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Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum gets grant for servants' exhibit

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum has been awarded a $9,999 grant to prepare a new exhibit, "The Stairs Below: The Mansion's Domestic Servants, 1870-1920."

The grant, awarded to the museum by Connecticut Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will help fund the preparation of the script for the exhibit, which opens next September.

The exhibit will serve as the focal theme for the museum's coming season, according to Susan Gilgore, the museum's executive director.

For the new exhibit, the museum will open the servants' quarters of its building to visitors, creating interpretive tours and exhibit spaces that explore the lives of the people who worked at the mansion and whose stories have never been told before.

"I believe our communities will find this exhibit of great interest, as it will highlight themes of general appeal such as the immigrant experience, housing, social justice and economics during the Victorian era." Gilgore said in a release. "The board of trustees and I are very grateful to the Connecticut Humanities for this generous award."

The exhibition will be curated by Raechel Guest. Guest, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum's curator, is a graduate of Smith College and holds a master's degree in collection management from the Winterthur Museum.

Jennifer Putsz will serve as an advisor for the exhibit. She is a historian and author of "Voices from the Back Stairs: Interpreting Servants' Lives at Historic House Museums." Putsz works as museum historian for Historic New England and has researched the lives of servants for other historic properties.

Regular tours of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum are offered Wednesdays through Sundays, at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The museum is at 295 West Ave.

For more information about tours and programs, visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, email info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.

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