The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum kicked off the Holiday Season the day after Thanksgiving with its traditional display of trees and decorations and a new exhibition titled, Holiday Splendor at the Mansion: Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations, curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz beginning at noon on Friday, November 25, 2016.
This exhibition explores the history of the holiday season as it was celebrated by the Lockwood and Mathews families in Connecticut and New York City, where they once resided. During the Gilded Age, Christmas and New Year’s holidays, like other elements of American social and material life, were transformed by new technologies and evolving traditions. The exhibition displays trees adorned with historic decorations and lights, mantles festooned with period greens and fruits, and a selection of vintage toys and games. In the Dining and Drawing Rooms, the Mansion features New Year’s themed vignettes; there is a holiday wedding in the Music Room. Visitors will learn that what was once a simple ringing-in of the New Year soon transformed into a time of joyful, and at times, lavish celebrations with champagne toasts at the stroke of midnight.
The Mansion also displays a glittering and festive, Designer Show House of Holiday Trees and Decorations featuring traditional trees decorated by renowned interior designers, Victoria Vandamm of Vandamm Interiors, Linda Fontaine of Linda Fontaine Design and Gail Ingis-Claus. The mantelpiece in the Drawing Room is be adorned with gilt and silver hues, while red silk garlands drape the grand Victorian staircase, embellished by Gilded Age inspired decorations designed by Danna DiElsi, owner of The Silk Touch in Norwalk, CT.
The exhibit, Holiday Splendor at the Mansion: Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations is made possible in part by generous loans from: Fairfield Museum and History Center, Westport Historical Society, Wilton Historical Society, Mark Tobias of New England Toy Train Exchange (NETTE), and private collections of Hadley Veeder and Hetty Erickson. 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 LMMM Distinguished Benefactors: Klaff’s, The Xerox Foundation and The Maurice Goodman Foundation.