Historic look at wedding traditions, fashion

On April 5, 2017, The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will open its 2017 Season with a new exhibition titled, “Wedding Traditions and Fashion from the 1860s to the 1930s”. The exhibition will run through Nov. 12, 2017 with an opening reception on Thursday, April 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.


Curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz, “Wedding Traditions and Fashion from the 1860s to the 1930s” will feature lavish gowns modeled on Queen Victoria’s wedding and highlighted in nuptials of young American heiresses of Gilded Age fortunes, as well as simple dresses and artifacts of at-home ceremonies of immigrant brides who, once settled in the United States, desired to follow American customs and fashions.

Displays will include Lockwoods’ daughter Florence’s rich ivory satin gown with its distinctive sleeves and three-foot long train, which was considered the most fashionable of the 1894 wedding season in San Francisco, Calif.; a collection of wedding shoes reflecting the popular trends of the times and the women who wore them; and a rare Coffee and Tea Service with a dense repoussé floral motif made by Reed & Barton for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. By the 1870s, brides would create a detailed list of their wedding gifts and put them on display in their home with a small tag noting the name of the giver. Luxurious gifts of crystal and silver were a way to indicate the couple’s economic status to those who called upon the newly married couple.

Historical wedding dresses and accessories loaned by Darien Historical Society, Wilton Historical Society, Westport Historical Society, Stamford Historical Society, Greenwich Historical Society, Mary A. Findlay and Kathleen Craughwell-Varda. Wedding floral bouquets courtesy of designer Danna DiElsi owner of The Silk Touch, Norwalk. All visuals courtesy of Sarah Grote Photography.

The exhibition will be part of the tours’ general admission and schedule: Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m. $10 for adults, $ 8 for seniors, $6 for children 8-18 years old /45 minute tour and $20 adults, $18 seniors, $16 children 8-18 years old /90 minute tour.

Opening reception is Thursday, April 6, $5 members and $10 non-members. Tours and reception tickets will be available online, through the museum’s website, or by calling 203-838-9799 ext. 4. Walk-ins will be welcomed, subject to availability.

For more information on schedules and programs visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call (203)838-9799.

Lockwood Mathews Mansion