Weekend Workshops – Paper Dolls @ Wilton Historical Society

Paper dolls have been a common toy for centuries across the globe. Traditionally, in the United States and Europe, paper dolls have consisted of figures cut out of paper or thin card stock, with clothing fashioned out of paper held onto the dolls with paper folding tabs. Mass production of these dolls began in the early 1800s and continued into the 20th century.

On Saturday, September 10, from 11:00-12:00, the Wilton Historical Society will be offering a paper doll-making workshop for kids. The workshop will feature pre-cut paper figures which can be decorated with a variety of paper outfits, led by Museum Educator Catherine Lipper, who will also share her collection of three Madam Alexander dolls in pristine condition. The morning promises to be a great opportunity for creativity and fun!

According to the University of Chicago Library, early paper dolls created in Europe frequently depicted actors or actresses who were used similarly to puppet shows on toy stages. Dressmakers used articulated dolls for a more practical purpose – as miniature models for clothing designs. Wilton Historical holds several paper dolls in its collection including one from 1890.

This program is suggested for ages 6 – 10. Members are $10 per child, and Non-members are $15 per child. The Wilton Historical Society is located on 224 Danbury Road and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WonderSpark Puppets present The Gingerbread Man

On November 30 from 2 pm to 3 pm the Wilton Historical Society located on 224 Danbury Road is hosting a special puppet show from NY that is noted as the best puppet theatre in NYC from 2 pm to 3 pm.

The show called Run, run as fast as you can can – you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man is the classic story of a little running cookie – with a Christmas twist. Kids will watch the Gingerbread Man outwit and outrun various hungry animals – and figure out what he really wants for Christmas. During the show, the children will listen, laugh, interact directly with characters, and can ask questions about puppetry and storytelling afterward. This ancient art form engages the imagination and kickstarts a love of theater at an early age. Best of all, you get a theater experience in a historic barn!

After the show, there will be a puppet craft activity. This event is $10 per person and tickets are available online. To get your tickets, click here.

Baby Clothes 1800-1950 and Tool Exhibition at Wilton Historical Society

The Wilton Historical Society’s fall show called White Linen and Lace, Baby Clothing from 1800- 1950 that will be on display through October 4. Pure yet practical, white has been the traditional choice for baby clothing for hundreds of years. In this small exhibition, tiny garments made with love and lavished with fine needlework are on display. There are christening gowns and slips, night gowns, caps, bonnets, bibs, dresses and petite shoes created between 1800 and 1950. The delicate attire is shown with some of the furnishings of childhood – a cradle, blankets, highchair, silver mugs and utensils, baby bottles and rattles.
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A circa 1870 sewing box reminds us of the countless hours women spent laboring over their precious snowy creations, working by the light of candles, oil lamps, or by rays of sunlight through a window. Exquisite clothing with nearly invisible stitches, tiny tucking, tatting, crochet, soutache, cutwork, drawn work and embroidery — their needle skills are remarkable.

Of particular interest are the family connections many of these heirlooms have with Wilton. Do these names sound familiar? Sturgis, Hurlbutt, Ambler, Belden, Davenport, Evans, Nash, Marvin, Parisot, Rounds – many are now memorialized as road names, while others still boast descendants living in town today.

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Another exhibition, Changing Times: Hand Tools Before the Industrial Revolution, features Connecticut Tools of the Trades from the Walter R.T. Smith Collection. Mounted on the walls of the Burt Barn Gallery, the setting compliments the sculptural appearance of the old tools. They have an almost folk-art quality, with their worn wood and rather eccentric shapes. The machines that supplanted them in the Industrial Revolution would never have the soul of these antique implements.

Both exhibitions will continue through October 4, 2014. The Wilton Historical Society is located on 224 Danbury Road and is open Tuesday—Saturday, 10:00-4:00. There are house tours every day at 2:00, and by appointment. For more information http://www.wiltonhistorical.org

The Abbott Blacksmith Shop, also on the property, with a working blacksmith, is open most Saturdays, except in winter.