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Exhibit - Wedding Traditions and Fashion from the 1860s to the 1930s

On April 5, 2017, The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will open its 2017 Season with a new exhibition titled, Wedding Traditions and Fashion from the 1860s to the 1930s. The exhibition will run through Nov. 12, 2017 with an opening reception on Thurs. April 6, 2017, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz, Wedding Traditions and Fashion from the 1860s to the 1930s will feature lavish gowns modeled on Queen Victoria’s wedding and highlighted in nuptials of young American heiresses of Gilded Age fortunes, as well as simple dresses and artifacts of at-home ceremonies of immigrant brides who, once settled in the United States, desired to follow American customs and fashions.

Displays will include Lockwoods’ daughter Florence’s rich ivory satin gown with its distinctive sleeves and three-foot long train, which was considered the most fashionable of the 1894 wedding season in San Francisco, CA; a collection of wedding shoes reflecting the popular trends of the times and the women who wore them; and a rare Coffee and Tea Service with a dense repoussé floral motif made by Reed & Barton for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. By the 1870s, brides would create a detailed list of their wedding gifts and put them on display in their home with a small tag noting the name of the giver. Luxurious gifts of crystal and silver were a way to indicate the couple’s economic status to those who called upon the newly married couple. 

The Museum’s 2017 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, LMMM’s 2017 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The Maurice Goodman Foundation, 2017 LMMM Distinguished Benefactors for Education: GE and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

Historical wedding dresses and accessories generously loaned by Darien Historical Society, Wilton Historical Society, Westport Historical Society, Stamford Historical Society, Greenwich Historical Society, Mary A. Findlay and Kathleen Craughwell-Varda. Wedding floral bouquets courtesy of designer Danna DiElsi owner of The Silk Touch, Norwalk, CT. All visuals courtesy of Sarah Grote Photography.

The exhibition will be part of the tours’ general admission and schedule: Wed. through Sun., 12-4 p.m. $10 Adults, $ 8 seniors, $6 children 8-18 years old /45 minute tour and $20 adults, $18 seniors, $16 children 8-18 years old /90 minute tour.  Opening Reception: Thurs. April 6, $5 members and $10 non-members. Tours and reception tickets will be available online, through the museum’s website, or by calling 203-838-9799 ext. 4. Walk-ins will be welcomed, subject to availability. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.

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