What is this?

golfclubOur newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

clubsAs a young girl Katharine Hepburn was a tomboy with boundless energy. She took pride in the fact she could run faster and jump higher than anyone. At eight years old she cut her hair short and insisted people call her Jimmy.

Her father, an accomplished athlete himself, encouraged her athletic pursuits. He built a two-story zip line that ran across the yard of the family’s Hawthorne Street home. At Fenwick he built a diving board and organized track races for the children.


Photograph of Katharine Hepburn seated on golf course, 1938, CHS collection

Around thirteen years old, Hepburn started taking daily golf lessons at the Hartford Golf Club, and as an adult shot in the low 80s. She was a lifelong swimmer, even in the frigid water of the Long Island Sound, and played tennis throughout her life, until she injured her ankle in a car accident. Hepburn demonstrated her athleticism in many of her movie roles and frequently insisted on doing her own stunts.

Join us for a guided tour of the Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen exhibit, and learn more about Hepburn’s life in Connecticut, her film career, and her iconic personal style. Beat the summer heat, and bring along your out-of-town visitors! These tours will be held on Tuesdays & Saturdays in August. They start at 2:00 pm and are free with museum admission.

We will also be show The Philadelphia Story on the CHS lawn on Thursday, August 14. The exhibit will be open from 7:00–8:00 pm and the movie will start at 8:00 pm. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart—what more could you ask for on a summer evening? Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy one of Hepburn’s best performances under the stars. Connecticut Historical Society auditorium, in case of rain. This is a free event!

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