(c) Connecticut Explored Inc., Winter 2022-23
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days after arriving he famously wrote “Siberia alone can furnish any idea of Lebanon, which
consists of a few huts scattered among vast forests.” November 1780 was cold and snowy in
eastern Connecticut and barracks for the enlisted hussars were not yet complete. Officers were
provided housing in private homes around the Broad Street (now the Lebanon Green). Over the
next six and a half months, relations between local families and their foreign “guests” were not
Saturday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm, to learn more about the uneasy relationship between Lebanon
residents and the “Voluntaires Etrangers du Lauzun” in our child-friendly exhibit “Explore
Lebanon Historical Society, 856 Trumbull Highway, Lebanon, CT 06249, https://historyoflebanon.org/
Annual Train Show
Celebrate the holidays with the Connecticut River Museum! The museum continues its winter tradition with the 29th Annual Train Show, opening in November. Joyful faces watch as trains zip through tunnels, over bridges, and around River Valley landscapes. Open year-round Tuesday through Sunday, offering guided and self-guided tours.
Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Ctrivermuseum.org; 860-767-8269
Chromatopia: Stories of Color in Art
This family-friendly exhibition, on view November 19, 2022 – March 5, 2023, explores the rich history of pigments and dyes and their impact on art and culture. The story of color, and the search for ever more vibrant pigments, is a fascinating one, tying into biology and human evolution, alchemy,philosophy, chemistry, exploration and colonial exploitation, language and cultural meaning-making and artistic expression. Chromatopia features more than 30 objects drawn from the Lyman Allyn’s collection as well as from other museums and private lenders.
Among the objects telling the stories of color from prehistory to the present will be ancient Greek and Egyptian artifacts, Chinese ceramics, Flemish oil paintings, works by modern artists and new works by artists using color in interesting ways. Color inspires us, affects our mood, and shapes how we see the world. Chromatopia asks the question: color is all around us, but what do we really know about it?
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 625 Williams Street, New London. 860-443-2545; lymanallyn.org
“Upper State Street, New Haven, At the Height of Its Decline.”
The New Haven Museum is delighted to announce an exciting new photographic acquisition, “Upper State Street, New Haven, At the Height of Its Decline.” The collection includes 70 photographic views of New Haven’s Upper State Street neighborhood, photographed by Karen Klugman in Fall 1978 and donated to the New Haven Museum by Klugman in 2021.
Klugman’s photographs capture the funky atmosphere of 1978, depicting local merchants and residents against backdrops of peeling paint and piles of second-hand merchandise. They also document a community about to change. Around this same time, the Upper State Street Association was formed to address rising crime, economic decline, and buildings in disrepair. When the Upper State Street Historic District was designated in 1984, the buildings remained, but many of the people were gone. Explore the collection at collections.newhavenmuseum.org/.
New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. newhavenmuseum.org; 203-562-4183
Edward Burtynsky: Earth Observed
The New Britain Museum of American Art presents a large-scale survey featuring the work of acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky from November 17, 2022, through April 16, 2023. Edward Burtynsky: Earth Observed includes examples from nearly every series of Burtynsky’s output from the early 1990s to today and examines the artist’s career-long documentation of human impact on nature and the landscape through manufacturing, mining, shipbreaking, and deforestation. It will represent the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in Connecticut and one of the largest in the Northeast ever, and it will explore topics including climate change, sustainability, and the legacy of American landscape art.
New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington Street, New Britain. Nbmaa.org; 860-229-0257
Alfred Pope: An Evolution of Ingenuity
Come visit Hill-Stead to see our new exhibition Alfred Pope: An Evolution of Ingenuity. The exhibition reunites the works that were once owned by Alfred Atmore Pope (1842-1913), who was the father of our founder, Theodate Pope Riddle. He was among the first American collectors to embrace the French Impressionists and collect their works. Through artwork, objects, and archival documents, we present the man who made Hill-Stead possible, in celebration of its 75th anniversary as a museum. The exhibition, on view from November 17, 2022, to May 30, 2023, will be accompanied by a major publication.
Visit during regular museum hours (Wednesday-Sunday, 10 am – 4 p.m.) and take advantage of free access to the grounds (every day, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.). Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington. hillstead.org; 860-677-4787
The Capitol Collection: Visiting Every State Capitol in the Country
On Tuesday, December 13, at 7 p.m. , Connecticut’s Old State House presents a Connecticut Democracy Center program about the popular Capitol Collection Souvenir Passport Book. This evening conversation will feature Kevin Snow, owner of the Capitol Collection, which is a comprehensive guide to visiting the country’s state capitols. Kevin will discuss how the Capitol Collection passport book came into being and talk about his own quest to visit as many state capitols as he could. The story of his trip to deliver special Capitol Collection passport stamps includes some amusing anecdotes about tickling kittens or possible electrocutions, depending on which expert you ask. Finally, he’ll relate some of the tales of other capitol travelers and the goings-on at the capitols of today. For more information visit wp.cga.ct.gov/osh/calendar/evening-conversation-a-capitol-connoisseurs-creation-of-the-capitol-collection/.
Connecticut Democracy Center at Connecticut’s Old State House, 800 Main Street, Hartford. CTOldStateHouse.org; 860-522-6766
Isham-Terry House Windows Restoration Project Completed
Connecticut Landmarks recently completed a nine-month effort to restore windows and French doors at the Isham-Terry House in Hartford. This work was possible with the assistance of Preservation Connecticut, which provided Connecticut Landmarks with $9,000 administered through its 1772 Foundation matching grant program. Three sets of French doors and sections of five window units in the 1856 house were restored by Fink & Son, LLC, a Plainville-based historic carpentry, restoration, and woodworking organization. Each door/sash unit within the project scope was removed safely and restored, with existing glass re-set and glazed prior to reinstallation. New glass replaced broken panes, and tempered glass was added to the French doors, replacing the previous combination of Plexiglas and varying thicknesses of glass. The Isham-Terry preservation work was performed in accordance with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Following Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
Connecticut Landmarks; ctlandmarks.org
Call for Nominations!
Every year Preservation Connecticut recognizes outstanding efforts in the preservation and enhancement of historic places throughout Connecticut, with the goal of inspiring others to take similar action. The Connecticut Preservation Awards recognize projects that bring new life to distressed historic places, revitalize sites associated with the history of minority or overlooked communities, make significant contributions to sustainability—environmental, economic, or social—or develop innovative new perspectives or methods of historic preservation. Do you know a young professional who has demonstrated achievement or potential achievement in historic preservation work? We have an award for that, too: Nominate a person for our Mimi Findlay Award! You can find more information and learn how to submit a FREE nomination at preservationct.org/nominate. Nominations are due by 4 p.m. on February 3, 2023. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2023.
Preservation Connecticut; PreservationCT.org
New Historians at CCSU
CCSU Public History has begun this school year with a new crop of graduate students and new faculty to teach in and enrich our program. Welcome Dr. Tyler Kynn (Digital Humanities), Professor Camesha Scruggs (African-America, Women, and Public History), and Dr. David Naumec (Native American, Early America, and Museum Studies).
History Department, Central Connecticut State University; ccsu.edu/history/
Life and Art in Greenwich
On view through January 22, 2023 at the Greenwich Historical Society, Life and Art: The Greenwich Paintings of John Henry Twachtman features art created by the American Impressionist painter of his Greenwich home and surrounding landscape. Curated by Lisa N. Peters, Ph.D., the exhibition considers Twachtman’s paintings of his beloved country residence 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. Related public programs include curator talks and weekly guided tours of the exhibition and Bush-Holley House, where Twachtman and other artists gathered to form what became known as the Cos Cob Art Colony. An exhibition catalog is available for purchase.
Greenwich Historical Society, 47 Strickland Road, Cos Cob. greenwichhistory.org; 203-869-6899
Film Preservation Grant
The Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library was recently awarded an $18,830 National Film Preservation Foundation grant to restore and digitize a collection of early 20th-century films by radio pioneer, inventor, and Hartford resident Hiram Percy Maxim. The films, which will be available on the Connecticut Digital Archive within the next year, feature Maxim and his wife, along with their family and friends. Hartford is recorded in many ways, including footage of flooding in November 1927 and the view from the city’s first air mail plane. Maxim was born in Brooklyn, New York, and first came to Hartford in 1895 to work for the Pope Manufacturing Company, helping design the Columbia electric motor carriage. He later founded his own firm, creating the Maxim Silencer for firearms and adapting the technology to be used in early automobile mufflers.
Hartford History Center at the Downtown Library, Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford. 860-695-6300; hplct.org
Trains, Trains, and More Trains!
The Great Trains Holiday Show at the Wilton Historical Society returns this winter! Opening the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 25 and running through January 16, 2023, the show provides fun for the whole family with multiple model train layouts located in 18th- and 19th-century buildings decorated for the holidays. Displays include highly detailed miniature towns, tunnels, and bridges, along with interactive scenery with plenty of buttons to push! Knowledgeable “train engineers” will be on hand to talk trains with visitors, and collectors can view an exhibit of vintage trains from Wilton Historical’s collection. Check the Society’s website for additional holiday programming. The Great Train Holiday Show is open Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sundays noon – 4 p.m.. Admission for members is free; non-member kids $5; adults $10.
Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton. wiltonhistorical.org; 203-762-7257
The Litchfield Historical Society
The Litchfield Historical Society may be closed for the winter, but you can still “visit” us anytime online! Go to litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org to find several of our previous exhibitions digitized. Interact with Stitching Stories, Bauhaus/Litchfield, or Sold, Made, & Grown in Litchfield, all from the comfort of your home! Even take a tour of the Tapping Reeve House and the Litchfield Law School, completely mapped in 3D with state-of-the-art cameras.
The Litchfield Historical Society will reopen with new exhibits in April 2023.
Litchfield Historical Society, 7 South Street, Litchfield. litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org; 860-567-4501
Walker Evans American Photographs
Walker Evans American Photographs at the Mattatuck Museum celebrates the photographer’s 1938 landmark solo exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. 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. On view through December 31, 2022, 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, 144 West Main Street, Waterbury. 203-753-038, ext. 130; mattmuseum.org
Seeing Is Revealing: New Walking Tour
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center recently debuted its newest tour offering,
Seeing is Revealing: Nook Farm Then and Now, a walking tour of Stowe’s historic neighborhood. From an artistic and activist enclave to a contemporary dynamic Hartford neighborhood, the tour explores Nook Farm’s relationship to the history of residential development, urbanization, and preservation and the effects of each on racial and social injustices today. Seeing Is Revealing is offered as an in-person, guided experience every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The tour will also be available as a downloadable self-guided audio experience starting November 30. Follow our social media pages for continual updates on this exciting new tour opportunity, and visit stowecenter.org to register. Seeing Is Revealing was developed through funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest Street, Hartford. 860-522-9258; HarrietBeecherStoweCenter.org
Recognize Great Work in Connecticut History!
The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) recognizes excellence in Connecticut history through its annual Awards of Merit program. Awards recognize institutions and individuals who demonstrate the highest professional standards and who enhance and further the understanding of history in our state.
CLHO presents awards in two categories: Projects and Individual Achievement. Projects include most types of public-facing research and interpretive work. Individual Achievement awards are intended for people who have made significant and longstanding contributions to Connecticut history beyond the local level.
We accept nominations from individuals, history organizations, and other cultural institutions in Connecticut. We strongly encourage history organizations to nominate their own work in the project category.
Submissions for the 2023 awards are due January 20, 2023. For more information visit www.clho.org/awards.
Dreams & Memories Exhibition
[Thomas Ingle (1920–1978), So, ca. 1950. Oil on canvas, 30 x 20 in. Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of James McNair from the estate of Sewell Sillman]
Through works by such artists as James Daugherty, Edmund Greacen, Mary Knollenberg, Willard Metcalf, Charles Ethan Porter, Winfred Rembert, and Bessie Potter Vonnoh, the exhibition Dreams & Memories explores the titular concepts as drivers of artistic creativity and expressions of powerful forces in American society. The exhibition combines more than 80 works of historic and contemporary art from the museum’s permanent collection to present these ideas through themes of reverie and romance, nightmares and the surreal, identity formation, the creative mind, collective memory, nostalgia, and the American dream. The exhibition is on view October 1, 2022 through May 14, 2023. Find a full slate of exhibition-related programming at FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org, including a painting demonstration, gallery talks, virtual tours, and mindfulness events. From November 25 through December 31 visitors have the added treat of experiencing the galleries and historic house decked out for the annual Holiday Magic celebration.
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. 860-434-5542; florencegriswoldmuseum.org
12th Annual Gingerbread House Festival: Land of Sweets
From November 25 to December 18, 2022, visitors can gaze upon rows of sugary artistic creations amid seasonal décor and shop for holiday gifts at the Friends of Wood Memorial Library’s Annual Gingerbread House Festival located at 783 Main Street, South Windsor. The display is free and open to the public Details, including hours, are available at WoodMemorialLibrary.org.
Wood Memorial Library, 787 Main Street, South Windsor. 860-289-1783; WoodMemorialLibrary.org
Central and Laurel Hill Cemeteries
The fate of Brookfield’s Central and Laurel Hill cemeteries has been turned over to the courts following five years of declined merger and collaboration proposals. This continues a trend, reported on by The New York Times, of Connecticut’s abandoning its cemeteries.
The boards of both associations identified three key issues for the court’s consideration: business continuity, fiduciary oversight, and consumer protection. The volunteer association indicated to the court that institutional oversight is needed, oversight that can guarantee families the fulfillment of burial contracts made decades in advance of the need and that can help train professionals and provide cost effective access to modern technology.
Unlike other states, Connecticut has no clear authority over its death-care industry. There are no audits of fiduciaries, no standards of practice or enforcement, no continuing education or training requirements, no standardized information systems, no safeguarding of the public interest. It is a set of problems that needs to be addressed. Learn more at centralcemetery.net.
Festival of Trees & Traditions
Celebrate the season and support the Wadsworth during our favorite holiday fundraiser, the 48th annual Festival of Trees & Traditions, December 1-11 Each year community members, artists, and organizations decorate holiday trees and wreaths, turning the galleries into a winter wonderland. Don’t miss Second Saturdays for Families on Saturday, December 10, for even more festive fun from noon to 2 p.m. The Festival is open noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday, noon to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Special early hours for group tours are available by reservation, daily from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission during Festival of Trees reflects a $5 fundraising surcharge: $15 adults; $17 seniors; [seniors pay MORE than adults?] $10 students; $5 members, Hartford residents, and youth. $5 Happy Hour admission applies 4–5 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 6–7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays during the Festival.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street, Hartford. thewadsworth.org; 860-278-2670
Winter at the Keeler Tavern Museum
Anna Marie Resseguie’s diary for January 1, 1852 entry includes her honest reflection on the new year: “A lovely day without, warm and pleasant. Last New Year’s Day I made a great many resolutions. I hope I am a little changed. Believe I have a little desire to do right this coming year, but I do not love to do right as well as I ought.” A relatable sentiment, despite the passing of almost 200 years! The diary that Anna Marie, one of Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s former site residents, kept during the mid-19th century provides us with an intimate perspective on life in Ridgefield, including during the tumultuous years of the Civil War. Visit the museum this winter season to see how first-person narratives from our archives, like Anna Marie’s journal, have shaped our interpretation and programming! The museum is open Thursdays-Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for tours and exhibit access. Visit our website calendar for more information: keelertavernmuseum.org/events.
Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, 152 Main Street, Ridgefield. 203-438-5485; Keelertavernmuseum.org
A Student of Connecticut History
Henry S. Cohn, an attorney since 1970, has served in both state and federal positions. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and UConn Law, he was named a Connecticut Superior Court judge in 1997 and a judge trial referee in 2015. And as an avid student of Connecticut history, he makes frequent use of the Connecticut State Library archives for his scholarship.
Judge Cohn co-authored The Great Hartford Circus Fire: Creative Settlement of Mass Disasters. His numerous articles (some co-authored) also often have a wide-ranging emphasis on Connecticut history topics, including election law, divorce, flood insurance, a life insurance scandal, Prohibition, women’s suffrage, child protection, the Chinese Exclusion Acts, the Charter of 1662, the Constitution of 1818, and Mark Twain’s will. Joseph Hawley, Raymond Baldwin, T. Emmet Clarie, and Zephaniah Swift are just a few of the historical figures he’s written about to date. A Hartford native, Judge Cohn often includes Mark Twainisms in his pieces and has a creative annual submission to The Connecticut Lawyer on Abraham Lincoln. Truly a student of Connecticut history!
Connecticut State Library, 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. Ctstate.library.org; 860-757-6500
Christmas is on Full Display at the Webb Deane Stevens Museum
Webb Deane Stevens Museum’s three historic houses in full Christmas mode in December, highlighting how the holiday has evolved through the centuries. New Year’s Day was the main celebration at the Silas Deane House. The house reflects preparations for The Deane Family’s “New Year’s Day Calling,” when prominent gentlemen in the community would call on the lady of the household – and when individuals owing money would meet with the master of the house to settle their debts. The Isaac Stevens House depicts the holiday celebrations of a middle-class household in the mid-1800s, when many modern Christmas traditions were adopted in New England. The “best” parlor features a tabletop tree decorated with candles, gilded eggshells, and edible treats. At the Joseph Webb House, festive decorations typical of the early 20th century – including Christmas trees, evergreen roping, fresh greens, fruit, and period ornaments – are on display. Learn more at wdsmuseum.org.
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, 211 Main Street, Wethersfield. webb-deane-stevens.org; 860-529-0612
The Lure of the Garden: The Enduring Desire to Work & Shape the Land
Gardening is a universal activity that unites people around the world. Whether for pleasure or practicality, humanity’s relationship with the soil has sustained since we quite literally planted roots as a species more than 6,000 years ago. The Lure of the Garden 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.
With materials dating back to the 1500s, the Monroes and the Wakemans, founders of the library, sought to curate a collection that would be democratic — of use to all classes of society from the financier to the farmer. Pequot Library’s Special Collections reflect the changing tastes, styles, and purposes of gardens, as well as their enduring lure. The resulting collections contain everything from practical advice on laying out gardens, raising poultry, and keeping bees to propagating vegetables and keeping the accounts of the farm. Materials from the archives, including diaries and daybooks from local farmers, document the varieties of plants and fruit trees planted, as well as local produce like the Southport Globe Onions and potatoes that were shipped from our humble port to New York City.
The Lure of the Garden will be on view in the Pequot Library’s Perkin Gallery through February 5, 2023. Further details about the exhibition and associated programming can be found at pequotlibrary.org.
Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Avenue, Southport. pequotlibrary.org; 203-259-0346
Cedar Hill Cemetery Cell Phone Tour
Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation offers a cell phone audio tour of the resting places of the cemetery’s notable residents. A pamphlet with map and tour instructions is available in the brochure rack located along the entrance drive. Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds or drive from site to site for the tour. Notables on the tour include Horace Wells, J. Pierpont Morgan, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Yung Wing, Wallace Stevens, Samuel and Elizabeth Colt, and Katharine Hepburn. The cemetery is open from 7 a.m. to dusk.
Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford. cedarhillfoundation.org;
Institute for American Indian Studies Wigwam Escape
More than just a game, Wigwam Escape is built to teach through experience and foster dialogue in a game that’s dynamic, challenging, and entertaining. Visit Wigwam Escape for this must-do team-building experience for friends, families, and co-workers.
Do you have more than seven people? Give us a call 860-868-0510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org! We’re happy to do our best to accommodate larger groups.
Admission is $25 per person (minimum two people, maximum seven people). IAIS members $20; students $20.
Institute for American Indian Studies, 38 Curtis Road, Washington. wigwamescape.org; 860-868-0510
Telling New Stories from Early Hartford: Black, White and Indigenous
The Ancient Burying Ground Association in Hartford announces its latest projects, two digital
exhibitions that tell fresh stories of the individuals buried there. Both projects include
scholarship that cuts across race, gender, and class to tell stories of Black, White, and
Indigenous members of Hartford’s Colonial-era society. The exhibitions will portray "Women:
Black, White and Indigenous lives in the ABG" and "Ties to the Caribbean: Black, White, and
Indigenous Lives in the ABG."
The project is sponsored in part with a grant from CT Humanities. Public Programs will be
presented throughout 2023, beginning in the early spring. For more information and to view
the exhibitions, please visit the website listed below.
The Ancient Burying Ground is a public historic site that is open to the public daily, located at
the corners of Main and Gold Streets in downtown Hartford.
The Ancient Burying Ground, 60 Gold St, Hartford, CT 06103; 860-337-1640;
The Mark Twain House and Museum Presents
The Amistad Center and The Mark Twain House and Museum will host two presentations in
late November and early December. On November 29, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., they will
present Kerri Greenidge on The Grimkes: The Legacy Of Slavery in an American Family
(Virtual) and on December 1, 2022, At 6:30 p.m. they will present Radical Lives:
Four Abolitionists with Linda Hirshman, Lydia Moland and Dr. dann J. Broyld (Virtual).
Register at https://marktwainhouse.org/events/.
The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford. 860-247-
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
Hartford History Center at the Downtown Library, Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street,
Hartford. 860-695-6300; hplct.org