From the left: Katherine Kane, AASLH Council Chair, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Executive Director Susan Gilgore and John Dichtl, AASLH President & CEO. Photo courtesy of AASLH. (contributed photo)
On September 8, 2017, The Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum’s Executive Director Susan Gilgore, traveled to Austin, Texas to receive, on behalf of the Museum, a prestigious Leadership in History award from the American Association of State and Local History.
The AASLH’s national Award of Merit was given at a special banquet where the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum was recognized among “the best in state and local history,” for the exhibit, The Stairs Below: The Mansion’s Domestic Servants, 1868-1938.
The evening also featured the Award of Distinction presented to Lonnie G. Bunch, III, renowned historian, author, curator, educator and founder of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.
The exhibition, The Stairs Below, was a museum-wide exhibition and guided tour, with focus on documents, artifacts, images, costumes, and uniforms— and the Mansion plan itself—displayed throughout the period rooms of the Museum. Concurrently, the newly restored Servants’ Quarters opened to the public for the first time in the Museum's history on October 10, 2015.
While the museum-wide exhibition officially closed on October 30th, 2016, the Servants’ Quarters exhibit installation remains open and is part of the visitors’ experience. The project was aimed at launching a cultural dialogue on class, race, ethnicity, politics, labor relations, and social history during a half-century of ascendancy and through the lens of two households.
The exhibition was made possible with support from the LMMM Chairman of the Board Patsy Brescia and the Board of Trustees, the City of Norwalk, The Norwalk Historical Commission, the State of Connecticut and with major funding from the CT Humanities as well as sponsorships and grants from The Maurice Goodman Foundation, Klaffs, CTC&G and The Xerox Foundation. The exhibition, The Stairs Below was conceptualized by Executive Director Susan Gilgore, curated by Raechel Guest with the assistance of expert advisor Jennifer Pustz during its planning phase, and by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz during its implementation. The iconic graphic design for the public program was created by TFI Envision and photography was courtesy of Sarah Grote.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 203-838-9799.