Friday, April 29, 2016

Close to the Wind: Our Maritime History at the Greenwich Historical Society

With 36 miles of coastline, the sea has always played a significant role in the history of Greenwich. Since the town's founding in 1640, boats plying Long Island Sound were a regular and reliable means of commercial trade and passenger transport.

 Yet by June 1896, the last market sloop sailed from the Lower Landing in Cos Cob to New York, signaling the end of an era.With the rise of pleasure yachting, new maritime pursuits appeared on the horizon. Yachting soon became both a sport and a leisure activity associated with the grand lifestyle of the wealthy tycoons who built the great estates.

Over time, as boating became more affordable, Greenwich once again witnessed a proliferation of boats of every size and description that resulted in the establishment of many organizations dedicated to boating.
Through paintings, photographs, maps, charts and instruments this exhibition will explore the rich history of maritime Greenwich and share the myriad stories that link Greenwich to it's coastal roots.
For more information about Greenwich Historical Society visit and for more area information

Monday, April 25, 2016

The British Are Coming … to the Westport Historical Society

The Westport Historical Society will host a lecture on marking the 239th anniversary of Tryon's Raid, the Revolutionary War engagement that began with 1,800 British troops landing at Compo Beach on April 28 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m..

As many Westport residents may know, the four-day raid, which started on April 25, 1777, saw the British fighting two battles with Colonial forces along the way. It was led by Maj. Gen. William Tryon, royal governor of the New York province.
The lecture will be given by Ed Hynes, a Merrill Lynch financial advisor whose interest in the American Revolution dates to his childhood growing up in Wilton next to a home that was partially burned by Tryon's soldiers.
Hynes will discuss the raid in the overall context of the war, the commanders on both sides, and "things quite smart and not so smart" on both sides, including how "the Brits outwitted" the Patriots on their return to Compo. This incident took place in our own back yard and highlights an interesting aspect of the war: the extent to which local Colonists were divided for and against the Revolution.
As his troops marched back to Compo, Tryon got wind that Patriots under Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold were waiting for him at a bridge at Kings Highway where he had to cross the Saugatuck River. Luckily for Tryon, he was accompanied by a unit of Loyalists, one whom had lived in this area and was able to lead the British across the river at a ford upstream near present-day Red Coat Road, avoiding the ambush.
This episode inspired the book "The Bridge Not Taken" by Wilton land surveyor Damon Greenleaf Duncan, copies of which are available in the WHS' gift shop.
Concerning the division of opinion among Colonists, Hynes notes that Ridgefield's Town Council actually voted not to support the Revolution, and that a Redding militia linked to that town's Anglican Church was disbanded by Connecticut's governor because it refused to support Gen. George Washington's troops.
Hynes' talk is an opportunity to learn about important historical events that occurred right here in Westport. He will speak for about 50 minutes, and then take questions from the audience. Copies of a map for the raid prepared by one of Tryon's officers will be handed out to attendees.
The cost of the program is $5 per person. For more information, call (203) 222-1424 to register. Light refreshments will be served.
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Take a spring stroll on an award winning botany trail

Flanders Nature Center located on Church Hill Road in Woodbury is offering springtime wildflower walks on their botany trail on three Sunday afternoons, April 24, May 1 and May 8 beginning at 2 p.m. Stroll along this award winning botany trail with members of the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club that will be on hand to point out the beautiful flowers that line the trail.

The Botany Trail at Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust was developed and is maintained by the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club since 1965. The trail is a refuge for wildflowers and native plants that have been rescued from area development. The trail is approximately one mile in length and features gentle terrain suitable for any age level. Since its inception, this Botany Trail had taken many awards and has delighted wild flowers enthusiasts. Flanders Botany Trail meanders through woodlands and fields and features more than 250 species of native perennials, trees, shrubs and ferns. It is at one of its loveliest times in the spring when there are over 150 wildflowers on the trail blooming at different times.
The walks are offered free of charge to the public but donations are welcomed. The group will meet in the Flanders Sugar House parking lot, which is located off Church Hill Road, approximately 1/4 mile from the intersection of Flanders and Church Hill Roads in Woodbury. In the event of rain that day's walk will be cancelled. For further information, call Flanders at 203-263-3711, ext. 10 or at
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About Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that focuses on environmental education, and on the acquisition, conservation, and stewardship of open space. Through its land trust initiatives, Flanders actively works to protect important natural sites and the area's landscape character and quality of life. Flanders manages over 2,100 acres of preserved land in Woodbury and neighboring towns. Educational programs for children and adults are offered at the Van Vleck Farm Sanctuary, Flanders' main campus in Woodbury. Trails at its major nature preserves are open to the public at no charge from dawn to dusk. Flanders' Welcome Center is located at the corner of Church Hill and Flanders Roads in Woodbury. For more information, call 203-263-3711 or

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bat Program @ Flanders Nature Center April 24

As part of their ongoing programming to promote further understanding and appreciation of nature, art and the environment, Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust is offering a program on bats. 

Participants will gain insight on the value of bats, why they are considered “earth allies” and how white nose disease has impacted them from Gerri Griswold, Director of Administration and Development at The White Memorial Conservation Center who will be leading the program. She has handled bats for twenty four years as a wildlife rehabilitator and educator and is licensed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the United States Department of Agriculture to keep and exhibit non releasable bats for education. 

Over the years Griswold and her bats have delivered programs to libraries, classrooms, and organizations like the National Park Service and the Yale Peabody Museum. They have appeared on the cover of The Weekly Reader and produced a segment about bats for The Late Show with David Letterman. Gerri will enhance the program with a power point presentation.

The program will be held on Sunday, April 24 at 1PM at the Flanders Sugar House which is located a quarter mile up from the intersection of Flanders and Church Hill Roads in Woodbury. The cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.  Those interested may register online or call 203-263-3711, ext. 10, for more information.

A full listing of Flanders’ adult and children’s programming can be found on their website at  For more area information

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Goshen Players Present.....

The  Goshen Players, will present each and every single one of the theatrical works of William Shakespeare in one incredible production. Yes, really. "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" will be staged at Old Goshen Town Hall at 2 North Street, at the Rotary junction of Routes 4 and 63, Goshen, CT for eight performances over three weekends starting April 22nd, 2016 and running weekends only through May 7, 2016.

"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" is a fast-paced, riotous presentation of each and every one of the bard's plays. But in this production, even the tragedies are hilarious! Clocking in at just over an hour and half, audiences will barely have time to stop laughing as they keep up with the non-stop action.
The show, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, features just three actors to play all of the roles in thirty-seven plays that feature a seemingly infinite number of characters, all in 97 minutes!
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" will be presented on April 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th, May 6th and 7th at 8:00 pm and on April 24th and May 1st at 3:00 pm. All tickets for the cabaret style seating are reserved and cost $22. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 860.491.9988 and leaving a message for call back. Early reservations are recommended, as Cabaret Seating is limited.
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Friday, April 15, 2016

Go Fly a Kite! at Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Did you know that the largest kite ever flown was 83 feet long and 131 feet wide? And did you also know that kites do not technically fly? They actually maintain a stall! Who knew? Find out more about the artistic history, the international traditions, and the science behind KITES in this new exhibition, Art on a String: Asian Kites in Flight!

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center has a new spring exhibition that will run through May 30 showing a wide selection of Asian styled kites.
This rich and colorful exhibition presents a comprehensive look at the variety of kites developed and used across the Asian continent. Highlights included a Wau bulan, an intricate Malaysian moon-kite; Indian and Pakistani fighting kites, and hand-painted silk kites from China. Uniforms worn by a Japanese kite fighting team and antique wooden Polynesian string reels illustrate the social and technological elements of Asian kite flying traditions.
The diverse collection ranges in size from tiny to enormous — the Centipede by Li Shang-Pei, Grand Kite Master of Taiwan, is more than fifty feet long! Regional kite design and construction styles demonstrate the scientific principles of aerodynamics and didactic panels by members of the International Kite Flyers Association providing historical and technical details. This family-focused exhibition has international appeal and encourages folks to get outdoors and engage in outdoor family fun. Go Fly a KITE!
A related program is taking place at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center called Kites, Flights and Nights on May 29 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Participants will learn to identify common constellations in the planetarium, create a flying machine out of recycled materials, discover how animals, rockets, and planes fly, and try your hand at launching the catapult. Afterward, visit the kite exhibition that will be sure to inspire how you create your kite.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Learn how to make a basket at the Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington is hosting a basketmaking workshop on April 23 with Jennifer Lee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The tradition of baskets and basketmaking has been a long tradition in Native American culture and an integral part of their lifestyle. Baskets were used as storage containers, carrying baskets, cradleboards, and in burial practices.  The most common material used to craft baskets in New England come from bark from a variety of trees such as from elm, ash, or birch.  The bark from these trees were sewn together with spruce root to keep them together. 
Jennifer Lee, of Algonkian Heritage, will guide participants in making a traditional bark basket! A featured artist at IAIS, Jennifer's bark baskets are historically accurate, beautiful and functional! Registration and Prepayment required by April 18th. $45 - $80 depending on size of basket. Call today to reserve your spot!
For more area information on the Litchfield Hills visit

Monday, April 11, 2016

Wild Reading: Animals in Children’s Book Arts @ the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum, located on One Museum Drive in Greenwich is offering a new adventure into the world of animals with their new exhibition that runs through July 3 called  Wild Reading: Animals in Children's Book Arts.

Through more than thirty contemporary and historic illustrations, the show explores the colorful lives of wild animals, both realistic and exaggerated. Original works by artists such as Quentin Blake (illustrator of books by Roald Dahl and others), Eric Carle, Wendell Minor, Maurice Sendak and others demonstrate the wide range of styles and visual elements used in children's literature – from color, line, and shape to texture and composition.
A highlight of this exhibition will be taxidermy specimens including a fox, groundhog, rabbit, chipmunk, squirrel, raccoon, birds, and insects from the Museum's natural history collection, which will be paired with their illustrated counterparts. Comparisons drawn between the illustrations and specimens address the characteristics that make each animal unique and the artistic techniques used to emphasize these features.

For example, a mounted gray wolf will be matched with John Hassall's original 1926 drawing of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf from Mother Goose's Book of Nursery Stories, Rhymes and Fables, while the Museum's black bear associates with.Fred Banbery's Paddington Bear and more naturalistic illustrations by Jeannie Brett and Carin Berger.
An accompanying family gallery guide and family day will foster exciting cross-generational experiences for Museum visitors of all ages.  The museum is open daily Tues. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  For more area information visit

Friday, April 8, 2016

Litchfield County Auctions April Auction now Online

Litchfield County Auctions in Litchfield Connecticut has just announced that their April Auction is online now.  There will be two sessions, on April 20 and 21 and the bidding will be live and online. A Live Gallery Exhibition (NO Tag Sale) has been planned for Friday, April 15 through Tuesday, April 19, 10am-5pm each day.  Also, the public is invited to attend their Annual Preview & Cocktail Party, Friday evening, April 15, from 6-8pm (RSVP.)  For additional information visit their website.

On April 20, items that will be auctioned off include: 20thCentury Furniture, Design and Tiffany Lighting; plus American Paintings, Fine Art & Sculpture.  There will be live as well as Online Bidding starting at 10:00 am.  

 Tiffany Bronze & Leaded Glass 'Poppy' Lamp.  Starting Bid: $12,500

Items of special interest includes: 8 Tiffany Studios Bronze Lamps with Favrile and Leaded Glass shades, plus important pieces of early Rene Lalique glass, Rookwood pottery, and much more. Furniture highlights include: Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts and Art Deco, including Stickley; Mid Century Modern furniture by Eames, Knoll, Saarinen, Widdicomb, Dunbar and Mario Bellini, Niels Otto Moller, Milo Baughman, Foster-McDavid, Edmund Spence, Maitland Smith, Maison Jansen, Living Divani, Angelo Donghia as well as Danish Modern and more.  

 Otto Dix, 1891-1969, Young Woman Head & Shoulders, 1932, Silver Point on a prepared ground.   Starting bid: $3,500

There will also be hundreds of American Paintings and other fine art in addition to sculptures. This sale features works by Jasper Francis Cropsey, William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, JG Brown, Otto Dix, Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, Walter Elmer Schofield, Lynn Chadwick, Jules Lefebvre, Carlos Merida, James Carroll Beckwith, Walter Launt Palmer, Arthur Meltzer, Salvatore Dali, and many others.

14K Yellow Gold, Diamond and Emerald Pendant.  Starting Bid $750

The auction taking place on April 21 features: Jewelry, Watches, Pens & Handbags; plus Silver, Gold, Medals & Coins. There will be live as well as Online Bidding starting at 10:00 am.  Some of the jewelry highlights includes: Rainbow Palette Sapphire Necklace & Bracelet; Pear Shaped Emerald & Diamond Dangle Earrings; 9ct Cushion Sapphire & Diamond Ring; 11ct Pear Shaped Ruby & Diamond Pendant; a Cross Pendant in 18K Gold with 15 carats of Emeralds;  a Belle Epoche Diamond Ring; Kieselstein Cord Ear Clips; a David Yurman Bracelet and more!  There will also be Watches by Cartier, Rolex, Longines, Tiffany, Jules Jurgenson, Hamilton, Omega, Movado, Brinsmaids & Audemars Piguet and Handbags & Purses by Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Gucci, and Chanel.

Puiforcat .950 Silvergilt Centerpiece, E. 20th C.  Starting Bid: $2,000

In addition to jewelry, there will be a fine selection of silver, gold, medals and coins. Some of the coins being offered are: Lincoln Cents, Liberty Dollars, Gold Coins, Barber Dimes, Banknotes; Medals in Silver & Bronze, French, European & others.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Catch the BIG ONE at the Riverton Fishing Derby on the Farmington River

April 9, the official opening of the fishing season in the Nutmeg State is the day when fly-fishing aficionados from near and far flock to the Annual Riverton Fishing Derby in the Riverton section of Barkhamsted, located in the beautiful Litchfield Hills.  

The day starts before daybreak with a hearty breakfast beginning at 4 a.m. at the Riverton Fire Department on 3 Riverton Rd. in the center of town.  Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be available at the Riverton General Store located in the center of town in a mid.-19th century building that is the hub of activity for this village. Green mountain coffee, made to order sandwiches, homemade soups, chili, salad and pastries are just some of the things offered here. For more information on Riverton General Store
This exciting Litchfield Hills event takes place on April 9 th on the West branch of the Farmington River, a Nationally designated “Wild and Scenic” river that is known to host an abundance of rainbow, brown and brook trout.  As a matter of fact, on Friday afternoon before this event, over 100 fish are purchased and released into the Farmington River adding even more incentive to catch the “big one.” The contest, complete with prizes, begins at 6 a.m. and lasts for about four hours, ending at 10 a.m. and it’s all-free; and there is no registration or fee required.
The public is always welcome to attend this event and to cheer on their favorite fisherman.  Last year some 500 enthusiasts participated in the derby. An even bigger crowd is expected this year.  Prizes include items donated by local merchants as well as by Orvis and Cabela’s.  The coveted grand prize is a village chair of Riverton donated by the Hitchcock Chair Company.  The Hitchcock Chair Company Store is located in Riverton and stocks an excellent selection of this classic hand stenciled furniture.  For information about the Hitchcock Chair Company visit
A bit further upriver a section of the flowing waters especially stocked for the occasion, is set aside for the "Kid' Derby".  Any tot under 16 who is able to hold a fishing pole, can join in the fun.  Special prizes are awarded to kids.
To find out more about the Fishing Derby and other events in Riverton, visit
The easiest way of getting a fishing license is to visit the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s online sportsmen licensing at  Fishing licenses are also available from town clerks and this website has a complete listing of town clerks and businesses that sell fishing licenses.  The website also has a weekly fishing report that runs from opening day through the end of November.  The report is a summary of fresh and saltwater fishing activity in the state as reported by tackle stores around the state.
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New Art Exhibition Kicks of 50 Year Anniversary @ Lockwood Mathews Mansion

In collaboration with Silvermine School of Art, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum kicks-off its 50th Anniversary with a new exhibition by artist and professor of photography Bruce Dunbar. The exhibition titled, Endangered & Re-envisioned: Iconic Landmarks and Interiors will open to the public on April 7, 2016, 12-4 p.m. at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT.

Curated by artist and designer Gail Ingis-Claus, Endangered & Re-envisioned will run through July 6, 2016, with a fundraising reception on April 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; tickets for the reception are $10 for non-members and $5 for members. All proceeds will benefit the Museum’s cultural and educational programs.

 This exhibition will feature some of Mr. Dunbar’s analog and digital work focusing on several Connecticut structures built between 1870-1940, both private residences and public spaces, seeking to place them in their contemporary context of adaptive reuse. “I am seeking to unite the past history of the landmark with the present context in which it exists,” said Dunbar, “including both images of interiors and exteriors, in order to draw attention to the rich history of each landmark, it's various past import and current status as landmark."

This exhibition will feature some of Mr. Dunbar’s analog and digital work focusing on several Connecticut structures built between 1870-1940, both private residences and public spaces, seeking to place them in their contemporary context of adaptive reuse. “I am seeking to unite the past history of the landmark with the present context in which it exists,” said Dunbar, “including both images of interiors and exteriors, in order to draw attention to the rich history of each landmark, it's various past import and current status as landmark."

Born in Stratford, CT, Mr. Dunbar received his BA from Boston University and his MA from New York University. His photographs and mixed media have been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows in Connecticut and New York City. Currently, he teaches black and white and digital photography courses at Silvermine School of Art in New Canaan, CT, as well as several workshops exploring different aspects on the art of photography.

Click! Snap! Like! From April 7, 2016 through May 1st, visitors are invited to participate in a photo contest sharing their talent and favorite photo of the Mansion on the Museum’s Facebook wall. All photos must be of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s exterior and submitted no later than May 1st. The winner will be announced on May 3rd. Prizes will be awarded on May 18.

The exhibit will be on view as part of LMMM’s tours, Wed.-Sun. at noon, 1, 2, and 3 p.m. General Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for children and young adults, ages 8-18.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, a National Historic Landmark since 1971, reopens to the public on Wed. April 6, 2016. For more information on schedules and programs please visit:, e-mail, or call 203-838-9799.

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