May 23, 2013 - September 28, 2013
An exhibit about learning and loving to drive when cars were new, Behind the Wheel showcases a new collection of colorful automobile safety posters printed in the 1930s-1950s. The posters were printed by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and distributed by the Automobile Club of Hartford. Other auto safety-related items include early driver's licenses, motor vehicle registrations, and auto insurance advertisements. In addition, a collection of Connecticut road maps from the 1920s-1970s and early 20th-century tour guides show how new roads, highways, rest stops, motels, and recreation destinations emerged to accommodate and influence Americans' love of driving. Behind the Wheel is sponsored by AAA.
Photography by Harriet V.S. Thorne, Rosalie Thorne McKenna, and Marie Kendall
October 11, 2013 - March 29, 2014
This exhibit will introduce a new collection of photography donated by the Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation as well as a collection by Marie Kendall. The photographs document two generations of women photographers in Connecticut. Harriet V. S. Thorne (1843-1926), a talented amateur, used her camera to compose exquisite and moving pictures of the people and places that she knew, including her Bridgeport summer home, Schoonhoven, where her studio was located. Marie Hartig Kendall (1854-1943) published poetic views of the Litchfield Hills in Northwestern Connecticut where she lived after immigrating to the U.S. from her native Alsace-Lorraine. Rosalie Thorne McKenna (1916-2003) is best-known for her revealing portraits of artistic and literary figures of the mid-20th century; she also documented the fishing community of Stonington where she made her home.