The fashion of a queen to be focus of April 23 talk

On Sunday, April 23, 2017, 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue in Norwalk, CT, Lynne Zacek Bassett will give a talk titled, Reigning Fashion: Victoria and the Queen, 1837 – 1901.

The popular new PBS series, Victoria, examines the life of Great Britain’s nineteenth-century queen. The dazzling costumes worn by the actors prompts this lecture’s examination of the cultural history of clothing in the Victorian era.  What was the inspiration for women’s dress styles in the period?  How was clothing made and who did the work?  What was Queen Victoria’s role as a fashion leader?  And, how authentic are the costumes worn in the PBS series?  To complement the Mathews-Lockwood Mansion Museum’s current exhibition of wedding dresses, this lecture will include a discussion of nineteenth-century wedding fashions and the effect of Queen Victoria’s 1840 marriage to Prince Albert.

Ms. Bassett is an independent scholar specializing in New England’s historic costume and textiles. From 1995‒2000 she was the curator of textiles and fine arts at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Since going independent, Lynne has undertaken a number of large projects, including curating an exhibition and catalog for the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford: Modesty Died When Clothes Were Born: Costume in the Life and Literature of Mark Twain, for which she won the Costume Society of America’s Richard Martin Award for Excellence. Since 2007, Lynne has been the guest curator of costumes and textiles for the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, also in Hartford. Her 2016 exhibition and catalogue for the Wadsworth, Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion & Its Legacy garnered enthusiastic reviews in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Vogue, and has been nominated for several awards (tba). Another recent publication, Homefront & Battlefield: Civil War Quilts in Context, (co-authored with Madelyn Shaw), published in 2012 by the American Textile History Museum of Lowell, Massachusetts, was awarded a bronze medal in history by the Independent Publishers Book Awards. Lynne is also the editor of Uncoverings, the annual journal of the American Quilt Study Group. Her contribution to the field of historic costume and textiles has been recognized by the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Historic New England, and the International Quilt Study Center, which have all elected her to membership in their honorary or advisory societies.

This will be the first in a series of talks by experts in the field of 19th and early 20th centuries’ material and cultural life. The Salon includes a talk, refreshments, and a tour of the first floor of the Mansion; $15 for members, $20 for non-members per session. Refreshments are courtesy of Best in Gourmet.  Please RSVP by Thurs, April 20, 2017. The chair of the Lecture Committee is Mimi Findlay of New Canaan.


Please visit our website: to purchase tickets or contact or call 203-838-9799, ext. 4. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit, e-mail, or call 203-838-9799.