In celebration of the Gilded Age

Mention the phrase Gilded Age, and you have my attention.

Add the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk to the picture, and I’m sold.

Over the years, I’ve written several times about the museum, a Second Empire-style country house built in the 1860s and designated a National Historic Landmark. It’s quite a treasure.

And we’ve now heard of two lovely things going on at LMMM that we’d like to pass along.

Mark down June 11, as that’s when author, lecturer and historian Richard Guy Wilson will discuss “Edith Wharton’s Gilded Age: Fiction and Architecture.”

The lecture will explore Wharton’s interest in the visual arts and how her own homes influenced her work.

Wilson, who holds the Commonwealth Professor’s Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia, specializes in architecture, design and art of the 18th to the 21st centuries both in America and abroad. He has directed the Victorian Society’s Nineteenth Century Summer School since 1979.

Wilson, whose most recent book is “Edith Wharton at Home: Life at the Mount,” will also do a book signing, courtesy of Elm Street Books in New Canaan, which will will follow the lecture.

The talk, part of the museum’s lecture series, is set for 11 a.m. Admission is $25 for members ($30 for nonmembers), which includes lecture, lunch and a first-floor mansion tour. Reservations are requested by June 6. Reserve by emailing or calling 203-838-9799, ext. 4.

In other Lockwood news, the museum has announced it has received a major grant of $20,000 from the Xerox Foundation in support of its educational and cultural programs.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s 2014 season will feature a writing competition for students in Norwalk’s public schools, exhibits, lectures, community events and programs that will explore American history, art and architecture in the mid-to-late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Xerox has been a major supporter of the museum’s programs for the past five years and continues to be one its most philanthropic corporate donors.

For more, visit

–  Mary Shustack

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