How YOU can use our collections!

I often marvel at the variety of ways the public uses our collections.  I thought it would be fun to give a run-down of some of the ways individuals have used, or could use, our vast collections here at CHS. 

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Dress. About 1910. CHS Collection, 1987.267.0.

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Creating Participatory Exhibitions; Our Try It! Gallery

Try It GalleryWith all of the warranted hoopla surrounding our blockbuster exhibition, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, it’s easy to overlook other exhibitions at the Connecticut Historical Society. One exhibition that’s interactive and fun for all ages is Try It! Connecticut Places, People, Collections, & Me.

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Quilts, Costumes, and More!

Last week I had the kind of day that I simply adore!  They come around rarely, but when they do, I enjoy them so immensely.  It was last Thursday and Lynne Bassett came to research in our collection for a very special presentation / program she is involved with here at CHS.  And that meant we spent an entire day pulling out quilts, costumes, fabric fragments, incomplete quilt blocks, textile sample books, and everything else we could think of that might help in her program…

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Wholecloth Quilt. 1750-1775. Gift of Mrs. Sophia Burdick. 1963.11.17.

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It’s party time!

This time of year I always find myself hoping for an opportunity to attend a swanky party that requires a bit of sparkle and holiday elegance.  Yet the season consistently brings casual family gatherings requiring little more than jeans and sweaters, or New Year’s plans including games and staying in with my sisters and our respective significant others.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love these holiday gatherings that have become a tradition in my life, but…if that invitation ever comes…I think I’d like to sew up my own version of one of these….

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Woman’s Dress. 1950s. Gift of Nora Oakes Howard. The Connecticut Historical Society. 2012.532.14.

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Oooooo…..Chocolate!

Next month CHS is kicking off December with chocolate.  To me, this sounds perfect!  I love chocolate and the idea that you can come to a museum (CHS of course!), learn about history, shop, AND taste chocolate…sounds like the perfect way to start the month.  That’s all I will say about the event, (we’ll let marketing take over from here!), but if you want to find out the details, just check out THIS link.  But as I started looking forward to the event, I started thinking about my favorite aspects of chocolate, that it is smooth, rich, and delicious.  What else combines all of these wonderful attributes….chocolate colored velvet of course!!!

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Dress. About 1836-1840. Gift of Mrs. Arthur Carmody. 1984.71.1a,b.

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Innovation and Re-birth

Fashion takes many courses throughout the years.  Sometimes we see brand new innovations, and other times there are re-births of past designs and fashion trends.  The 1950s saw a combination of these.

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Family taking photograph at Danbury Fair. About 1955. 1999.16.353.

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All the little things…

As you’ve come to find out, there are a lot of little things that go into making our collection safe and available. One of the most fun pieces of the puzzle (at least in my opinion), is the photography. By then all the little details like catalging and numbering are done, and it is time to just snap away.

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Woman’s Shoes. 1880-1890. Gift of Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam in memory of her family. 2010.423.9a,b.

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