Explore our new digital exhibition platform to see online versions of select exhibitions. Each tour includes all of the objects included in the physical version along with exclusive bonus background and resources. Investigate them all here!
Becoming Westport. From the humble farmer to internationally famous robber barons, Westport is a town built by the contributions of many over the centuries. Like other New England coastal villages, Westport started out as an agricultural community that quickly diversified into trade then evolved with commerce and industry into a factory town and, eventually, a bedroom community for nearby New York City. Over its nearly four centuries of settlement, the area that would become Westport has been home to native people, European colonists, enslaved African Americans and immigrants from around the world. Its bucolic settings and beautiful beaches have lured artists, vacationers, health seekers and commuters. Becoming Westport explores all aspects of the archetypes of those who collectively built the town including The Farmer, The Laborer, The Cleric, The Merchant, The Revolutionary, The Entrepreneur, The Artist and The Performer.
Dragon Lady: The Life of Sigrid Schultz. Westporter Sigrid Schultz was an investigative journalist and the first female foreign bureau chief for The Chicago Tribune. She worked within Nazi Germany, writing about and alerting the world to the imminent dangers of the Third Reich. Hitler and Hermann Göring directed multiple assassination attempts on Schultz’ life and tried to expel her from the country as they had done to many of her colleagues. Yet Schultz was respected–and feared– by Nazi officials. Herman Göring called her “that Dragon from Chicago”. Her work demonstrates the epitome of the critical value of the journalists in identifying dangerous political and social movements. In 1941, Schultz returned to Westport to convalesce from injuries suffered in an air raid and remained here for the next 40 years. While the war continued, Schultz tried to return to Germany to continue her reporting but was denied press credentials. Remaining in Westport, she worked with the OSS—American intelligence precursor to the CIA– to provide inside information about Nazi operations and German culture and then, later, was one of the few reporters allowed to cover the Luneburg trials of concentration camp jailors. Dragon Lady offers insight into the life and work of a pioneering female reporter during this seminal anniversary year of women’s right in America.
Westport Historical Society’s award winning exhibit, Remembered: The History of African Americans in Westport, retells the history of African American families in Westport from colonial days to the present. Out of a history born of slavery, black Westporters persevered, gaining freedom and creating lives in the town as educators, freedom fighters, artists, patriots and respected citizens.
A virtual version of the award-winning exhibition is available online or on your mobile device here!