We will be closed on Sundays in August through Labor Day

posted Aug 4, 2017, 6:39 PM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Aug 4, 2017, 6:39 PM ]

We will not be open on Sundays in August or on Labor Day weekend, and will resume our Sunday schedule 12-3pm on September 10th. We hope you have a wonderful summer!

CLOSED - Job Opportunity: Executive Director

posted May 31, 2017, 8:28 AM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Jun 16, 2017, 11:59 AM ]

6/17/17 UPDATE: Thank you to all who submitted resumes. The timeframe for submission is now CLOSED.  We are reviewing applications currently and expect to schedule interviews in the next several weeks. If you are selected for an interview, you can expect a phone call from a member of our Search Committee shortly. Thank you again.
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5/31/17 ORIGINAL POST: The Society seeks a dynamic, highly motivated leader who is a self-starter with demonstrated management and administrative experience. This individual reports to the Board of Directors (the “Board) and works closely with the Board President and the Society’s staff on an ongoing basis. The Executive Director is responsible for the overall organizational management, operations and promotion of the Society at large. With assistance from the Board, staff and volunteers, the Executive Director provides the necessary vision, leadership and initiative for the Society to successfully achieve its mission and grow the organization as a whole.

Please see the attached job description for more details. 

Interested candidates should email their resumes to DHSdirectorsearch@gmail.com 

Thank you!

Piece of Darien History Acquired on 250th Anniversary

posted Apr 24, 2017, 10:45 AM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Apr 24, 2017, 10:46 AM ]

Pictured are Jeffrey Burt, Hattie Burt, Chloe Burt, Darien Historical Society historian Ken Reiss, Sophie Burt, Carolyn “Rusty” Burt (holding the document), Dave Burt, and Bill Ruscoe.

The 1767 Middlesex Militia muster roll.
Something Old is New Again at Darien Historical Society

Although historian Ken Reiss had knowledge of its existence, and had hoped for years for its re-emergence, he was unexpectedly and happily surprised when Dave Burt expressed his plans to donate a significant piece of history to the Darien Historical Society, a Middlesex militia muster roll from April of 1767. Although the document had been in Burt’s family for decades, he deemed it an appropriate time to give it back to the town; its 250th anniversary was approaching.

Burt, along with family members, mother Carolyn “Rusty” Burt, brother Jeffrey Burt, nieces Hattie, Chloe and Sophie Burt, and uncle Bill Ruscoe, were in attendance at an informal ceremony where the muster roll was donated to the Society. The occasion was marked with a champagne toast and refreshments, and a reading by Rusty Burt, touching on the family’s connection with the document.

Established as a way to account for members in a military unit, the muster lists the names of soldiers assigned to the Fourth Company of the Ninth Regiment, which was made up of the militias from Norwalk, Stamford, Greenwich and Ridgefield. These towns were considerably larger in 1767 and included "parishes" that became Wilton, New Canaan, Darien and part of Westport. Middlesex Parish was part of Stamford that 53 years later would be incorporated as the town of Darien.

The historically significant document not only affords a glimpse of the colonial life in Darien, but also previews the way in which this traditional form of military preparedness could so quickly translate into action at the outbreak of war. It also dates to just eight years before the battles of Lexington and Concord, which marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War and which brought militiamen from all over Connecticut under arms. 

Although there is no record of the Fourth Company, Middlesex Militia ever fighting as a unit, during the eight years of the Revolution many of the men and officers listed on the muster were active participants in various units of the Continental Army, the State militia brigades, and the local militia Coast Guards who were charged with protecting local shores from the British and Loyalist raiders based across the Sound on Long Island. The document contains the names of many families now living in the towns of Darien, Stamford and Norwalk.

For more information about the 1767 military muster, call the Historical Society at (203) 655-9233.
Carolyn “Rusty” Burt holding the 1767 Middlesex Militia muster roll. 


The 1767 Middlesex Militia muster roll.

Ladies' Luncheon with Curator

posted Apr 24, 2017, 10:32 AM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Apr 27, 2017, 7:54 AM ]



Please join us for a Ladies Luncheon with our Curator Babs White on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 11:30 am and Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 11:30 am (May 10th is SOLD OUT). 

Babs will discuss in detail our latest exhibit, "Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century".

You may reserve and purchase tickets online to the right or you may call the Society at 203.655.9233 or email Ukremer@darienhistorical.org to reserve tickets and purchase over the phone or in person.

The exhibit will run through the end of the summer.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Ladies' Luncheon, May 10th, 2017

SOLD OUT

Opening April 21st - "Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century"

posted Apr 6, 2017, 9:55 AM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Apr 15, 2017, 5:52 PM ]

Babs White, costume curator for the Darien Historical Society, prepares for the upcoming exhibit, Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century.

Designs by Sophie of Saks, Harvey Berin, and Elizabeth Arden are among fashions included in Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century.

Dress designed by Emilio Pucci, one of the many fashions included in Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century.
Our latest exhibit opens on April 21st and runs through August 2017, with a Champagne Reception on April 21st from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Ladies’ Luncheons with curator Babs White which will take place on May 3rd and 10th at 11:30 a.m.

In keeping with its mission to tell the ongoing story of “costume”, one of history’s most tangible artifacts, the Darien Historical Society is presenting designer and ready-to- wear styles that existed during and after World War II. Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century highlights five decades of fashion with designer outfits from the 1940s through the 1990s. It follows the history of prêt-à-porter, or ready-to- wear, as it largely replaced haute couture in the fashion industry. The exhibit opens on April 21 and runs through August 2017, with a Champagne Reception on April 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Ladies’ Luncheons with the Curator on May 3 and 10 at 11:30 a.m. 

Curator of the show, Babs White, set up the exhibit to mimic a 20th century fashion show, with mannequins lined up as if on the runway. White, who has her own 47-year history with the Darien Historical Society as its costume curator, arranged the fashions chronologically, beginning with a 1947 design by Christian Dior. She commented, “At the end of World War II, women longed to replace fashion’s stiff, square shoulders and straight lines. Dior’s more romantic look took the fashion world by storm.” Dior’s success allowed Paris to reassert its world leadership of haute couture following its decline during the war. 

Dior eventually commissioned his designs to be produced abroad as ready-to- wear lines in the 1950s and Yves Saint Laurent followed suit with his “Rive Gauche” designs. In the 60s, the charm and elegant style of Jackie Kennedy was greatly admired and copied, and Sophie of Saks and Elizabeth Arden, both represented in the exhibit, produced designs in New York. By the mid- 60s, fashion began to focus on youth, their music, and their “free-wheeling” attitude, producing the most potent symbol of the 60s scene, the miniskirt, also on display.

Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta creations reflect the bold fabrics of the 1980s, which also heralded the look of big shoulders and giant sleeves. The Reagan administration signaled the return of formality, and Adolfo and Ungaro fashions mirror the 90s, an era in which ready-to- wear had become dominant. In keeping with a typical fashion show of the 20th century, the exhibit concludes with a bridal gown: a 1983 design by Carolina Herrera, socialite and longtime fixture on the best-dressed list. 

Fairfield County Bank, Darien Board of Realtors, Pagano’s Seafood, Palmer’s of Darien, Leary’s Liquor Cabinet, Cesco’s Trattoria, Sanda’s Cleaners and Tailors, Darien Sport Shop, and The Finishing Touch Landscaping sponsor Mannequins on the Runway. The hours of the exhibit are from noon to 5 p.m. from Tuesdays through Thursdays, and on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. A non-member donation of $5 is suggested. Cost for the Champagne Reception on April 21 is $50 for members and $65 for nonmembers. Ladies’ Luncheons on May 3 and 10 are $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers. To make reservations or to find out about sponsorship opportunities, contact the Historical Society at (203) 655-9233. The Darien Historical Society is located at 45 Old Kings Highway North.
Sponsorship Levels

Friday, April 21st: Champagne Opening Reception

posted Mar 24, 2017, 4:50 AM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Apr 8, 2017, 1:50 PM ]


Please join us for a Champagne Reception on April 21st at 6:30 pm as we open our latest exhibit, "Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century"

You may reserve and purchase tickets online to the right or you may call the Society at 203.655.9233 or email Ukremer@darienhistorical.org to reserve tickets and purchase over the phone or in person.

The exhibit will run from Sunday, April 23rd through the end of the summer.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, April 23rd: "Mannequins on the Runway, Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century"

posted Mar 24, 2017, 4:45 AM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Mar 24, 2017, 6:34 AM ]

The exhibit will open Sunday, April 23rd and run till the end of August.

There will be a Champagne Opening Reception on April 21 at 6:30 pm, and Ladies' Luncheons on May 3rd and May 10th. Please join us!

For reservations, please call the Society at 203.655.9233 or email Ukremer@darienhistorical.org

We look forward to seeing you there!

Opening this Spring:

posted Feb 9, 2017, 6:01 PM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Feb 9, 2017, 6:06 PM ]

Mannequins on the Runway: Haute Couture and Contemporary Designers of the 20th Century 

An Exhibition from Darien Historical Society's Costume Collection, curated by Babs White.

Closing February 19th:

posted Feb 9, 2017, 6:01 PM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Feb 9, 2017, 6:06 PM ]

Don't miss the opportunity to view "Darien 1925-1950, the Golden Age of Art and Design". 

Final day Sunday February 19th 12:00-3:00 PM.

Lecture on Lurelle Guild | Tuesday February 7 @ 7pm

posted Jan 26, 2017, 8:57 AM by Julie Johnston

Dr. John Stuart Gordon, the Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Yale University Art Gallery, will visit the Society to present “Lurelle Guild’s Historical Modernism: Americana and Industrial Design.” Lurelle Van Arsdale Guild (1898- 1985), (featured in our current exhibit “Golden Age of Art and Design“), is among the most famous American industrial designers of the 20th century. 

Guild designed thousands of items for the industrial giants of the period including Westinghouse, Remington, Revlon, Schick, Corning, and perhaps most notably, Electrolux, whose model 30 is considered a classic of modern American design. 

Admission is free for members, $15 for non-members. 

RSVP to Ulla Kremer at (203) 655-9233 or ukremer@darienhistorical.org.

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