HARTFORD — A 1798 map of Connecticut’s Western Reserve, which extended to Ohio, a brass button display and a lithograph of P.T. Barnum’s life are among the 50 items that are now on display in the Connecticut Historical Society’s new ‘Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories’ exhibit.
The exhibit opened on Tuesday, culminating a five-month crowdsourcing history effort with individuals, historic and cultural organizations and companies. The 50 objects in ‘Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories’ –– as well as an online gallery of more than 150 uniquely Connecticut objects that have been suggested to date.
‘Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories’ asks “If an object could define Connecticut, what would it be? What objects – from the past and from today – help tell the stories that define our state as a changing place, a community, and an idea?”
Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories will be on display from May 18 to Oct. 24 at CHS.
“We know that no one object, nor 50 objects, can completely represent Connecticut’s history. We planned this exhibit as part of an effort to gather diverse suggestions about what defines our state from not only historians but also from the general public, and various communities, organizations and companies who have made our state what it is today,” said CHS Executive Director Jody Blankenship.
The 50 items selected for the physical portion of the exhibit – and those in the online gallery – help tell the history of our state’s entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership, up to and including the present.
Blankenship said that the objects revealed the everyday lives of Connecticut’s original residents and of the diverse communities, who have immigrated here from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the West Indies.
The 50 items selected come from the CHS collection, other historical societies and museums, people who own the object or item and people who recommended an object they did not own, but which CHS tracked down and borrowed from its source.
The exhibit’s online gallery on the CHS website (http://chs.org/50objects/) will also be available until October 24. CHS will continue accepting submissions on the virtual site until October.