Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Lecture at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Explores the Gilded Age Conservatory

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 11 a.m. at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue in Norwalk, CT, Curator Jim Donahue will give a talk entitled, Gilded Age Conservatories.
The late 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed the culmination of private and public conservatory construction in the United States. Elaborate arrangements of exotic orchids, tropical palms, and a myriad of ferns filled these extravagant glass structures. Private conservatories of the Gilded Age were part of the family’s living space, decorated with specimen plants, and used for entertaining guests. Fueled by new technologies and horticultural discoveries from faraway places, the Victorians displayed their collections while the associated costs of building and maintaining the conservatory and its contents affirmed the occupant’s aristocratic aspirations. Often, the cultivation process did not take place within the conservatory itself, but in an offsite greenhouse.

Elms Conservatory 1901
Jim Donahue is Curator of Historic Landscapes and Horticulture at the Preservation Society of Newport County. He holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design in Massachusetts. He is currently putting together a conservatory-themed exhibit, focused on 19th century collectors' plants, for the upcoming Newport Flower Show, June 19-21 at Rosecliff.

This will be the second in a series of lectures by curators and experts in the field of Victorian era material life. The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members per session. Please RSVP by Friday, June 5, 2015. The price includes lecture, lunch and a first floor Mansion tour. Lunch is courtesy of Michael Gilmartin's Outdoor Cookers Catering & Event Planning.  The chair of the Lecture Committee is Mimi Findlay of New Canaan. Please contact info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com or 203-838-9799, ext. 4 to purchase tickets.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For additional information on schedules and programs please visit: www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.

For area information visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

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