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Story Barn: Imagine That!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Lucy Van Atta enthralls the crowd at Spring ’16 Story Barn.

Our next Story Barn, Imagine That! takes its theme from our upcoming exhibition Jim and Jane Henson: Creative Work, Creative Play (open through October 8, 2017). Best known as creators of the Muppets, the Hensons’ contributions to Sesame Street revolutionized early childhood education, and their visionary puppetry resulted in a global entertainment phenomenon. With seemingly limitless imaginations, Jane and Jim Henson worked in tandem to raised five young children in Greenwich from 1964–1971. They often blurred the lines between burgeoning careers and family life and happily gleaned inspiration from both. Mirroring the Hensons, their revolutionary cast of puppet characters also delightfully blurred—and often obliterated—the lines between “the work of learning” and play. Imagine that!

Join the fun as a group of local storytellers riffs on work, play, creativity and the power of imagination. The program is hosted by the incomparable Bonnie Levison, comedienne, storytelling coach for The Moth and cofounder of the Nantucket Comedy Festival. The program takes place in a relaxed cabaret-like setting, and wine, beer and light snacks are included in the price of admission.

We’re always looking for storytellers...

Anyone over age 21 is invited to participate but must sign up and pitch their story in advance. If you have a tale to share, contact Anna Greco or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 31. One-on-one coaching is offered for those who would like guidance or would like to polish their presentation before the event.

Friday, April 28, 2017
Doors open at 7:00 pm; performance begins at 7:30 pm.

Greenwich Historical Society, Vanderbilt Education Center
39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807

Members: $15; nonmembers: $20

Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

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Celebrating Jim Henson and the Art of Puppetry:
An Evening with Cheryl Henson

Lisa (left) and Cheryl Henson pose monster puppets for their father Jim’s photo shoot in their backyard in Greenwich, 1968. Photo: Jim Henson. Courtesy of the Henson family.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

On May 2, Cheryl Henson, second-eldest daughter of Jim and Jane Henson, will share personal reflections on the life, work and legacy of her famous father. Ms. Henson’s program will offer a unique perspective on a creative family journey that, 60 years on, has morphed from an ambitious educational experiment to a worldwide enterprise that continues to push the limits of creativity and innovation. From groundbreaking Sesame Street to The Muppet Movies to Fraggle Rock, Jim Henson’s imagination and technical genius continually fueled and expanded his characters’ relatable humanity—despite the fact that many of his characters were, well, monsters. Cheryl Henson will touch on how Henson’s innovations forever transformed and elevated the art of puppetry, why his work continues to delight and why his legacy is so important to the future of contemporary puppet theater.

Cheryl Henson is a member of the Board of Directors of The Jim Henson Company and has been the president of The Jim Henson Foundation since 1992. Her unique perspective on the world of puppet theater was established in childhood, when she and her four siblings served as test audience and inspiration for Jim and Jane Henson’s contributions to the development of Sesame Street and other educational programs, projects and experiments. From 1992 to 2000, Cheryl executive-produced the award-winning biennial Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater. The five festivals encompassed 136 different productions from 31 countries in 24 theaters throughout New York City. The Festival won both Drama Desk and the OBIE Awards and is widely acknowledged to have changed the perception of contemporary American puppet theater.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Doors open at 6:30 pm, and light refreshments will be served. The lecture will begin at 7:00 pm and will last roughly 45 minutes, with a 15-minute of Q&A session to follow.

Vanderbilt Education Center

The Storehouse Gallery will be open from 6:00 to 6:45 pm, and free admission is included in the ticket price.

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

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Landmark Recognition Program

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Greenwich Historical Society’s Landmark Recognition reception, which honors distinctive properties that reflect Greenwich’s unique architectural heritage, will plaque four properties at its May 7th celebration. The Perrot Memorial Library, Brant Art Education Center, and beautifully preserved properties on Riversville and Taconic roads will be presented with official Greenwich Landmark plaques for their value in preserving the town’s remarkable architectural legacy.

David Scott Parker, one of America’s foremost preservation architects, and the visionary behind the Greenwich Historical Society’s plans for a dynamic, reimagined campus, will be the keynote speaker. In his talk titled: Escaping the City in Style: The Architecture of 19th-Century Connecticut Innovators, Parker will share his experiences in reimagining the places inhabited and frequented by enormously accomplished individuals, such as railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood, Mark Twain, and artists of the Cos Cob art colony, and explore how these monuments to the past impact the Connecticut of today.

In recognition of the Landmark program’s 30th anniversary, the Historical Society will honor two Greenwich organizations for their leadership in advancing the cause of historic preservation. Greenwich Land Trust will be recognized for the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Louise Mueller Preserve and Greenwich Point Conservancy for the completion of the restoration of the Gateway and Old Barn.

The event is generously supported by David Ogilvy & Associates, Charles Hilton Architects, White Construction and media sponsor, Fairfield County Look.

Sunday, May 7, 2017,
4:00 to 6:00p.m.

Belle Haven Club, 100 Harbor Drive, Greenwich

Champagne, wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Advance reservations are required. Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

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Alice Frelinghuysen: The Landscape and Garden Windows of Louis Comfort Tiffany and the Woman Who Designed Them

Lecturer Alice Frelinghuysen

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Louise Comfort Tiffany is renowned for his stained glass windows, furniture, books, textiles and blown glass, many of which draw from nature for inspiration. But the large and carefully selected group of artists and craftspeople responsible for selecting and cutting glass for Tiffany’s famous creations (dubbed “Tiffany Girls”) went largely unrecognized despite their contributions to his success.

Lecturer Alice Frelinghuysen will focus on the work of Agnes Northrop, who was the only truly independent female designer among Tiffany’s team. Frelinghuysen will discuss how Northrop became associated with the Tiffany name and explore the influence of gardens and landscapes on her work.

Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has published widely and curated exhibitions on American ceramics and glass, as well as late 19th-century decorative arts, especially the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. In 2009, she oversaw the curatorial team that reinstalled The American Wing's Charles Engelhard Court. A graduate of Princeton University, she earned her MA at the Winterthur Program in early American culture. She is currently working on a book on the Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection of American Art Pottery, the installation of the Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room, and a complementary exhibition on George A. Schastey.

This lecture is a part of the Art, History and Landscape Lecture Series presented in memory of David R Wierdsma.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Doors open at 6:30 pm with light refreshments in the classroom.
Lecture begins at 7:00 pm, and will last roughly 45 minutes followed by a 15-minute Q&A session.

Members: $15; nonmembers $20
Tickets include admission to the Storehouse Gallery, open from 6:00 to 6:45 pm.
Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

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Roll It: A Special Screening of Jim Henson’s Commercials and Experiments

Jim and Jane Henson working together in their home workshop in Maryland, 1959.

Photo: Jack L. Hiller ©1959

Thursday, June 1, 2017

In this manic mini film fest, curator Craig Shemin will tee up and comment on a mind-blowing series of shorts, crazy commercials, experiments and other rarities from the Henson vault, including an industrial film for Wilson’s Meat (“Must be seen to be believed”), excerpts from experimental TV programs The Cube and Youth 68’, and Time Piece, an eight-minute Academy Award-nominated masterpiece that showcases Henson’s innovative editing, visual thinking and talent for making music out of everyday sounds.  Special attention will be devoted to work done while the Hensons lived in Greenwich, including scenes shot in town.

Craig Shemin was a staff writer for the Henson Company for 14 years and is president of the Jim Henson Legacy, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving Henson’s work. Among his credits: the script for the New York Pops concert Jim Henson’s Musical World (Carnegie Hall), The Muppets Kitchen, The Muppets Character Encyclopedia, the Smithsonian’s touring exhibition Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, the Museum of the Moving Image’s World of Jim Henson series and numerous video compilations for The Jim Henson Legacy and The Walt Disney Company.

The program will be introduced by co-curator of Jim and Jane Henson, Creative Work, Creative Play Karen Falk. Falk has been archives director and historian for The Jim Henson Company since 1992, is vice president of The Jim Henson Legacy, and author of Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Falk collaborates with numerous cultural institutions on Henson-related projects.

Thursday, June 1, 2017; 7:00 to 8:30 pm
The Storehouse Gallery will open one hour before the program starts.

Admission is free but reservations are required.
RSVP to or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.


CT Open House Day: Puppets to Perform “Underground”

Liz and Sprout

Saturday, June 10, 2017

This year’s CT Open House program will feature The Doubtful Sprout, a performance by Liz Joyce and A Couple of Puppets. Using multiple puppetry styles, projections and songs, the story unfolds as we tunnel down through the soil with Worm and Sprout to explore the mysterious world beneath our feet and to “get the dirt” on what helps Sprout grow.

An accomplished puppeteer, fine artist and educator, Liz Joyce writes, directs and performs a growing repertoire of works for audiences of children aged 10 months to 10 years that features her take on traditional fairy tales, folktales, educational shows and original creations, using old-world techniques and new-world street performer attitude. Her puppet operetta, Sing a Song of Sixpence was awarded an UNIMA Citation, the highest award in American puppetry.

CT Open House Day takes place on Saturday, June 10, 2017, noon to 4:00 pm. Admission to the entire site and to all activities is free. The Doubtful Sprout performance begins at 1:00 pm. Space is limited; first come, first served. Visitors will also be able to make their own puppets in the Vanderbilt Education Center throughout the day, visit the exhibition Jim and Jane Henson: Creative Work, Creative Play and take family-friendly tours of Bush-Holley House at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm.

About CT Open House Day

The Connecticut Office of Tourism sponsors the annual Connecticut Open House Day each June. The event is designed to showcase Connecticut’s diverse world of history, art, and tourism and is a great way for residents to discover (or rediscover) and share the wealth of cultural treasures in their own backyards.

Saturday, June 10, 2017; noon to 4:00 pm
The Doubtful Sprout performance begins at 1:00 pm
Family-friendly tours of Bush-Holley House at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm

Puppet making and Jim and Jane Henson: Creative Work, Creative Play open throughout the day

Greenwich Historical Society, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT

Free admission, no RSVP necessary

Julie Seton to Speak on Her Celebrated Grandfather

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ernest Thompson Seton is known as a co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America, but he was also a world renown artist-naturalist, nature writer, advocate of First Tribes, and founder or co-founder of other organizations that emphasize nature study, campcraft and character development.  He was a man ahead of his time.  This talk by Julie Seton will touch on the highlights of his life with special attention to how his Greenwich, CT estate, called Wyndygoul, was instrumental in shaping these programs.

Julie Seton, granddaughter of Julia Moss and Ernest Thompson Seton, grew up at Seton Castle, her grandparents’ homestead in Santa Fe, NM. In 2013, she established the Seton Family Legacy Initiative to reintroduce the Setons’ work to new generations through lectures in nature, art, cultural history, and scouting. In 2015, she republished Trail of an Artist-Naturalist, her grandfather’s autobiography.

Other Seton Family Legacy Initiative projects include transcribing and publishing her grandmother’s personal diaries and writing a compendium to her grandfather’s autobiography that will include chapters on the founding of the Boy Scouts, the Camp Fire Girls (now known as the Camp Fire Organization) and the Camp Fire Club.

Seton lives in Las Cruces, NM with her husband, Dr. Robert Sanderson, and owns and operates a consulting business that specializes in professional communication assessments, training and emergency preparedness planning.  She was the first graduate from the Rhetoric and Professional Communication doctoral program at New Mexico State University in 1996, the first doctoral graduate from any humanities program in the school’s history. She also holds degrees in communication studies, educational psychology and theater. She is an active volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America.

This event, cosponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, Greenwich Chapter, will be held at the Ernest Thompson Seton Reservation. An optional walking tour of the reservation (wear comfy shoes) and a reception will precede the lecture.

Sunday, June 11, 2017
Tours and Reception 3:00 to 4:00 pm
Program begins at 4:15 pm

363 Riversville Road, Greenwich. Parking is limited; carpooling suggested.

Admission is free but reservations are required.
RSVP to or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.


History on Wheels

The Tod Mansion

Sunday, June 25, 2017

As a partner in the annual Experience the Sound event, the Greenwich Historical Society will once again team up with Greenwich Point Conservancy to provide a historical bike tour of Greenwich Point. The tour will stop at four locations with historical significance to the town and the park. Participants will meet at the first parking lot on the right after entering the park. As the group loops around the Point they will stop to hear stories, take a closer look at some of the ruins of Tod’s mansion and see vintage photos from the Historical Society’s collection.

Participants must bring their own bike and helmet; a water bottle is recommended.
Participants must be age eight and up, and all children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Sunday, June 25, 1:00–2:15 pm

Greenwich Point, Tod’s Driftway, Old Greenwich

Free. No reservation required.
Participants without a Greenwich parks pass should say they are attending Experience the Sound.

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.

Greenwich Historical Society 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807 203-869-6899

©2016 Greenwich Historical Society. All rights reserved.