Steve Turner, Courtesy of David Scott Parker, Architects
Norwalk, CT - The Connecticut Humanities has awarded a $9,999 Public Presentation planning grant to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum to prepare the script for a new exhibit, The Stairs Below: The Mansion’s Domestic Servants, 1870-1920 (working title). The exhibit will open on September 13, 2014 and serve as the focal theme for the Museum’s upcoming season.
“The Board of Trustees and I are very grateful to the Connecticut Humanities for this generous award,” said LMMM Executive Director Susan Gilgore. “I believe our communities will find this exhibit of great interest, as it will highlight themes of general appeal such as the immigrant experience, housing, social justice, and economics during the Victorian era.”
Interpretations of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, like those of many other historic house museums, tend to focus on the more majestic living areas of the Mansion and the lives of their owners. In this new exhibit, the museum will be opening up the servants’ quarters of its building to visitors, creating interpretive tours and exhibit spaces that explore the lives of the people who worked at the Mansion, and whose stories has never been told before.
“We thank Senator Bob Duff and all state legislators for their continued focus and support of this institution and are truly thankful to the Connecticut Humanities for offering their invaluable support to the Museum’s The Stairs Below exhibit,” said Patsy Brescia, LMMM Chairman of the Board. “This new and exciting educational program will help us generate additional interest and support for this National Historic Landmark and continue to engage our community in a relevant and meaningful way.”
The exhibition will be curated by Raechel Guest. Ms Guest is LMMM’s curator, and a Smith College graduate. She holds a Master’s Degree in Collection Management from the prestigious Winterthur Museum and is also the Executive Director and Curator of the Cornwall Historical Society.
Dr. Jennifer Putsz historian and author of Voices from the Back Stairs: Interpreting Servants’ Lives at Historic House Museums will join LMMM as an expert advisor. Dr. Putsz works as Museum Historian for Historic New England and has researched extensively the lives of servants in more than thirty-six properties.
Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. These programs bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to express, share and explore ideas in thoughtful and productive ways. From local discussion groups to major exhibitions on important historical events, CTH programs engage, enlighten and educate. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is 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. For more information on tours and programs, visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 203-838-9799.