Greenwich Historical Society:
Reimagining the Campus

An artist's rendering of the reimagined campus at the Greenwich Historical SocietyThe Greenwich Historical Society has announced a visionary plan that will dramatically transform the National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House campus to expand and provide better access and to enrich education and preservation programs.

The plan includes new state-of-the-art galleries and archives, more than doubled parking, and an elevator. The new building will have two exhibition and orientation halls, public archives, a gift shop, and a café.

An artist's rendering of the reimagined campus at the Greenwich Historical SocietyA historic building that was once the Railroad Hotel and subsequently Toby’s Tavern will be restored to its appearance at the turn of the 20th century. It will house a museum shop and new Artists Café, exhibition space for community artists, meeting and storage space. The current exhibition space in the adjoining 1805 Storehouse will be renovated to accommodate all Historical Society staff offices.

plan-drawing

An extraordinary dollar-for-dollar matching gift from anonymous donors provides a wonderful assist in achieving the final $8.5 million of the $18.5 million “Reimagine the Greenwich Historical Society” campaign that will realize the Society’s vision for a dynamic campus and place Greenwich’s story indelibly within the broad context of American history. The public is invited to support the Capital Campaign by contacting Katrina Dorsey, Greenwich Historical Society Director of Development, at 203-869-6899, ext. 15, kdorsey@greenwichhistory.org.

For more about this exciting project see greenwichhistory.org/challenge.

Capital Campaign in the News

Greenwich Historical Society embarks on major renovation

Greenwich Time, November 14, 2016

Bush-Holley House campus is aiming for $18.5M fundraising effort

Fairfield County Business Journal, November 15, 2016

Greenwich Historical Society Launches Capital Campaign to Reimagine its Campus to Enhance the Cultural Life of the Community Plan will transform the Bush-Holley complex, expand and provide better access to facilities and enrich education and preservation programs

Greenwich Patch, November 21, 2016

 

Greyledge & Colonel Bolling

Raynal BollingGreyledge, an English-style manor in Greenwich on Doubling Road, was designed by the same firm that created the New York Public Library, Carrère & Hastings. Built for pioneer aviator Col. Raynal Cawthorne Bolling, who moved in with his family in 1915, it was demolished in 2007.

Greenwich Historical Society. Raynal C. Bolling Collection. Image of Greyledge scanned from "The American Architect", December 13, 1916, Volume CX, Number 2138. Theodore E. Blake, architectGreenwich Historical Society. Scan of loaned photograph of interior of Greyledge, home of Raynal C. Bolling and family. Entrance to Big Porch from hall between Library & Music Room.

A Harvard (1900) and Harvard Law (1902) graduate, Bolling rose to become General Solicitor at U.S. Steel. Foreseeing the role of aircraft in the predicted U.S. involvement in what was to become World War I, with a small group of friends he learned to fly then organized our country’s first National Guard flying unit and helped recruit and train some of America’s earliest fighter pilots, creating the precursor to the Air Force Reserve Command.

Greenwich Historical Society. Scan of loaned photograph of interior of Greyledge, home of Raynal C. Bolling and family. View of living room ("library") into dining room.

In the war he was responsible for, among other things, recommending and sourcing aircraft Raynal C. Bollingand overseeing training and supplies. In France on March 26, 1918, he was ambushed by Germans. While defending his unarmed driver, Bolling was killed, the first high-ranking air service officer to die in battle in World War I.

Bolling received the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Army and the French Legion of Honour. Bolling Air Force Base (known today as Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling) in Washington, D.C., was named for him.

Bolling MemorialThere’s a life-size statue of him on Greenwich Avenue, across from the World War I memorial.

The archives at the Greenwich Historical Society holds the Col. Raynal C. Bolling Papers, which contain primary source material documenting some of his Air Service work during the war, related printed material and a limited number of family papers.

“An Eye to the East:
The Inspiration of Japan”

The Greenwich Historical Society’s exquisite current exhibition, An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan, looks at the influence of Japanese art and culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with a special emphasis on the Cos Cob art colony. The contribution of Genjiro Yeto, who studied under John Henry Twachtman at the Art Students League in New York and spent part of each year from 1895 to 1901 at the Holley House, is explored; this gallery features a recent and important donation of his work to the Historical Society by his granddaughter Yukiko Tanaka. Here are photos of some items you will see including paintings, prints, photographs, carvings, ceramics and textiles.

In 1854 a treaty opened trade between the United States and Japan, a nation that had been closed until that point. Within a year, French artist Félix Bracquemond “discovered” the woodblock prints of Hokusai and circulated them among his Paris art circle. Their influence was immediate, and visiting Cos Cob artists John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir and Childe Hassam all took note. Within a few years, a fascination with Japanese art and culture began to sweep Europe and, following the Civil War, the phenomenon took America by storm as well.

To find out more about the exhibition from the curator herself, Karen Frederick, listen to her podcast, originally broadcast on WGCH.

Visitor Information

An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan will run through February 26, 2017 at the Storehouse Gallery, Greenwich Historical Society, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807. Exhibition hours are from noon to 4:00 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors; admission is always free to members and children under 18 and free to all on the first Wednesday of each month.

“The Curator’s Eye” tours are offered on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:15 pm. These informal, 20- to 30-minute docent-led gallery tours focus on exhibition highlights, themes and background stories that provide a framework for better understanding the art and objects on display.

 

Antiquarius 2016: All You Need to Know

Whether you’re a lover of fine antiques, eager to catch a glimpse of Greenwich, Connecticut’s most spectacular homes, or simply ready to start celebrating, Antiquarius, the Greenwich Historical Society’s annual series of high style holiday events, is just the ticket. Here’s a rundown of all the upcoming events in chronological order.

Antiquarius Opening Night Private Patron Party with Alessandra Branca 

Friday, December 2, 5:30 to 7:00 pm, Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, 90 Harding Road, Old Greenwich http://www.greenwichhistory.org/ATQtickets.php

atq-2016-bannerTour and shop the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show before it opens to the public. Meet Honorary Design Chair Alessandra Branca and more than 40 nationally recognized exhibitors featuring fine art, marine art, estate jewelry, American and Continental furniture, prints, luxury handbags, and more from 18th century to mid-20th century. Beautifully decorated by Alessandra Branca. Private event for Patron level supporters ($1,000-$5,000).

Preview of the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show 

Friday, December 2, 7:00 to 9:00 pm  Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, 90 Harding Road, Old Greenwich, $150 http://www.greenwichhistory.org/ATQtickets.php

Antiquarius Winter Antiques Show Preview Party 2015Attend the Preview Party of the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show, produced by Frank Gaglio, Inc., for early access to more than 40 vendors displaying exquisite 18th- to mid-20th-century art, decorative objects, estate jewelry, furniture, prints and vintage accessories. Curated for the Greenwich market with a broad range of styles and price points, it’s perfect for seasoned collectors, professional designers and home decorators alike.

This year’s preview theme is “A Tyrolean Black Forest Holiday” with décor styled by Honorary Design Chairman Alessandra Branca. Along with champagne, cocktails, delightful bites and entertainment, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to consult with some of the most knowledgeable dealers in the business and get first dibs on a delightful array of antiques–all in a festive, Tyrolean-inspired setting. Catering provided by Marcia Selden. Generously sponsored by Betteridge.

The Greenwich Winter Antiques Show  Produced by Frank Gaglio, Inc.

Saturday, December 3, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Sunday, December 4, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm  Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, 90 Harding Road, Old Greenwich 06870, $15

Beautiful pottery on display at the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show 2015 The Greenwich Winter Antiques Show, produced by Frank Gaglio, Inc., will feature more than 40 vendors displaying exquisite 18th- to mid-20th-century art, decorative objects, estate jewelry, furniture, prints and vintage accessories. Curated for the Greenwich market with a broad range of styles and price points, it’s perfect for seasoned collectors, professional designers and home decorators alike. General admission is $15 payable at the door.

DOYLE Appraisal Day at the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show

Saturday, December 3, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, 90 Harding Road, Old Greenwich

DOYLE’s team of specialists will provide complimentary auction evaluations for jewelry, art, silver, decorations, furniture, books, autographs, coins, stamps, and other categories (photographs acceptable). By appointment only: Contact Kathy Brackenridge at DoyleCT@doyle.com or 203-637-6209.

Antiquarius Reception and Designer Lecture with Alessandra Branca 

Tuesday, December 6, 6:00 to 7:00 pm Greenwich Country Club, 19 Doubling Road, Greenwich http://www.greenwichhistory.org/ATQtickets.php

Upper level donors ($1,000-$5,000) to Antiquarius will receive a special invitation to attend an exclusive, private cocktail reception and book signing featuring Honorary Design Chair Alessandra Branca. Branca has been recognized as a member of Elle Décor’s A List every year since 2011 and is a perennial member of House Beautiful’s Master Class. With a European sensibility and a knack for “tossing the classics a twist,” her work has graced the pages of Architectural Digest, Town and Country, The New York Times, Veranda and Elle Décor. If you are interested in becoming an Antiquarius patron or sponsor, please call Katrina Dorsey at 203-869-6899, Ext. 15. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 6 at 6:00 pm and is a wonderful opportunity to meet this renowned designer.

 Antiquarius Holiday Boutique 

Tuesday, December 6, 6:00 to 8:30 pm & Wednesday, December 7, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm  Greenwich Country Club, 19 Doubling Road, Greenwich

Festive items for sale at the Antiquarius Holiday BoutiqueThe Holiday Boutique at Greenwich Country Club offers very merry holiday shopping and gifts for everyone on your list. The boutique will feature more than 35 vendors offerings everything from monogrammed children’s items to cuddle-worthy knitwear, semi-precious sparkles, dramatic decor and sweet treats. Passed hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served on Tuesday evening from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, and the boutique will be open all day on December 7 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Free admission.

Antiquarius Holiday House Tour 

Wednesday, December 7, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm,  $110 http://www.greenwichhistory.org/ATQtickets.php

Lovely décor seen on an Antiquarius House TourAntiquarius culminates with the incomparable Holiday House Tour, a once-a-year opportunity to visit five elegant Greenwich homes. This year’s tour is a medley of architectural and decor styles from a classic, historic Federal to a newly constructed colonial, a polished contemporary and an artfully curated custom design. Each home impresses distinctly, while presenting an intimate glimpse into the varying ways Greenwich residents live and gather. Bring your friends and prepare to be wowed as you visit some of Greenwich’s most outstanding properties.

Reservations are required. The tours will take place rain or shine. Maps will be mailed to ticket purchasers. There are designated parking locations for each house. A shuttle will run from each designated parking location to each house. A Premium Parking Pass ($450) is available that grants access to parking close to each house. Photography and children under age 12 are strictly prohibited on the House Tour. Homes are not wheelchair accessible. This event is generously sponsored by David Ogilvy & Associates.  Take a break from touring to enjoy an optional sumptuous buffet luncheon ($45) in a festive setting at the Greenwich Country Club (19 Doubling Road) available 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. You do not need to be a Greenwich Country Club member to enjoy this luncheon; reserve through the Greenwich Historical Society (not Greenwich Country Club).

 

Fall Festival 2016 in Photos

The Greenwich Historical Society holds a Fall Festival every year with a The Morimotosscarecrow competition, activities for kids, and performances. This year the festival was held on October 9 and it had a Japanese theme that related to our new exhibition, “An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan,” which examines the influence of Japanese art and culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Making a fish kiteWe had a samurai scarecrow and samurai face painting; plus kids (and some parents!) decorated fans and make fish tale kites. The Greenwich Japanese School delighted a packed crowd with a performance of song and dance, and the World Seido Karate Studio demonstrated martial arts. The Hapa Food Truck fed the crowd and all enjoyed spending a rainy Sunday on our campus. Until next year!

Students from the Greenwich Japanese SchoolStudents from the Greenwich Japanese SchoolStudents from the Greenwich Japanese SchoolDecorating a fanThe KawamurasWorld Seido Karate StudioPerformance by students from the Japanese School at Greenwich Historical Society Fall Festival, October 9, 2016An Uncle Sam themed scarecrowKids braving the weather for some fall funThe KatsumisHapa Food TruckArts and craftsArts and craftsThe Broms enjoying crafts

Greenwich Historical Society Seeks Storytellers for November 17th Story Barn

One of the Greenwich Historical Society’s most popular programs, Story Barn offers an evening of true personal stories served up in a cabaret-like setting without benefit of notes or screens. Emceed by Moth story coach, Nantucket Comedy Festival cofounder and comedienne Bonnie Levison, the progam offers fun, thought-provoking entertainment that puts a decidedly contemporary spin on oral history.

The Historical Society is looking for storytellers for its November 17th program, which will revolve around the theme “Lost in Translation.”

Bonnie Levison emcees at the Greenwich Historical Society's spring 2016 Story Barn
Bonnie Levison emcees at the spring 2016 Story Barn

The theme, loosely tied with the Historical Society’s current exhibition An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan, is based on the concept that even our simplest attempts at communica-tion can sometimes go awry. Interpretation can be broad, and stories can revolve around any personal experiences that have to do with misunderstanding or miscommunication.

In the past, topics have run the gamut from youthful misadventure, to a dastardly bridegroom, a grand dame’s after-hours Christmas shopping expedition and a preteen’s 1960s quest for tight chinos (think West Side Story) at some of Greenwich’s toniest emporiums. Protagonists need not be human: Stories have also featured a very ungrateful chipmunk, a supernatural parrot and a law-breaking woodchuck.

Anyone over age 21 is invited to participate but must sign up and pitch their story in advance. If you have a tale to share, contact Anna Greco at agreco@greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 31. A workshop is being offered for those who would like guidance or would like to polish their presentation before the event.

Story Barn: Lost in Translation. November 17, 2016. Doors open at 7:00 pm; performance begins at 7:30 pm. Beer, wine and light refreshments are included in the price of admission. Greenwich Historical Society, Vanderbilt Education Center. 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807. Members: $15; nonmembers: $20. Reservations strongly encouraged. Tickets at www.greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10

About the Greenwich Historical Society Blog

Welcome!

National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House in Greenwich, CT, USA.
National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House in Greenwich, CT, USA.

The Greenwich Historical Society was founded in 1931 to collect and chronicle the vibrant history of Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. It operates the circa 1730 National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House, a cradle of American Impressionism. The structure began life as a home for prosperous merchants and gained recognition later as a boarding house and gathering place for many prominent American artists and writers.

Artist's studio in Bush-Holley House
Artist’s studio in Bush-Holley House

The Greenwich Historical Society also includes an art gallery, which features rotating exhibitions and a museum store; and an extensive research library and archives. It maintains an active calendar of lectures, school programs, live storytelling evenings, community events, and summer camp.

This blog will serve to keep the public updated on our events and programs and to share information on the fascinating history of Greenwich, Connecticut.