of America’s iconic actress. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August only from 12 to 4 p.m. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $5 per person to support the care and preservation of the collection.
The Katharine Hepburn Museum, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. 860-510-0473; katharinehepburntheater.org/about/museum
Frederick Douglass Exhibition
Sir Isaac Julien’s immersive, multi–screen film installation Lessons of the Hour anchors this exploration of Frederick Douglass’s reflections on image-making, race, and citizenship. Co-curated by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth Lewis and presented in collaboration with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, the exhibition brings together rare19th-century daguerreotypes—on public view for the first time—saluting the studio practices of the African American photographers of Douglass’s era, along with the many compelling sitters who sought to have their images captured and remembered. The presentation represents a dialogue between local and international, between Douglass’s encounters with the citizenry of Hartford, and the continuing international reach of his unfinished movement for social justice. I Am Seen…Therefore, I Am: Isaac Julien and Frederick Douglass is on view through September 24, marking the 180th anniversary of Douglass’s first visit to Hartford, in May 1843.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street, Hartford. thewadsworth.org; 860-278-2670
Children’s book author and illustrator E. Boyd Smith called Wilton home for nearly four decades, and during that time he saw the town experience rapid growth and dramatic change. His illustrations, pulled directly from the landscapes he saw in and around his hometown, captured all aspects of life in a community emerging into the 20th century, all the while sharing stories accessible to children across the nation. The Town Book: E. Boyd Smith’s 20th Century Wilton, on view through October 7, is a new exhibition at the Wilton Historical Society that explores Wilton’s development from a small farming community into the modern suburb it is today. The exhibition displays Smith’s art alongside objects from the museum’s collection to offer different perspectives on Wilton’s evolution during the first half of the 1900s. Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton. wiltonhistorical.org; 203-762-7257
Spooky Cemetery Tour
West Hartford Hauntings, the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society’s spooky, theatrical cemetery tour, returns! Your ghostly guide leads you on a lantern-lit tour of Old North Cemetery, where you experience tales of death, disease, and real history. Join us the last two weekends in October. Purchase tickets at noahwebster.yapsody.com.
Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, 227 South Main Street, West Hartford. noahwebsterhouse.org; 860-521-5362
Apply to Public History MA
Central Connecticut State University’s Public History program is working with new faculty and a growing list of community partners, including CT Explored, to expand and reinterpret Connecticut history. Come be a part of it! Apply to the Public History MA program. Gain experience while you earn your degree! Contact Leah Glaser, firstname.lastname@example.org, for details.
History Department, Central Connecticut State University; ccsu.edu/history/
The Beauty of Books
The Private Press Movement was an offshoot of the Arts and Crafts Movement and flourished around the turn of the 19th century. Led by William Morris, its adherents rejected modern, mechanized book production in favor of exquisitely crafted texts and bindings produced using traditional techniques. The Book Beautiful: Selections from the Private Press Movement, on view June 22 through September 23, explores this rich period in book design, highlighting fine examples from Pequot Library’s Special Collections. Join us for an opening reception on Thursday, June 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. and experience a gallery tour led by Special Collections Librarian Cecily Dyer at 6:30 p.m. Find details about the exhibition and associated programming at pequotlibrary.org.
Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Avenue, Southport. pequotlibrary.org; 203-259-0346
Artwork Celebrating African Heritage]
An heirloom is anything that a family or ancestor has passed down from generation to generation. This exhibition, Ancestral Heirloom: Art of Ifeyinwa Joy Chiamonwu, on view at the Mattatuck Museum through August 20, explores the physical and traditional heirlooms passed down to the artist by her family and by the ancestors of the Igbo people. She recognizes that some Africans in Africa, and many Africans in diaspora, have lost touch with their roots. Thus, she has created this body of artwork to celebrate her African cultural identity in the hopes of “win[ning]back the minds of our brothers and sisters who have intentionally or unintentionally turned their backs on, or have lost touch with, their heirlooms.” Featuring eight never-before-seen works by Chiamonwu, Ancestral Heirloom makes a joyful case for celebrating one’s heritage.
Mattatuck Museum, 144 West Main Street, Waterbury. 203-753-038, ext. 130; mattmuseum.org