An American Story: Finding Home in Fairfield County
Members opening: October 1, 2019
Open to the public: October 2, 2019 through January 6, 2020
An Unfinished Revolution: The Woman’s Suffrage Centennial
February 5 through September 6, 2020
Supported in part by Connecticut Humanities and Northern Trust
This dynamic and timely exhibition will take a new look at the history and legacy of the woman’s suffrage movement as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Original materials from the Greenwich Historical Society, museums, libraries, private collectors and descendants of suffragists will be used to illustrate the long struggle for a woman’s right to vote and the efforts since 1920 to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
Greenwich, like many communities in Connecticut during this period, saw women of all backgrounds come together to fight for the 19th Amendment. Unlike some communities, the wives of Greenwich’s wealthy elite had the time and financial means to dedicate to the suffrage movement and became state and national leaders in the cause, with and without the support of their spouses and families. Their contributions, and those of many other women who broke away from social convention to stand up for a cause they believed in, will be highlighted in the exhibition.
- Louisine Havemeyer, noted art collector and the oldest of the White House protestors to be arrested.
- Valeria Hopkins Parker, a physician who was divorced from her husband due to her involvement in woman’s suffrage.
- Grace Gallatin Seton, an artist and writer who was active in national, state and local suffrage organizations, but denied the right to vote because her husband was Scottish.
- Caroline Ruutz-Rees, headmistress of Rosemary Hall and founder of the Junior Suffrage League along with the twin daughters of Elmer and Constant MacRae, proprietors of the Holley House (today’s Bush-Holley House). It was the first in Connecticut and second in the nation.
The exhibition is guest curated by Kathleen Craughwell Varda and provides a platform to further Greenwich Historical Society’s priorities to address social issues and reach broad audiences while telling a richer, more complex and local Greenwich story.
Life and Art:
The Greenwich Paintings of John Henry Twachtman
Members opening: October 6, 2020
Open to the public: October 7, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Funded in part by Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.
An exhibition of 25 paintings will bring viewers into an intimate relationship with the place that American Impressionist John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902), one of the most prominent figures in late nineteenth century American art, loved best, the home and land in Greenwich, Conn., where he resided from 1890 – 1899. Together with the catalog, it will enable viewers to consider the relationship between the artist and his subject matter, and his life and creative output, while setting his Greenwich work in the context of American Impressionism and shedding new light on the movement.
It will be the inaugural art exhibition in the Frank Family Foundation located in the new 9,900 square foot museum and library building at the Greenwich Historical Society, which opened to great fanfare in October 2018. It is especially appropriate that Twachtman be the subject given the artist’s residency in Greenwich and his central role in the Cos Cob art colony, where he taught summer classes to over 100 students between 1890 and 1899.
This is the first close exploration of Twachtman’s architectural work and landscaping in relation to his Greenwich art, using new documentation, historical evidence, and a physical examination of the home and property.
The project is strategically important to Greenwich Historical Society, owner of the former Holley boarding house (known today as Bush-Holley House) in which Twachtman painted and conducted summer art classes, sometimes in collaboration with J. Alden Weir. The Bush-Holley House is now a National Historic Landmark and is restored and open to the public. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Greenwich Historical Society seeks to augment its permanent collection on American Impressionist artists of the Cos Cob art colony to feature paintings by Twachtman in its new Permanent Collections Gallery.