Insects in the Museum: Revitalizing the Historic House Experience with Contemporary Art

  • Monday, January 06, 2020
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371
  • 13


  • Students enrolled in CCSU's public history program receive free CLHO membership and admission to CLHO programs. Make sure your CLHO membership is active!
  • For CLHO member organizations who wish to register multiple people at their organization

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UPDATE: This event was rescheduled from its original date of December 2, 2019, due to weather. 

Join the staff of the Florence Griswold Museum for an afternoon discussing Silver Wings and Golden Scales, an insect installation in the historic rooms of the Griswold House by artist Jennifer Angus. Inspired by the creative antics of the artist-boarders of the Lyme Art Colony, Artist-in-Residence Jennifer Angus, a Professor of Textile Design at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, reimagined the interior of the historic house as the setting for an elaborate insect-themed party. Hundreds of cicadas, grasshoppers, and leaf-mimicking insects are pinned to the walls in the pattern reminiscent of textiles or wallpaper. The parlor is festooned with glass domes exhibiting insect scenes, an antique hardware cabinet is filled with insect assemblages, and jelly jars filled with preserved insects line the pantry shelves and fill the windows of the iconic dining room. A banquet set with bug-shaped bread and a paper wasps’ nest adorns the dining room table. And insect-themed costumes are arranged in Miss Florence’s bedroom.

The Jennifer Angus insect installation at the Florence Griswold Museum

The installation is the first major change in the Griswold House since its reinterpretation as a boardinghouse for artists in 2006. The dramatic installation has provided a terrific learning opportunity for the public, museum volunteers, and staff. The installation has been extended by popular demand, and this special afternoon is the opportunity to experience the installation, discuss best practices, hear about lessons learned, and consider how other historic institutions might attract new audiences by incorporating contemporary viewpoints, and building support for new initiatives. 

Come early and enjoy “Nothing More American:” Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community—An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit, and see our Miss Florence’s Palette Trees decorated for the holidays with over 200 artist palettes.

Connecticut League of Museums
Central Connecticut State UniversityDepartment of History
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2674

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