Press release from the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society:
"The 9th annual Connecticut Collectors and Explorers lecture series, 'Excellence in Excess: The Art, Architecture, and Landscape of the Victorian Era,' will explore the Victorian era in Connecticut. The late-19th Century was an era of great significance for the state, and this year’s lecture series will focus on the architecture, interior design, furnishings, gardens, and clothing of this era.
"The first lecture, 'History and the Invention of Tradition in Victorian America,' will trace how factors, such as the growth of cities, the impact of immigration, the development of an industrial and mass culture and the persistence and celebration of 'traditional' New England culture influenced the evolution of American and regional historical consciousness. Presented by Dr. Harvey Green, professor of history at Northeastern University and author of 'Light of the Home ... Women in Victorian America.'
"'Domestic Embellishment: Decorative Arts of the Victorian Era,' the second lecture,
examines the varied and often lush decorative arts of the Victorian period in America. The emphasis will be on Connecticut household furnishings, including furniture, ceramics, silver, and glass. Presented by Dr. Nan Wolverton, independent scholar and formerly Curator of Decorative Arts at Old Sturbridge Village.
"The third presentation, 'What Shall We Do With Our Walls?', discusses the numerous options for decorating walls and ceilings in the Victorian home, including wallpaper, paint, and fabric. The talk will utilize examples from historic properties in the era, including A&L’s own Butler-McCook House, and discuss the variety of styles available, lighting options, and the availability of papers, paints and people to do the work. Presented by Marianne Curling, independent curator, and formerly Curator of the Mark Twain House.
"Next, 'A Social History of Victorian Dress' examines the social context of Victorian costume and explain why men's, women's, and children's costume looked like it did, from the Gothic Revival to the Renaissance Revival, to the Colonial Revival. Presented by Lynne Zacek Bassett, an independent scholar specializing in New England's historic costume and textiles who recently curated the award-winning exhibition, 'Modesty Died When Clothes Were Born: Costume in the Life and Literature of Mark Twain.'
'The final lecture, 'Gardening in Victorian America 1850-1900' explores the details of Victorian gardens, including overall plans, the gardens’ relationships to architecture, and garden details, such as ornaments and plants. The lecture will conclude with thoughts on how the Victorian style influenced future garden styles, and what elements of the late 19th century era endure to this day. Presented by Martha H. Lyon, landscape architect and adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts."
The talks will be held in the spring of 2006 in Hartford, New Haven, Torrington, and Old Lyme. The Hartford talks will be held at the South Congregational Church, 277 Main Street, as follows:
March 7 - History and the Invention of Tradition in Victorian America
March 14 - Domestic Embellishment: Decorative Arts of the Victorian Era
March 21 - What Shall We Do With Our Walls
March 28 - A Social History of Victorian Dress
April 4 - Gardening in Victorian America 1850-1900
All the talks begin at 5:30 p.m.
Admission to individual lectures is $8 for ALS members, $10 for non-members. Admission to the series: $30 for members, $40 for non-members.