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Darien Historical Society Offers Exhibit On Golden Age Of Art, Design

Society historian Ken Reiss with board members Lynn Sheppard, Dave Polett and John Sheppard. Photo Credit: Contributed
Carol Barr Matton, Ulla Kremer and Cindy Ryan. Photo Credit: Contributed
Part of the exhibit at the Darien Historical Society. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. -- The Darien Historical Society is taking visitors on a trip back in time to an era in Darien’s history rich with the arts and creativity.

The exhibit, "Darien 1925-1950 ~ Golden Age of Art and Design," which opened April 22, showcases the work of a wide variety of artists and their influence on the town. The exhibit continues through Sept. 11.

The exhibit begins with the story of how Darien formed New England’s second-earliest art colony, the Guild of the Seven Arts, and how the new world of radios, slick magazines and Victrolas created a huge demand for artists in the New York metropolitan area; many flocking to live and work in Darien. Significant contributions were made by artists like Robert Pallesen, co-founder of the Guild, who painted the murals in the lobby of the Darien Town Hall (then Darien High School).

The influence of the Guild of the Seven Arts was notably marked by the Darien Review in an October 1930 article stating, “Probably nothing that has ever come into the life of the people of Darien, from the far-off days when it was known as Middlesex and was part of the township of Stamford, to the present time, has exerted so great a cultural influence as the Guild of the Seven Arts.”

The town’s heritage includes a world famous photojournalist, a three-time America’s Cup winning yacht designer, a renowned muralist, designers of the Electrolux canister vacuum, Macy’s holiday decorations, and America’s best basic wooden boats.

“The show is not so much about art as it is about the exciting adolescence of this evolving town,” said Ken Reiss, historian for the historical society

The exhibit's hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays. A non-member donation of $5 is suggested. The Darien Historical Society is at 45 Old Kings Highway North. To find out more about "Darien 1925-1950, Golden Age of Art and Design," please visit,

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