Iron, Wood and Water at Kent Historical Society Museum

Kent, located in the bucolic Litchfield Hills of northwest Connecticut was literally built on the foundation of the iron industry that began in these hills before the town was even founded.

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The Kent Historical Society is taking a close look this summer at iron and what it took to make the metal with “Iron, Wood and Water: Essential Elements of the Evolution of Kent,” which opens to the public Saturday, July 5 at the Seven Hearths Museum located on 4 Studio Hill Rd. just off Rte. 7, a mile or so north of Kent center.

The lives of people employed in the industry are revealed through careful genealogical research and large scale graphics to bring these people to life. Visitors are asked to imagine what life was like for the iron master, a furnace worker, a collier, a teamster and an ore bed miner.

Seven Hearths will be open to the public weekends during August and September from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information about the exhibit can be found at http://www.kenthistoricalsociety.org

After enjoying the exhibit, be sure to explore the shops in the center of Kent that offer a choice selection of apparel for men and women. arts and crafts. Asian and African art and antiquities and antique and vintage jewelry. Stop in for a bite at the popular Fife n’ Drum Restaurant or for a sweet treat at Kent Coffee and Chocolate Shop.

For information on what to see and do in Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Summer exhibitions at the Mattatuck Museum Waterbury

This summer, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury Connecticut is presenting an art show called Haven and Inspiration that runs through August 24. This fascinating exhibition traces the evolution of the Kent Connecticut Art Colony.

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Haven and Inspiration explores the wide range of artistic styles and subjects produced by the art colony’s founding members: Rex Brasher (1869-1960) Eliot Candee Clark (1883-1980), Carl Hirschberg (1854-1923), Francis Luis Mora (1874-1940), G. Laurence Nelson (1887-1978), Spencer Baird Nichols (1875-1950), Robert Nisbet (1879-1961), Willard Paddock (1873-1956) and Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940). Of all the villages in Connecticut, Kent attracted the most permanent colony of artists and developed the only artists’ organization that exists to this day. It remains, until now, however, the one least examined.

Building upon the scholarship of Robert Michael Austin, whose publication, Artists of the Litchfield Hills devotes a chapter to the Kent Art Colony, this exhibition focuses on the period 1910 to 1930. Robert Nisbet moved to Kent in 1910; shortly after, like-minded artists who started as visitors became neighbors. By the summer of 1922, there were enough artists in Kent for them to consider organizing into a group. While landscape was the primary subject, they also painted portraits, genre scenes and still lifes.

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Another exhibition at the Mattatuck, The Way We Worked that runs through August 3 explores how ork became a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich photographic collections, covering more than 150 years to tell this compelling story. Why, where, and how do we work? What value does work have to individuals and communities? What does our work tell others about us?

Included in this exhibit are paintings by Anna Held Audette and Duvian Montoya. Audette is a contemporary woman artist who paints industrial ruins and abandoned machinery and Montoya’s painting’s act as a personal journal of observations made during his travels, childhood, and life experiences.

A third exhibition that runs through August 31 and is titled Steel Garden showcases the work of Sculptor Babette Bloch. Considered a is a pioneer in the use of laser-cut and water jet-cut stainless steel in creating works of art, Bloch’s sculptures explore form and the interplay between object and light, reflect their environments, and expand the ways in which stainless steel is used in contemporary art.
Bloch’s works of art embrace her eclectic tastes, her pleasure in aesthetics and her technical curiosity. Drawing on several traditions in American art, she creates works that touch on Modernist abstraction, the cut outs and collage found in Pop art, and the long-standing practice of storytelling in art. In cutting, shaping, burnishing, and grinding stainless steel, Bloch has developed the material’s natural properties of brightness and reflectivity while making the dense metal seem nearly weightless and ethereal.

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A not to be missed continuing exhibition, Fancy This: The Gilded Age of Fashion displays beautiful, rarely seen costume pieces from the Mattatuck’s collection. Many of these delicate objects have not been on view for decades. Guest curator Mary Daniel is the winner of the 2013 Summer Fling “Curator for the Day” auction prize and has been working with the Museum’s curatorial department to organize this exhibition which also includes accessories such as shoes, purses, fans and gloves.

The Mattatuck Museum is located on 144 West Main Street, Waterbury CT. The museum is open Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m. and open late the first Thursday of the Month until 7:30 p.m. For additional information https://www.mattatuckmuseum.org.

For information about the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Summer Cruises to Sheffield Island

The recipe for a perfect summer night out is available every Friday night in July and August thanks to a partnership between the Norwalk Seaport Association, Mama’s Boy restaurant and the Norwalk Parking Authority. “Maritime Cruise and Cuisine” Fridays are returning for a third year offering participants a cruise around the Norwalk Islands followed by dinner at Mama’s Boy and convenient, safe parking at the Maritime Garage.

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The Maritime Cruise and Cuisine package includes a Norwalk Harbor sunset cruise with the Norwalk Seaport Association’s “CJ Toth” ferry, leaving from Sheffield Island Dock (located on the corner of Water St and Washington St) at 6:00 pm and returning at 8:00 pm. Guests then walk one block to Mama’s Boy Restaurant, featuring a gourmet twist on Southern food, located at 19 North Water Street, for a three-course meal. The package price is $57 per person plus reduced price parking of $2 for the evening at the Maritime Garage. Cruise and Cuisine Fridays run through August 29th.

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The Norwalk Seaport Association is also offering up plenty of family fun in late July and early August with the pirates at the lighthouse! The Pirates are coming to Sheffield Island on July 26 and 27 and August 2 and 3. Pirate Weekend activities are free, but participants must purchase round-trip ferry tickets to Sheffield Island. Tickets to the island are $22.00 for adults, $12.00 for children ages 4-12 and $5.00 for children age 3 and under, plus applicable service charge.

Bird watching Tours run through August 10 that offers visitors the experience to understand and explore the importance of Norwalk Islands and it’s many migratorial bird species. Larry Flynn, a master wildlife conservationist with DEEP will conduct these informative tours.

Scenic Cruises to Sheffield Island are offered through September. Trips to the island take visitors through the historic Norwalk Harbor area to the Island that offers unique views of the shoreline, a tour of the lighthouse and the chance to explore the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge or picnic on the beach. Tickets can be purchased online or at the dock. Remember to wear comfortable shoes with a closed heal or back strap; flip-flops are not allowed due to safety concerns.

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The boat leaves from the Sheffield Island Lighthouse dock located at the corner of North Water Street and Washington Street in Historic South Norwalk. Parking is available adjacent to the dock and at the Norwalk Maritime Center Garage.

For information and reservations, please call the Norwalk Seaport Association, 203-838-9444 or buy tickets online at www.seaport.org.

Greenwich Collects at the Bruce Museum

Greenwich is fortunate to be the one of the most active centers for the private collecting of art in the country, indeed in the world. This show serves to illustrate the diversity of three local collections.

Jacopo Ligozzi (Italian, 1547–1627) Head of a Woman with Elaborate Headdress From the collection of Helen-Mae and Seymour Askin

Jacopo Ligozzi (Italian, 1547–1627)
Head of a Woman with Elaborate Headdress
From the collection of Helen-Mae and Seymour Askin

Although only a selection of a portion of their holdings, the works on view speak to the remarkable level of quality achieved and the connoisseurship their owners brought to bear on the assembly of their collections. With that in Mind, the Bruce Museum has curated a show, Wyeth, Italian Renaissance Drawings and Chinese Antiquities that will run through August 31.

One of these collections at the Bruce Museum is comprised of splendid and exceedingly rare Italian Renaissance and Baroque drawings. A second has a focus on American art with special strengths in Andrew Wyeth’s art – a perennial favorite with modern museum-goers. Finally, the third collection offers an excellent array of ancient Chinese ceramics, primarily from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It seems fitting to have these antiquities on view when we are featuring the exhibition of Chinese and American contemporary artists’ works in Tale of Two Cities: New York & Beijing.

Lokapala  Tang Dynasty, 618-907 40 x 16 x 12 in.  Promised gift of Fred and Jane Brooks Photo by Paul Mutino

Lokapala
Tang Dynasty, 618-907
40 x 16 x 12 in.
Promised gift of Fred and Jane Brooks
Photo by Paul Mutino

As heterodox as the three collections are, they reflect the passion and discernment of their owners. This is an art exhibition not to be missed this summer. The Bruce Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm, Doors close 1/2 hour before closing, and the last admission 4:30 pm. For more information about the Bruce Museum visit http://www.brucemuseum.org.

For area information http://www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

New Milford Connecticut Village Fair Days Set for July 25th and 26 in Litchfield Hills

The center of New Milford located in the scenic Litchfield Hills is noted for it’s long traditional village green laid out in 1872. Here you will find monuments from past wars as well as a bandstand, first built in 1891 that is a symbol of New Milford’s sense of community.

You can also explore many exceptional galleries, boutiques, restaurants and antique shops that are clustered in the heart of this village. Many are located in beautifully restored 18th and 19th century homes and buildings. Town Hall, facing the Green, marks the home of one of New Milford’s most illustrious citizens, Roger Sherman, the only Connecticut man whose signature is on all key documents of the founding of this nation.

On July 25 and July 26, 2014 the New Milford Green becomes a hive of activity with the many activities and family fun offered up at the 47th Annual New Milford Village Fair Days.

This is the largest annual event in New Milford. Hundreds of vendors including local businesses, organizations, church groups and clubs exhibit their unique offerings. If you like crafts, you won’t be disappointed as many skillful crafters offer their wares along with antique dealers that offer a variety of sought-after antiques.

Food is a big element of any Fair and New Milford’s food vendors won’t disappoint. There is even a dining tent and two days of entertainment that add to the festivities. Participants in this year’s food court include: New Milford Rotary Club, Water Witch Hose Co 2, The Cookhouse, CC’s Spiral Potatoes, Crab Cakes & Coconut Shrimp, Alfredo’s/Colosseo Restaurants, New Milford Lions Club, Thomas’s Ice Cream Truck, American Pie Company, Greek Isle and Primos Deli.

New Milford Village Fair Days

Exploring the south Green you will find a variety of businesses, organizations, church groups and clubs, while the north Green hosts master crafters and sought-after antiques. Food vendors can be found in the mid-section of the Green where fair goers, will find everything from tasty snacks to a wonderful meal that can be enjoyed in the large sit-down dining area.

The Fair opens at 10:00 am and closes at 10:00 PM on July 25th. Among the many highlights on the 29th are the tour of town hall at 2:30 p.m., a performance by Theatre Works from 1:45 p.m. – 2 :15 p.m., historic walking tours at 4 p.m., a Children’s Fun Run at 6:00 PM and music by Higher and Higher from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m..

On Saturday, July 26 the Fair opens at 9:00 am and closes at 10:00 PM. Highlights on the 30th include: the 47th Annual 8 Mile Road Race & 12th Annual Fair Days 5K at 9:00 am, and Old Fashion Pie eating contest from 2 p.m. – 2:45, historic tours at 2:30 and 4 PM and Steppin Out with Curtis T band from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

For further information, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 860.354.6080 or visit http://www.newmilford-chamber.com for up to the minute information.

Vintage Children’s Book Fair in Southport

Over 300 vintage children’s books from the early-19th – mid-20th centuries will be included in Pequot Library’s 54th Annual Summer Book Sale, including more than 100 different editions on Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Variations on this classic children’s book offered at this sale include multiple versions produced by different publishers of Robinson Crusoe rewritten in one syllable words, as well as unusual adaptations of the story, including Dog Crusoe, Little Robinson Crusoe of Paris, and Arctic Crusoe. Typical of what is being offered is a beautifully illustrated 1882 edition.

Robinson Crusoe was first published on April 25, 1719. The first edition credited the work’s fictional protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents. Despite its simple narrative style, Robinson Crusoe was well received in the literary world and is often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre.

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Pequot Library’s 54th Annual Summer Book Sale runs from Friday, July 25 – Tuesday, July 29, 2014. It is known as “The Best Book Sale in New England.” Admission is free and all Sale proceeds help fund Pequot Library’s over 400 yearly inter-generational programs and events. High quality books at reasonable prices, with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted.

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Over 40 categories, including the favorites: Children’s Books; Art and Photography; Business; Biography; Several sections of History (USA, European, World, and Military); Computer Software and Books; Cooking; Crafts and Style; Foreign Language; Gardening; Mystery and Thriller; Romance; Science; Sports; Science Fiction; Current Fiction; Classic Fiction; Poetry and Drama; Trade Paperbacks; CDs, DVDs, records, tapes, and Audiobooks; Sheet music, music books, comic books, prints.

Please visit http://www.pequotlibrary.org to learn more about this vibrant library, educational, arts and cultural institution. All classes and programs are open to everyone. For information: (203) 259-0346 ext. 15. The Pequot Library is located on 720 Pequot Rd. in Southport, CT.

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After enjoying the book fair, be sure to stop in at the Delamar in Southport http://delamarsouthport2-px.trvlclick.com/dining.html for lunch, dinner or a thirst quenching beverage! The restaurant combines local, seasonal flavors through New England inspired cuisine. Dine in the elegant yet relaxed dining room or on the outdoor patio with a lovely garden that is the perfect place for dining al fresco. For more information 203-307-4222.

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Beatles festival “Danbury Fields Forever” at Ives Concert Park

The New York/New England regional Beatles festival, “Danbury Fields Forever,” will “come together” Saturday, July 26 & Sunday, July 27, 2014 at Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut. Doors will open at noon, and the music will continue until 8pm daily.

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The Music, Foods & Arts Festival is in its third year, with 10 bands per day playing the music of The Beatles, solo material and songs from the 60s. The full line-up of performers has been announced. Acts include The Hofners, The Oh-Nos, The Mystery Tour, AfterFab, Fools On The Hill, Charlie Guitar, Studio Two, Beatlehead, Thunder Road, The Way-Back Machine, Rotary and the national touring group Beatlemania Again. There will be live tributes to George Harrison by Pete Santora (formerly of Broadway’s “Beatlemania”), Sir Paul McCartney by Mike Miller’s “One Sweet Dream,” John Lennon by Dave Pal in his “Lennon Legacy” show and to Elton John by Bill Connors. Students from School of Rock in both New York and Connecticut will have their star students performing sets of Beatles classics. Also, the winners of the web talent search project StarOnTheWeb.com will be performing.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ U.S. arrival in 1964, one-day “Ticket to Ride” admissions to the Festival start at only $19.64, but these special discounted early-bird advance prices are good for a limited time only. Advance ticket available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/danbury-fields-forever-iii-tickets-11495548495. There are also V.I.P. tickets available, discounted two-day passes and hotel packages. Tickets will be higher at the door. For guests staying overnight, there is a reduced rate hotel package.

Ives Concert Park is located at 43 Lake Avenue Ext. on the campus of Western CT State University in Danbury, CT. This year there will be more Beatle and memorabilia dealers and vendors, exhibitors, along with a larger variety of food options available.

“Danbury Fields Forever lll” is presented by Charles F. Rosenay!!!’s Liverpool Productions, the same company that presented “NYC FAB 50,” The Beatles’ 50th Anniversary Celebration in New York City in February, and organizers of the annual Magical History Tours to Liverpool & London (www.LiverpoolTours.com). A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit a designated charity.
For further info, visit website: www.Fab4Musicfestival.com, or phone (203) 795-4737.