Last year, for the holiday season, the CHS store featured a reproduction ornament based on an original in our collection: Winter Wonderland, Old G. Fox Building, Hartford, designed by Richard Welling, 1995, and G. Fox & Co. This product was so popular, by the end of the season, it sold out. It didn’t take us long to realize that we should establish our own CHS holiday tradition and continue to offer one-of-a-kind, limited edition ornaments every year, each featuring a different Richard Welling image from the collection. Sounds simple, right? But as Nancy Finlay pointed out in her September 3rd blog entry, The Richard Welling Collection, recently given to CHS by the artist’s family, consists of over 4000 prints, drawings, and photographs! Many of these, skillfully created by this noted Connecticut artist and Hartford resident, lovingly capture iconic landmarks in our bustling capital during the building boom years. These images harken back to places, things, acquaintances, or conditions from the past, conjure up memories and inspire stories from the public, encourage learning about the changing landscape, evoke a sentimental longing for a bygone era, and perhaps most importantly, bring hope for the future – the perfect holiday message!
Which Hartford landmark holds a special memory for you? Can you recall your first ride on the Carousel at Bushnell Park, a school trip to the Capitol, your first visit to the Wadsworth Atheneum, looking out over the city from Travelers Tower, your first day of work in the Aetna building, graduation from Hall High School, or a special moment while waiting for the bus in front of the Old State House? Help us chose this year’s image by sharing your Hartford story.
Kathy Whitney is the Store Manager at the Connecticut Historical Society