Hartford: A City’s Heights, Hopes, and History

October 20, 2014 · Press Releases

Hartford, CT (October 2014) On October 3, 2014 the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) opened three Hartford-centric exhibits to celebrate Connecticut’s capital city: (Re)Building Hartford: A City Captured by Artist Richard Welling highlights the changing Hartford cityscape through detailed ink drawings, Hartford Seen: Photographs by Pablo Delano, a contemporary photographic documentary, and The Hartford Courant, Connecticut, and the Country, a journalistic timeline exhibit celebrating The Hartford Courant’s 250th anniversary.

welling-boxHartford has been completely re-built  three times since its first settlement by European colonists, and we are now living in what some experts consider the fourth phase of Hartford’s construction. This “fourth build” began after World War II and is characterized by new technology, materials, architectural styles, and city planning. The urban renewal movement of the 1950s-70s was extensively documented by artist Richard Welling (1926-2009) through detailed ink drawings and photographs. Welling’s work, as well as photographs from the CHS collection, will be on view in the exhibition (Re)Building Hartford: A City Captured by Artist Richard Welling The exhibit illustrates and chronicles the ever-changing Hartford cityscape, including some of today’s proposed projects, such as the new baseball stadium, iQuilt, and others Opinions from Hartford-area residents are also included to encourage visitors to consider how the past and present can guide us in successfully shaping Hartford’s future.

pablo-boxThe exhibition Hartford Seen: Photographs by Pablo Delano documents a modern view of Hartford’s public and private buildings, street scenes, and storefronts through the lens of photographer Pablo Delano. Hartford’s mix of history, adapted buildings, and new construction is captured with stunning color and perspective by Delano, a Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity College in Hartford. This installation reveals the history and growth of the city by showing the range and diversity of its built environment; from richly decorated businesses to historic structures to derelict factories. The photographs convey today’s economic and social realities as well as the city’s past and present triumphs as evidenced through the ingenuity and motivation of its people. His work, including some examples of the images in the Hartford exhibit, can be found at pablodelano.com.

courant-squareAmerica’s oldest continuously published newspaper, The Hartford Courant, is celebrating 250 years with a special exhibit, The Hartford Courant, Connecticut, and the Country. The installation is the culmination of a year-long collaborative partnership between the Hartford Courant and the CHS, along with Fox CT, to look back at two-and-a-half centuries of stories that have helped shape who we are as a state. On Oct. 29, 2014, the Courant  marks 250 years of continuous publication – an accomplishment no other newspaper in the United States can claim. In October, the Courant and Fox CT will begin a month-long look at Hartford history through its publication and on-air broadcasting.

All three CHS exhibitions evoke the complexities and constantly changing landscape of a city, its people and neighborhoods. Between October 2014 and march 2015, satellite exhibitions and programs will accompany and support the (Re)Building Hartford: A City Captured by Artist Richard Welling exhibit at the Old State House, Hartford Public Library, Firebox Restaurant at Billings Forge, and TheaterWorks. CHS is located at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford. For more, visit chs.org.

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