Norwalk's Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Gets $10K Grant For Exhibit On Servants

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Norwalk's Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. Photo Credit: Courtesy Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk's Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum received a $9,999 competitive grant from the Connecticut Humanities Council to support an exhibit opening next fall that will focus on the lives of 19th-century servants.

The exhibit will be titled "The Stairs Below: The Mansion's Domestic Servants, 1870-1920." It will provide visitors to the museum with insight into the daily lives of domestic servants in the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, said a press release. The exhibit is set to open on Sept. 13, 2014, for the focal theme for the museum’s upcoming season.

“The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is one of Norwalk’s very best attractions, and I am delighted to see them awarded support for a new exhibit," said state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) in a release. "The glamour of the Gilded Age was supported by a class of hard-working people whose stories have long gone untold. This exhibit will add an entirely new dimension to the museum and expand our understanding of the history of Norwalk and our region." 

Through text, objects, images and live theater, the museum is attempting to show the "invisible people" of the era - the women, African Americans, and immigrants - "whose own livelihood depended on the fortune, taste, and tolerance of others," said a press release. 

“The Board of Trustees and I are truly grateful to our state representatives and to Senator Duff for their unwavering support of the mansion, and also to the Connecticut Humanities Council for funding the planning of ‘The Stairs Below,'" said Susan Gilgore, executive director of the Museum in the release.

"We envision this being a very interesting new exhibit that will capture the interest of visitors throughout Connecticut and enhance this national historic landmark." 

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