By 1921 Greenwich, Connecticut had the highest per capita income in the country. How did what was once a quiet, rural, coastal community of farmers, shopkeepers and oystermen become an enclave for the rich and powerful that would rival Newport, Rhode Island in wealth? This exhibition draws on the Greenwich Historical Society’s collection of clothing, photographs and objects to explore the era between 1880 and 1930–a period marked by unbridled spending by America’s elite to build estates of staggering proportions–to examine how the transformation impacted the people and cultural landscape of the town to this day.
October 1, 2014 to March 8, 2015
World War I marked the beginning of modern nation states, modern warfare technology and the emergence of the United States as an international power. Commemorating the centennial of the 1914 onset of that shattering event in Europe, the Greenwich Historical Society will launch a multi-faceted project beginning with an exhibition mounted in the Storehouse. Compelling images, artifacts and documents will illustrate the diverse experiences of military personnel, volunteers, and civilians alike. For the first time in the Storehouse Gallery, touch-screen technology will be used to enhance the visitor experience through supplementary shared audio and visual resources including personal remembrances, photographs, newspaper reports, wartime letters, popular songs and more.
The project will also include a special tour and temporary installation in
Bush-Holley House demonstrating how Greenwich inhabitants supported the war
effort at home, along with a World War I-period, patriotic home vegetable
garden (on view during the 2014 growing season). Online resources for educators
and students and a menu of public events featuring lectures, workshops, and
performances will round out the program.
From the discourse preceding the war to the actions and influence of its citizens once engaged, Greenwich provides rich material and multiple perspectives on a conflict that to this day influences international politics and continues to shape history.
This project was supported by a planning grant from Connecticut Humanities and by an internship funded by the Yale Alumni Association of Greenwich.