Inside the CHS

Illustrating Stylish Travel

May 9, 2013 · Collections ·

Often times at the CHS, we write articles, present programs, and give tours based on our collections.  Many times these articles, programs, and tours are based on information and items we already know we have in the collection.  However, sometimes the topic comes first, and the illustrations come second.

It’s party time!

December 19, 2013 · Collections ·

This time of year I always find myself hoping for an opportunity to attend a swanky party that requires a bit of sparkle and holiday elegance.  Yet the season consistently brings casual family gatherings requiring little more than jeans and sweaters, or New Year’s plans including games and staying in with my sisters and our…
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Peek Behind the Scenes All Year Long!

January 13, 2014 · CHS Buzz ·

It is time to unveil the 2014 line up of Behind-the-Scenes Tours. We’re offering even more access to the hidden treasures of Connecticut history that are normally behind closed doors, and with the option of buying a Season Pass, you can get that sneak peek at a great 20% discount!

What is your favorite time period?

January 30, 2014 · Collections ·

I get asked this question quite frequently.  The truth is that it changes depending on what I am working on at the moment because I don’t have a true favorite period.  I love various aspects from almost every period of costume history, especially between the 1770s and the 1960s.  However, there is a period that…
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What is this?

February 11, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

Dollie McLean: From the West Indies to the Capital City

February 24, 2014 · Collections ·

Born (Dollie) Clarice Helene Simmons in Antigua, West Indies, Dollie McLean was raised in Manhattan, later lived in the Bronx, and graduated from both the University of Hartford and FIT. Mrs. McLean has been an avid participant in the arts throughout her life, having performed off-Broadway as an actress and dancer with various organizations like…
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Underneath It All

March 27, 2014 · Collections ·

Even if you are not a fashion historian, you have likely seen images of the clothing people wore in the past.  Whether you saw them online, or in your own family photos, the outer garments of individuals are fairly visible.  But what about what lies underneath?  What does that look like???

Hepburn Comes Home

April 10, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

The anticipation has been building for weeks.  All of us here at CHS have been excited to bring Katharine Hepburn home to Hartford in the form of an exhibition on loan from the Kent State University Museum called “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen.”  Well…on Thursday of last week she finally arrived and the…
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Fancy Pants

April 14, 2014 · CHS Buzz, Exhibits ·

Pants running. Pants standing. Best of all, pants doing a handstand. Pants are a perfect symbol of Katharine Hepburn’s unconventional approach to fashion and her exceptional Hollywood career. Decades before mainstream American women would dare to wear pants to work, Hepburn wore jeans on the studio lot in the early 1930s. The story goes that…
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What is this?

April 22, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

The Philadelphia Story… A Connecticut Story?

April 28, 2014 · Collections ·

The Oscar-nominated movie that is known for its many catch phrases (“The calla lilies are in bloom again”) has a few distinct connections with the Nutmeg State. Katharine Hepburn, born of Hartford, created the role of Tracy Lord on the stage in 1939, which immediately preceded the 1940 on-screen release of The Philadelphia Story.

What is this?

May 6, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

Illustrating Life

May 8, 2014 · Collections ·

Last week Rich Malley posted about the Billings and Spencer Company complex in Hartford. He illustrated his post with an amazing watercolor done in 1898 by Hiram P. Arms, a Hartford-based illustrator.  When I first saw the painting, which is quite large, I was intrigued by all of the little vignettes Arms included, as Rich…
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What is this?

May 20, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

June 3, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

July 15, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

July 29, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

Mourning in the 19th century

October 16, 2014 · Collections ·

Customs surrounding the mourning of deceased loved ones were prominent in the 19th century and the objects created around these practices tell quite a story.

From Bonnets to Bell Bottoms

A Century of Connecticut Fashion Discussed

March 24, 2015 · CHS Buzz, Latest News ·

The Connecticut Historical Society’s “From Bonnets to Bell Bottoms: A Century of Connecticut Fashion” road show has drawn people from all over the state who are interested in the history of style. On March 18, Karen DePauw, research and collections associate at Connecticut Historical Society, gave a fascinating presentation on clothing from the Civil War…
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April 14, 1865 program

Abraham Lincoln’s Connecticut Connections revealed in Connecticut Historical Society exhibit

April 9, 2015 · Collections ·

A lock of hair, a bloody bandage, a Treasury Guard flag “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will…
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aute History: A Vintage-Inspired Fashion Show

Haute History: A Vintage-Inspired Fashion Show

May 9, 2015 · ·

Come see mannequins dressed in fabulous gowns dating from the 1910s, learn how those vintage looks inspire today’s fashions, and let our runway models show you how to add vintage touches to your own wardrobe.

An Animated Discussion

Connecting & Building Communities

July 10, 2015 · CHS Buzz, Latest News ·

In the summer of 2014, the exhibit Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Screen and Stage was on display at the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS). I had just begun to work at the welcome desk and was impressed by the droves of people who visited the exhibit every day.

From Bonnets to Bell Bottoms

From Bonnets to Bell Bottoms: A Century of Connecticut Fashion

September 27, 2015 · ·

Whether it has been passed down, owned for years, or just purchased yesterday, our clothing speaks volumes about who we are, what we do, and the world in which we live. See how much fashion has changed and what has stayed the same from the Civil War to the swinging sixties.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: 100 Years of Connecticut Fashion

March 19, 2016 · ·

We’ll share the story of fashion in Connecticut with everything from wedding dresses to corsets, but we’ll also explore how women worked to secure their health, freedom, and political participation, a story that shouldn’t be eclipsed by what they wore. Visit storage and collection areas not normally open to the public, and learn how the CHS preserves the stories of Connecticut.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: 100 Years of Connecticut Fashion

We’ll share the story of fashion in Connecticut with everything from wedding dresses to corsets, but we’ll also explore how women worked to secure their health, freedom, and political participation, a story that shouldn’t be eclipsed by what they wore. Visit storage and collection areas not normally open to the public, and learn how the CHS preserves the stories of Connecticut.

Fashion Tour and Lunch: A Day at the Wadsworth Atheneum

June 1, 2016 · ·

Program held at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Join your friends on the CHS Fashion & Textiles Council for a very special tour of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s fashion-themed exhibit, Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion & Its Legacy led by Lynne Z. Bassett, Costume and Textile Historian, museum consultant, and organizer of the exhibit. The tour will be followed by a delicious lunch at Salute Restaurant.

POSTPONED Fashion & Textile Council Annual Lecture: Shoe or Sculpture? Extreme 21st -Century Footwear

November 3, 2016 · ·

DUE TO FAMILY EMERGENCY, THIS LECTURE HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO 2017. WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE AND ALL TICKET PURCHASES WILL BE REFUNDED.

Decorative Arts Council Annual Lecture: Artistry and Innovation in American Glass

November 15, 2016 · ·

Alexandra Ruggiero, the Corning Museum of Glass, will explore the history of glass in America.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: 100 Years of Connecticut Fashion

March 25, 2017 · ·

We’ll share the story of fashion in Connecticut with everything from wedding dresses to corsets, but we’ll also explore how women worked to secure their health, freedom, and political participation, a story that shouldn’t be eclipsed by what they wore. Visit storage and collection areas not normally open to the public, and learn how the CHS preserves the stories of Connecticut.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: 100 Years of Connecticut Fashion

We’ll share the story of fashion in Connecticut with everything from wedding dresses to corsets, but we’ll also explore how women worked to secure their health, freedom, and political participation, a story that shouldn’t be eclipsed by what they wore. Visit storage and collection areas not normally open to the public, and learn how the CHS preserves the stories of Connecticut.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: 100 Years of Connecticut Fashion

March 10, 2018 · ·

We’ll share the story of fashion in Connecticut with everything from wedding dresses to corsets, but we’ll also explore how women worked to secure their health, freedom, and political participation, a story that shouldn’t be eclipsed by what they wore. Visit storage and collection areas not normally open to the public, and learn how the CHS preserves the stories of Connecticut.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: 100 Years of Connecticut Fashion

We’ll share the story of fashion in Connecticut with everything from wedding dresses to corsets, but we’ll also explore how women worked to secure their health, freedom, and political participation, a story that shouldn’t be eclipsed by what they wore. Visit storage and collection areas not normally open to the public, and learn how the CHS preserves the stories of Connecticut.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Something Old, Something New

September 8, 2018 · ·

From colonial to modern times, how did Connecticans tie the knot? You’ll go behind the scenes into CHS’s collections storage areas to look at clothing, photographs, and other artifacts that document 300-plus years of wedding customs and traditions.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Something Old, Something New

From colonial to modern times, how did Connecticans tie the knot? You’ll go behind the scenes into CHS’s collections storage areas to look at clothing, photographs, and other artifacts that document 300-plus years of wedding customs and traditions.

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