Museum After Dark features antique expert

Briann G. Greenfield,

Briann G. Greenfield

Area residents interested in learning more about the treasures in their attics are invited to come to the Fairfield Museum on the evening of January 28. Briann G. Greenfield, executive director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, will speak about the current state of the antiques market in New England and discuss how antiques are invented.

As part of the popular Museum After Dark series, Greenfield will offer an interactive and informative look at what transforms family keepsakes into valuable artistic objects. In this era of Antiques Roadshow and eBay, it s hard to imagine a time when Americans did not treasure the home furnishings of elite early American families. But as Greenfield will discuss, antiquing particularly the practice of valuing old things for their aesthetic qualities is a relatively recent invention whose origins can be found in the early years of the twentieth century. Although nineteenth-century Americans did appreciate heirlooms, they saw them as memory markers, tangible representations of honored ancestors or local history.

Greenfield previously served as Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, where she was the founder of the school s program for careers in museums and historic preservation. She was a longtime board member and consultant for Connecticut Humanities, focusing on grant making. She consulted on acquisitions and collecting strategies for the Connecticut Historical Society, and was an editorial member for Connecticut Explored.

Greenfield received her Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University, and an M.A. in Museum Studies, also from Brown. An accomplished cultural historian, her experience includes many museums and historical societies, fellowships with the Smithsonian, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Winterthur Museum. She is the author of Out of the Attic: Inventing Antiques in Twentieth-Century New England and A Life of the Land: Connecticut s Jewish Farmers which she co-authored with Mary M. Donohue for the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford.

Museum After Dark events are open to the public and run from 6-8 p.m. at the Fairfield Museum, 370 Beach Road in Fairfield. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free for Museum Members and $5 for non-members.

About the Fairfield Museum and History Center

The Fairfield Museum is a fascinating non-profit museum, library, cultural arts and educational organization founded in 1903 that provides families in Fairfield County with a wide array of exhibits and educational programs that teach regional history, celebrate a shared heritage, and prepare students and adults to be more active participants in their community. Located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, CT, the Museum is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 203-259-1598 or visit Fairfieldhistory.org.

We believe in the power of history to inspire the imagination, stimulate thought and transform society. Our mission is to connect people around the complex history of Fairfield and neighboring communities so that together we may shape a more informed future. Program support comes from Fairfield County s Community Foundation, CT Humanities and our generous community donors and corporate sponsors.

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