Programs at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

 

"The Stairs Below: The Mansion’s Domestic Servants, 1868-1938, Part II": Curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz

"Endangered & Re-envisioned: Iconic Landmarks and Interiors": Photography by Bruce Dunbar

"Demolish or Preserve: The 1960s at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion": Curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz

"Rocking History: A Century of Change at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion": 3rd Annual Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum/Ernest Hemingway/Young Writers' Competition

"From Warehouse to Landmark: A Personal Remembrance": Lecture by Norwalk Municipal Historian Ralph Bloom

Connecticut Humanities awards a generous grant to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum for new exhibit:

Third Annual Ice Cream Social: Sunday, June 12, 2016 ~ 12-4 p.m.



"The Stairs Below: The Mansion’s Domestic Servants, 1868-1938, Part II"
Curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz
April 6 - October 30, 2016
Tours: Wednesday-Sunday 12, 1, 2, & 3 p.m. ~ Admission: $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors, and $6 for 8-18

For the first time in the history of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, its Servants’ Quarters are open to the public and feature a new exhibition entitled, The Stairs Below: The Mansion’s Domestic Servants, 1868-1938, Part II. This exhibition opened to the public in October 2015 and will continue until October 30, 2016.

“During the Victorian era, the Mansion needed a small army to build it and run it,” said Patsy Brescia, LMMM Chairman of the Board. “We are thrilled to have an opportunity to bring the servants’ story to our communities with this highly educational exhibition.” 

Telling the story of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion’s workforce is overdue, yet timely. Discussions nationwide on issues such as immigration and social justice, as well as the popular TV series Downton Abbey, have audiences visiting this landmark often asking about its servants and their lodgings. 

The Mansion’s domestic servants’ rooms “equal the chambers of a first class hotel,” said The New York Sun in 1869. LeGrand Lockwood’s forward-thinking spirit behind these quarters offered momentary repose from the physical demands of a seven-day work week and 10-hour shifts for those living under the same roof as the family. By following the servants’ paths through the mansion, visitors will experience three distinct worlds—public, family, and service—and the social etiquette strictly enforced during the mansion’s seven decades as a private residence. “This exciting, new exhibition will create a very engaging experience for all of our visitors,” said LMMM Executive Director Susan Gilgore, “bringing history to life and ingeniously threading together this National Historic Landmark’s fascinating and multi-faceted past in a thought-provoking and powerful way.” 

Little was left behind to reconstruct the servants’ lives and work here. The Stairs Below, curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz, aims to make real the ‘invisible’ staff, especially the Irish immigrants and African-Americans, whose livelihoods depended on the fortune and tolerance of the elite. 

The Museum’s exhibition, The Stairs Below: The Mansion’s Domestic Servants 1868-1938, is made possible in part by generous funding from the CT Humanities and CTC&G. The Museum’s 2016 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Cynthia Clark Brown; The Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: Klaff’s, Xerox Foundation and The Maurice Goodman Foundation. 

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. We bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to express, share and explore ideas in thoughtful and productive ways. From local discussion groups to major exhibitions on important historical events, CTH programs engage, enlighten and educate. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org

The installation of the ADA Elevator and restoration of the Servants’ Quarters were generously funded by the LMMM Board of Trustees, the City of Norwalk, the Norwalk Historical Commission, and the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark.  For more information on schedules and programs please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.


"Endangered & Re-envisioned: Iconic Landmarks and Interiors"
Photography by Bruce Dunbar
April 7 - July 6, 2016
Tours: Wednesday-Sunday 12, 1, 2, & 3 p.m. ~ Admission: $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors, and $6 for 8-18

In collaboration with the Silvermine School of Art, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is kicking off its 50th Anniversary with a new exhibition by artist and photography instructor Bruce Dunbar. 

The exhibition, “Endangered & Re-envisioned: Iconic Landmarks and Interiors,” will open to the public on Thursday, April 7, from noon to 4 p.m. at the museum, 295 West Ave. 

The exhibition, which runs to July 6, will feature some of Dunbar’s analog and digital work focusing on several Connecticut structures built between 1870 and 1940, including both private residences and public spaces. 

“I am seeking to unite the past history of the landmark with the present context in which it exists,” said Dunbar, “including both images of interiors and exteriors, in order to draw attention to the rich history of each landmark, it's various past import and current status as landmark." 

Born in Stratford, Dunbar received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University and his Master of Arts degree from New York University.  His photographs and mixed media have been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows in Connecticut and New York City. 

Dunbar currently teaches black and white and digital photography courses at Silvermine in New Canaan, along with several workshops exploring different aspects on the art of photography.


"Demolish or Preserve: The 1960s at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion"
Curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz
May 4-November 20, 2016
Tours: Wednesday-Sunday 12, 1, 2, & 3 p.m. ~ Admission: $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors, and $6 for 8-18

A new multimedia exhibit with photographs, costumes, artifacts, and music will explore the fascinating and tumultuous decade of the 1960s. Demolish or Preserve: The 1960s at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz will open on May 4, 2016 and run through Nov. 20, 2016. 

It is impossible to remember the 1960s without thinking of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon, the Beatles arriving in the United States, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and—most hauntingly—the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Against this backdrop of turbulent cultural change and social unrest, was the nation’s modern urban planning, which included the demolition of historic neighborhoods and irreplaceable buildings. 

This exhibition will explore the fascinating and ground-breaking decade of the 1960s and the Mansion’s connections to the revolutionary preservation battles and new landmark statutes of the era. It will also honor the museum’s 50th Anniversary as it celebrates the bands of locals, led by the Junior League of Norwalk and Stamford and the Common Interest Group, who fought to save the Mansion and secure its status as a National Historic Landmark in 1971. 

“I am truly thankful to all of those individuals who took on the challenge of saving the Mansion from demolition,” said Chairman of the Board Pasty Brescia. “We would not be able to celebrate the museum’s 50th Anniversary, if it weren’t for their exceptional foresight and brave stance on preserving this architectural treasure.” 

With Europe's ongoing legacy of artistic and historic preservation and reuse as a model, in the 1960s concerned citizens brought national attention to the need for saving from demolition historically and architecturally significant structures in America. Jackie Kennedy, using her stature and influence, restored the White House's historic interiors; and just as the grand mansions of Fifth Avenue and Newport were slated for demolition, here in Norwalk LeGrand Lockwood’s Civil War era palatial residence was faced with a similar fate. Recognizing that the demolition of this structure would be a great loss to the city, state, and nation, concerned citizens galvanized to save the mansion in one the most important and hard fought preservation battles in Connecticut’s history.

“The 1960s is one of the most unforgettable, inspiring, and reexamined decades in modern history,” said Executive Director Susan Gilgore.  “I am looking forward to engaging our communities with this exciting, new exhibition and renew visitors’ interest in the history and preservation of this National Historic Landmark.”

The Museum’s 2016 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, and the Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: Klaffs, The Xerox Foundation, and The Maurice Goodman Foundation. All visuals courtesy of Sarah Grote Photography.

General Admission: Wed-Sun, 12-4 p.m., $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6, 8-18. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark.  For more information on schedules and programs please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.


"Rocking History: A Century of Change at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion"
3rd Annual Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum/Ernest Hemingway/Young Writers' Competition
May 4-June 10, 2016

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s Education Program is launching its third annual writing competition titled, Rocking History: A Century of Change at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion for students attending Fairfield County schools. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum/Ernest Hemingway/Young Writers’ Competition will begin on May 4 through June 10, 2016 and celebrate the museum’s 50th Anniversary with an awards presentation that will take place at the museum, at 295 West Ave, on Oct. 29, 2016 at 2 p.m. 

LMMM Education Committee Chair Haroldo Williams said, “I am thrilled that the museum is launching its third writing competition and offering students a creative and interactive way to learn more about U.S. and Connecticut history and the arts, while providing an opportunity for students to hone the writing skills that they are learning and developing in class.” 

This is a voluntary writing competition for third and eighth graders. Students will be asked to write a paper that highlights the difference between the Mansion in the 1860s and in the 1960s, when the house was about to be demolished by the City of Norwalk. In their story, students are encouraged to elaborate on what was happening in Norwalk from 1860s through the 1960s and discuss why the Mansion was eventually earmarked for demolition. 

Other topics that students may cover will be questions relating to the reasons why the Mansion was slated to be razed and whether villains or ghosts may have had any impact on the future of this American castle. 

Requirements for the competition will be tailored to third and eight graders and posted on the museum website and on flyers. 

The stories will be picked up from participant students and their teachers on June 10th.

Competition winners will be notified by mid-September. There will be a cash prize awarded for first place and prizes awarded for second and third place. Competition winners and their families will be Guests of Honor at the Awards Presentation to students on Oct. 29, 2016. 

For more information on the competition and the Education Program please visit our website at www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com or call 203-838-9799, ext. 214 or email education@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com. Limited availability based on a first come, first serve basis.

The 2016 Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum/Ernest Hemingway/Young Writers’ Competition is generously sponsored in part by Robert Jon Hemingway. The Museum’s 2016 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Cynthia Clark Brown and The Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: Klaffs, Xerox Foundation and The Maurice Goodman Foundation.


"From Warehouse to Landmark: A Personal Remembrance"
Lecture by Norwalk Municipal Historian Ralph Bloom
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 ~ 11 a.m.
$25 for members; $30 for non-members

On Wed. June 8, 2016, 11 a.m. at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk Municipal Historian Ralph Bloom will give a talk titled, From Warehouse to Landmark: A Personal Remembrance. The talk will be held at 295 West Ave, Norwalk, CT.

In a PowerPoint presentation featuring vintage photos and a collection of memories that spans several decades, Mr. Bloom will share his interest in the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion from teenage years to adulthood. Illustrations will show the condition of the Mansion at the time it had been slated for demolition, through the clean-up and preparation for public viewing. 

Driven by his passion for history and the arts, Mr. Bloom has held a wide variety of positions and received public recognition for his many years of dedicated service to his community. He was appointed Municipal Historian by the City of Norwalk, he joined the Board of Overseers of Old Sturbridge Village, in Massachusetts, coordinated the photography for the book, When Gentlemen Wore Hats, authored by Dr. Deborah Wing Ray and Dr. Gloria P. Stewart and was presented with the Distinguished Advocate for the Arts Award by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts for 40 years of volunteerism. Mr. Bloom is currently a Trustee at the Norwalk Library. 

This will be the first in a series of lectures by curators and experts in the field of Victorian era material life and the Museum’s 50 years of history. The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members per session. Please RSVP by Friday, June 3, 2016. The price includes lecture, lunch and a first floor Mansion tour. Lunch is courtesy of Best in Gourmet. The chair of the Lecture Committee is Mimi Findlay of New Canaan. Please contact info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com or 203-838-9799, ext. 4 to purchase tickets.

The Museum’s 2016 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, the Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: Klaff’s, The Xerox Foundation, and The Maurice Goodman Foundation. 

The exhibitions currently on view, Demolish or Preserve: The 1960s at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion and The Stairs Below: The Mansion’s Domestic Servants, 1868-1938, Part II curated by Kathleen Bennewitz have been generously funded in part by the CT Humanities.                    

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit: www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.


Connecticut Humanities awards a generous grant to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum for new exhibit

The Connecticut Humanities has awarded a $4,999 Quick Grant to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in support of the new exhibit, Demolish or Preserve: The 1960s at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. 

“We are truly thankful to the Connecticut Humanities for supporting this terrific exhibit,” said Patsy Brescia, LMMM Chairman of the Board of Trustees, “and to all our State legislators for their continued focus and support of our historic site through the outstanding work of the Connecticut Humanities.”

The exhibition curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz, Demolish or Preserve: The 1960s at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion explores the history of the Mansion’s rescue from demolition in 1962 to its 1971 designation as a National Historic Landmark. These events occurred against a backdrop of the era’s tumultuous cultural change and social unrest as well as a blistering pace of urban planning and demolition of historic buildings and neighborhoods, here in Norwalk and across the nation. Ms. Bennewitz has over 20 years of experience in the world of arts non-profit. She has been an independent museum consultant and curator for several local and national organizations including the Fairfield Museum, the Bush Holley House, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, to name a few. 

“The Board of Trustees and I are truly grateful to the Connecticut Humanities for this generous award,” said LMMM Executive Director Susan Gilgore. “This true-to-life, inspirational spotlight on the 1960s will greatly enhance visitors’ experience and reenergize this National Historic Landmark as we celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary with our communities.” 

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. These programs bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to express, share and explore ideas in thoughtful and productive ways. From local discussion groups to major exhibitions on important historical events, CTH programs engage, enlighten and educate. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is located at 295 West Avenue in Norwalk. Tours are offered Wednesdays through Sundays, at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. For more information on tours and programs, visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.  


Third Annual Ice Cream Social
Sunday, June 12, 2016 ~ 12-4 p.m.
General Admission & Selected Programs: Free ~ Mini-Tours: $5
(The Museum will charge for some of the activities and for all food sold)

On June 12, 2016, 12-4 p.m., the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will launch its third annual Ice Cream Social in Mathews Park at 295 West Ave, Norwalk, CT. Hunter Arton, a Wilton, CT resident and Andy Garfunkel of Norwalk will co-chair the event which features a wide range of family-friendly entertainment for children and adults. 

Trustee Hunter Arton said, “We are excited to welcome the community to our annual Ice Cream Social. This year's event will celebrate the Museum's 50th anniversary with a nod to the 1960s.”

A clown, a mouse tale, music, magic and of course, plenty of ice cream will kick-off this cherished summer event where visitors will shop at booths hosted by a variety of local crafters and take part in a wide range of fun, family-friendly activities. A coloring station and an assortment of games such as Badminton, Jacob’s Ladder, marbles, Magic Fish, Jump Rope, Deer Hunter, Game of Graces and more will be on hand to entertain children of all ages. Visitors will also be able to view a vintage 1960s car display and rummage through a jumble sale where for a few dollars they might find a treasure. 

Following an introduction by City of Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling and the National Anthem along with a variety of 1960s favorites performed by Stamford’s Westhill High School, featured entertainment will also include performances by Rubberband of Norwalk,  the Darien Academy of Dance, and the Mulkerin School of Irish Dance of Norwalk and West Haven. 

In the Museum’s Gift Shop children’s book author Michele Manning will be on hand to meet readers and aspiring writers and sign the highly acclaimed Great CT Caper, a suspense story written for middle school students by 12 Connecticut authors, and illustrated by 12 state artists. Manning’s Chapter 10 features LMMM in “Mayhem at the Mansion.” The Great CT Caper is sponsored by the CT Humanities. 

Michele earned a BA in Human Studies from Bradford College, Massachusetts and currently gets to share her passion for kid lit with students as an elementary school librarian.  She is the author of Chapter 10 in The Great CT Caper and has published stories in Bumples, Stories for Children, and Show What You Know on Ohio's 4th Grade Proficiency Test.

For a reduced $5 admission, the Mansion will offer mini-tours of its magnificent Period Rooms and its current exhibits. Photography courtesy of Sarah Grote Photography.

While general admission to the event is free and so are selected programs, the Museum will charge for some of the activities and for all food sold during the event. Tickets will be available at LMMM’s booths at designated locations in Mathews Park.

The Museum's 2016 Ice Cream Social is generously sponsored in part by Galvan Industries, Bankwell, Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, Lawrence Cafero, Jr., and Andy Garfunkel,  and the Museum’s 2016 Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown; The Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: Klaff’s, The Xerox Foundation, and The Maurice Goodman Foundation. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark.  For more information on the schedule of events, food stands, and prices please email us at info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com or visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com.or call 203-838-9799.


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