HARTFORD, CONN., (January 26, 2016) – The traveling exhibit of Beatrice Fox Auerbach: The Woman, Her World & Her Wardrobe makes a three-month stop at the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) in Hartford, now through April 30. The exhibit includes dresses, fur coats, custom-made shoes and nearly 100 other pieces of clothing, photographs and personal accessories owned by Mrs. Beatrice Fox Auerbach, president of Hartford’s iconic G. Fox & Co. department store. Through these distinct items, visitors will be able to explore the evolution of women’s fashion from the 1890s – 1960s as well as the exuberant and accomplished life of Mrs. Auerbach.
Auerbach was an influential workplace pioneer, far-reaching philanthropist, world-traveler, and natural leader. As president of Hartford’s landmark retail destination from 1938-1965, she expanded and modernized the G. Fox & Co. department store into a model for impeccable service and employee satisfaction. Under her leadership, employee benefits included a five-day work week, pension plans, interest-free loans, and unprecedented advancement opportunities for women and African Americans. She was also deeply dedicated to the city of Hartford and its community, which her charitable legacy continues to support through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation.
New to this exhibit is a unique gold and diamond bracelet given to Auerbach by her sister Fannie (Fan) Fox Samuels and her husband Leslie (Les) R. Samuels on the occasion of G. Fox & Co.’s 100th anniversary. The bracelet, which was donated to the CHS in 1986 by Auerbach’s daughter, Dorothy Schiro, features gold links interspersed with Auerbach’s initials, BFA (made with 51 diamonds), along with the anniversary dates of “1847” (made with 57 diamonds) and “1947” (made with 55 diamonds). A pendant made from an 1887 U.S. $10 gold coin with gold surround and gold ring is soldered on one end of the bracelet. Another pendant, an 18-karat gold medal of the G. Fox & Co. building and anniversary dates (1847-1947) balances the other end. The message “To Beatrice Love Fan and Les” is cleverly engraved on the opposite side of this medal using symbols of a bee, a fan, and a subtraction sign.
“We are pleased to welcome this popular exhibit to CHS and invite everyone to enjoy a lively and engaging glimpse into the life and accomplishments of a true local hero,” said Jody Blankenship, CEO of CHS. “Mrs. Auerbach absolutely is an important part of Connecticut’s history, and America’s history, really. Through her hard work, she created a world that made such an indelible imprint on her customers, her employees, and her community – and that still inspires and fascinates so many.”
Organized by the University of Connecticut’s Historical Costume and Textile Collection, the exhibit runs through April 30, 2016. Admission is free for CHS members and children 5 and under, and is included in general admission to the CHS museum and library ($8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for youth 6-17). The Connecticut Historical Society, located at one Elizabeth Street in Hartford, is open Tuesday–Thursday, 12–5 p.m., and Friday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Free parking is available.
The Connecticut Historical Society (www.CHS.org) is a private, not-for-profit museum, library, research and educational center. Founded in 1825, the CHS is one of the oldest state-level historical societies in the nation. The mission is to inspire and foster a life-long interest in history. To accomplish that purpose, CHS collects and preserves material (books, documents, images, and artifacts) related to Connecticut’s social, cultural, and family history and makes those materials available for public education and use onsite at its building on Elizabeth Street in Hartford, off-site at other locations, and online.
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