Connecticut Cultural Exhibits Get a Second Life

June 30, 2020 · Collections ·
members of the Hudson family, from Left to Right: Laura Hudson, Joseph Hudson, and Robert Charles Hudson

Since 1991, the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP) has documented more than 400 traditional artists and publicly promoted the cultural heritage of dozens of ethnic and occupational communities. Partnerships with these many artists and communities came to fruition in different ways, including 24 different folklife exhibits.

These exhibits were full of original research and interpretation; however, the exhibits were also ephemeral, briefly available and then consigned to institutional archives. With funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, we were able to restore seven exhibits and put them online.

These online exhibits are opportunities to travel into the past, to see how the exhibits were displayed, and to see photos and video from opening events that featured artist talks, performances, and curator remarks.

“The timing on this project was extraordinary,” remarked CCHAP Director Kate Schramm, “nobody anticipated last fall when this began that it would all start coming to fruition during a nationwide quarantine. So many of our Connecticut cultural communities have been hit hard by COVID-19, and these people are important to us! So many of these artists featured in these exhibits are people we are still in contact with; they are colleagues and friends. We hope that these exhibits will not just offer a distraction during these times, but also provide insight, comfort and inspiration.”

Exhibit Albums on Flickr (CTHistoricalSociety)

Ambassadors of Folk: Connecticut Master Traditional Artists, from 2010

Auspicious Signs: Tibetan Arts in New England, from 1996

Rugs of Remembrance: Bosnian Weaving in Hartford, from 2011

Connecticut Traditional Artists and Their Communities, from 2016

Mas: Carnival Costumes From Hartford’s West Indian Community, from 2011-2019

Warmth and Creativity: The Hudson Family Quilts, from 2014

Audio Exhibition on YouTube

Sounds Like Home: Connecticut Traditional Musicians, from 1998

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