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Adult Programs


Curator-Led Tour of Greenwich Choices: 50 Objects that Illustrate our History

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Greenwich Choices: 50 Objects That Illustrate our History explores defining moments in Greenwich's growth and development through objects drawn from the Historical Society's collections. In a program led by exhibition curator Karen Frederick, visitors will have the opportunity to examine (along with the many other items on display) why an 18th-century, homespun shirt with a bullet hole, a bill of sale for a three-year-old slave boy and a congresswoman's carefully preserved scrapbooks all represent important turning points in the town's history.

Visitors will have the chance to ask questions, learn more about the selection process and to share their own responses to these unique objects. The exhibition, created in honor of the town's 375th anniversary, provides fascinating insights into how choices made by earlier residents still resonate today and why it's so important to collect and preserve items that document our local story.

Coffee with the Curator

Thursday, February 18, 2016, 10:30 to 11:30 am

Storehouse Gallery

Coffee will be served

Admission is free.

Reservations recommended. Please call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10


Exploring the Hudson River School with Elizabeth Kornhauser

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Betsy Kornhauser

In the first half of the 19th century, a group of like-minded painters, poets and writers working in New York City developed a distinctive American vision of the American landscape that came to be known as the Hudson River School. Employing Thomas Cole's work, landscape scenes from the Hudson River to Yosemite and scenes from the Arctic and South America, Dr. Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will talk about how these powerful interpretations of the American landscape shaped our national and cultural identity, and how they demonstrated an early awareness of the value of preserving natural sites for future generations. Characterized by their reverence for the natural world, these works continue to present an artistic case for preservation, resonating as strongly today as they did when created.

Thomas Cole, Oxbow

One of the foremost experts in American art, Dr. Kornhauser oversees the American paintings collection and participated in its 2012 reinstallation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She co-curated the Met's Thomas Hart Benton's America Today Mural Rediscovered, Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends and George Caleb Bingham and the River. She served as Deputy Director, Chief Curator and Krieble Curator of American Paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum, where she organized and authored catalogues for major exhibitions ranging from Ralph Earl to the Hudson River School to Marsden Hartley.

Dr. Kornhauser received a PhD from Boston University in American Studies and an MA from the Cooperstown Graduate Programs in American Folk Culture. The recipient of numerous grants and awards related to the study of American art, Ms. Kornhauser serves as a member of the advisory board of the Thomas Cole Historic Site and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Trinity College in Hartford.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Doors open at 6:30 for light refreshments.
The 45-minute lecture begins at 7:00, followed by a 15-minute Q&A session.

Vanderbilt Education Center

Members: $15; nonmembers $20
Reservations required. Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

Free for teachers, student and patron-level members
Reservations required. Please call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

The lecture is made possible with support from the David R. A. Wierdsma Fund. David was a dedicated supporter of the Greenwich Historical Society with a keen eye and deft hand for creating unique and imaginative landscapes. The Cultural Landscape Series was created in his memory and designed to explore the infinitely beautiful possibilities that unfold when art and history meet nature.

Members: $15

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Non-members: $20

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Story Barn: Any Port in a Storm

Friday, April 1, 2016

Betsy Kornhauser

Story Barn is a favorite biannual program in which a given theme is explored through personal storytelling. As in life, stories run the gamut, but we guarantee that each and every one will keep you on the edge of your seat. This time we are connecting Story Barn with our exhibition Close to the Wind: Our Maritime History with the theme Any Port in a Storm. Storytellers are allowed to creatively interpret the topic with just two caveats: stories must be true (okay, a little embellishment is allowed), and stories must last between five and ten minutes (no notes allowed). We are currently looking for those who would like to participate. If you're game but need a little help, a workshop and practice session will be offered prior to the program.

Bonnie Levison returns to host this popular program, modeled on a format developed by The Moth where storytellers offer extraordinary insights into the human condition by sharing experiences in story slams, live performances, radio broadcasts and workshops. Levison is currently a storytelling coach for The Moth and has led Story Barn at the Historical Society since 2009. A former marketing executive at Young & Rubicam and NBC, she co-founded The Nantucket Comedy Festival in 2008 and produces a variety of comedy shows.

Any Port in a Storm will take place in an informal, cabaret-like setting, and wine, beer and light snacks will be served.

Friday, April 1, 2106

Doors open at 7:30 pm; performance starts at 8:00 pm

$15 for members; $20 for nonmembers

Vanderbilt Education Center

If you would like to share a story, please email Anna Greco or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 31.

2016 Greenwich Landmark Recognition Program

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Historical Society will recognize five of the town's most distinguished historic properties at this year's Landmark Recognition Program. Properties to be plaqued include "The Orchards" on Round Hill Road, originally commissioned for the daughter of J. P. Morgan; a fabulous 1893 Victorian and a stone and brick Tudor cottage (both in Riverside); an elegant stone manse in Khakum Wood and The Mill Complex in Glenville, a commercial property with a long and fascinating history.

This year's keynote speaker will be Frank J. Prial, Jr., AIA, of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects. Prial will talk about the restoration and continuing cultural significance of Grand Central Terminal, using it as a case study of a highly successful restoration. Prial is certainly well versed on the subject as he holds the distinction of having been project architect for Grand Central's most recent restoration.

Beyer Blinder Belle is recognized for its nearly 50-year commitment to preservation and stewardship of significant historic, cultural and civic landmarks, and Prial has led many of its most celebrated preservation projects. His portfolio includes the lobby of the Empire State Building, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Baltimore Basilica, the Saint Paul Union Depot and Castle Clinton National Monument. He is currently leading the restoration and revitalization of Yale University's historic Memorial Hall and Commons buildings.

Prial was a featured speaker in "Grand Central," one of PBS's most frequently aired American Experience episodes. He is a regular presenter and visiting critic on architecture, preservation and transportation planning. He has served on the boards of advisors of the Historic Districts Council and the Art Deco Society of New York, and is a trustee of the Vanderbilt Cemetery Association. Mr. Prial is a graduate of Pratt Institute and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Reception begins at 4:00; program begins at 4:45 and will run until approximately 6:30 pm

Greenwich Country Club

Tickets: $75 per person; $250 for Patron level; $500 for Benefactor level
Advance reservations required. Champagne, wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.


This event is generously sponsored by David Ogilvy & Associates/Exclusive Affiliate for Christie's Great Estates, Charles Hilton Architects and Greenwich LOOK, exclusive media sponsor.

Admission: $75

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Patron: $250

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Benefactor: $500

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Yachting on Long Island Sound and Beyond
An Evening with John Rousmaniere

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Betsy Kornhauser

Drawing from his vast knowledge of the subject, author and historian John Rousmaniere will discuss the rise of yacht racing in Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean at our first program held in conjunction with the spring/summer exhibition, Close to the Wind: Our Maritime History.

Rousmaniere has authored more than 30 books on yacht design, marine photography, classic boats, seamanship and boat safety and is the author of (among others) Fastnet, Force 10 and The Annapolis Book of Seamanship. He has penned histories of the Bermuda Race and the America’s Cup as well as that of Indian Harbor Yacht Club, and he chaired the Newport-Bermuda Race’s media operation from 2010 to 2016.

Not content to sit and write, Rousmaniere has logged over 40,000 nautical miles in nine Newport-Bermuda Races, two Fastnet races, multiple one-design regattas and overnighters. He has shared his experience through participation and leadership in hundreds of safety seminars and is a recipient of the Cruising Club of America’s Richard S. Nye Trophy for meritorious service, Mystic Seaport’s W.P. Stevens Award for maritime history and U.S. Sailing’s Timothea Larr Award for sailor education.

John Rousmaniere is a graduate of Columbia University and a member of the Cruising Club of America and the New York City Yacht Club.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Doors will open at 6:30. The lecture will begin at 7, last 45 minutes, and wrap up with a15-minute Q&A.

Vanderbilt Education Center

Members: $10; nonmembers: $15
Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

Cancellation, Refund and Nonsufficient Funds Policy

A full refund for program and special events payments will be made up to 10 days before the program or event. Within 10 days of the program or event, no refund can be granted, but payments may be changed to tax-deductible contributions at payer's request. A fee of $25 will be charged for checks returned to us for nonsufficient funds.