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News : Entertainment Dec 2, 2013 - 11:04:43 AM

Silver and its Technologies Topic of Lecture at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

By Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

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Frederick Elkington, Salver, 1879-80. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (contributed photo)
Norwalk, CT - For centuries, silver has connoted elegance, wealth, and power. The proliferation of silver articles in the nineteenth century and the technologies and discoveries behind them, will be the topic of the lecture, “Setting the Table with Science: Victorian Silver and its Technologies” at 11:00 am on December 11 at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. The lecture will be given by Jennifer Carlquist, an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz and Administrator of the Victorian Society in America Summer Schools. Carlquist is also a former Winterthur Research Fellow and a graduate of the M.A. Program in the History of Decorative Arts and Design at the Cooper-Hewitt.

Nineteenth-century makers capitalized on its value by inventing new technologies to manufacture and imitate silver. Innovative technologies such as silver plating and new rolling and stamping techniques helped spur the growth of the silver article industry. By the late nineteenth century, silver—and its imitations— was accessible to many everyday Americans. Electricity also helped promote interest in antique silver. The 1840s process of electrotyping allowed exact copies to be made of Ancient, Mannerist and Baroque silver and gold. Museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art collected electrotypes, giving Americans access to Europe’s finest museums and royal treasuries in their own hometowns.

Lecturer Jennifer Carlquist spent fifteen years as a museum professional in her home state of Minnesota, holding positions at Glensheen, a historic estate overlooking Lake Superior, and the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum. She also worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts where she curated such installations as “The Business of Mrs. Smith: 250 Years of Women in Silver” and “The Flattery of Imitation: Sheffield Plate.” The lecture is the last of a series of lectures at the Museum on “Technologies and Discoveries of the Victorian Era.” The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members. The price includes lecture, lunch and a mansion tour. Lunch is courtesy of Michael Gilmartin's Outdoor Cookers. The chair of the Lecture Committee is Mimi Findlay of New Canaan.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s 2013 cultural and educational programs are made possible by generous funding from the Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: The Xerox Foundation, Klaff’s, Mrs. Cynthia C. Brown and The Maurice Goodman Foundation.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark located at 295 West Avenue in Norwalk. Tours are offered Wednesdays through Sundays, at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Admittance is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children. Children under 8 are admitted free. For more
information on tours and programs, visit, e-mail, or call 203-838-9799.

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