Not many things made Katharine Hepburn nervous, but the prospect of meeting French fashion icon Coco Chanel had her worried. Continue reading
Author Archives: chsbuzz
Katharine Hepburn was stunning wearing this grey silk marquisette gown in Stage Door (1937), but the beautiful draping of organza and chiffon of silk crepe de chine is just the start of the story this dress tells about how movies were made in the 1930s and how museums research and restore the items in their collections. Why does this grey dress appear white in the still photograph from the film? Why is the belt magenta when the publicity poster for the movie shows it is blue? Continue reading
Ahoy! It’s the Charles W Morgan at sea!
“There isn’t anybody alive today who has seen a whaling ship with her sails up.” Richard “Kip” Files, Captain, Charles W. Morgan. This statement is about to be history itself. For the first time since 1941 (73 years), the Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining wooden whaling ship, has gone beyond the confines of Mystic Seaport and into open water. On Saturday, May 17, 2014, the Charles Morgan began the first steps of her historic 38th Voyage, 173 years after her maiden voyage. The Morgan was built and launched in New Bedford, MA in 1841 and sailed for 80 years or service prior to this historic voyage. Continue reading
He’s a Fixer Upper
Ron Tanner is a do-it-yourselfer, whether he’s fixing up his historic Baltimore row house or embarking on a book tour. We’re eagerly awaiting his arrival here at CHS in his camper van with his trusty sidekick, his Bassett hound Cleo.
An Olympic medal, a G. Fox Bracelet, and a Katharine Hepburn Costume
So, yesterday, on behalf of the Connecticut Historical Society, I attended the Connecticut Conference on Tourism in Hartford. Firstly, it is inspiring to see the number of wonderful institutions across Connecticut that are so passionate about what they are doing. There was lots of learning opportunities with workshops about social media, using video content, reaching core audiences in ways that are relevant to them, presentations, networking opportunities and all that. What I left with, however, was insight. Continue reading
Pants running. Pants standing. Best of all, pants doing a handstand. Pants are a perfect symbol of Katharine Hepburn’s unconventional approach to fashion and her exceptional Hollywood career. Decades before mainstream American women would dare to wear pants to work, Hepburn wore jeans on the studio lot in the early 1930s. The story goes that studio executives balked at her casual look (when her starlet contemporaries were dressed to the nines on set and off). They actually took away her jeans when she was busy filming in a desperate bid to make her conform to their ideas of fashion and propriety. Not to be outdone, Hepburn walked around the set in her underwear until her jeans were returned! Continue reading
Quiltmakers at Work, or Hey, There’s a Menagerie on my Petticoat
A mermaid, a lion, a griffin (or is it a leopard?), a fish, two stags, three rabbits, three different birds and what might be a dog. That’s the list of intricately stitched figures found around the border of Sarah Halsey’s amazing quilted petticoat. Continue reading
My fashion-show debut was in the juniors department in Macy’s. It was the culmination of several weeks of classes in style and etiquette, and I strutted down the make-shift catwalk in a yellow polka-dot outfit. I don’t remember the details, except I think there was a vest and I know my collar was up (hey, it was the 80s). The experience was a chance to bond with my mom, who had had her own stint as a department store model in her college days, and who had designed and made all her own clothes from her teens until she had kids to outfit instead. She’s great to watch Project Runway with because she can tell if they really know how to design and sew, or if they are just all about the drama. When we started to plan a fashion show to complement our upcoming exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen exhibit, I knew exactly who to call. Continue reading
What it was like 50 years ago.. when the Beatles came to the US
Once again, I’m compelled to write about one of the events that changed our culture and had a major influence on the 60’s- the British invasion! At the time, kids like me listened to scratchy music on a little transistor radio with an ear plug. My favorite AM station was WDRC. We heard some Motown, Elvis, but the music mostly appealed to my older brothers’ generation. All that changed in February 1964. Continue reading
Peek Behind the Scenes All Year Long!
It is time to unveil the 2014 line up of Behind-the-Scenes Tours. We’re offering even more access to the hidden treasures of Connecticut history that are normally behind closed doors, and with the option of buying a Season Pass, you can get that sneak peek at a great 20% discount!