Last year for Fairfield County Giving Day, generous donors gave Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center the funds to restore and reframe two pairs of portraits in the museum’s collection.
This year, in advance of Fairfield County Giving Day, KTM&HC curators Catherine Prescott and Erika Askin will unveil the restored and reframed portraits during a Curators’ Corner program, Reuniting (and Restoring) a Family, on Tuesday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m.
The portraits are of Anna and Abijah Resseguie and Betsy and Thaddeus Keeler. During the Zoom program, Prescott and Askin will discuss the subjects of the portraits as well as the history of the paintings, including the recently acquired portrait of Betsy Perry Keeler. Board member Joel Third will relate the story of how the Betsy Perry Keeler portrait found its way to Ridgefield.
In addition to the families’ histories and the restorations, Askin and Prescott will present a bit of art history as they discuss the style of the paintings as well as Ezra Bisbee, the painter of the Keeler portraits.
“Although delayed by the pandemic, we’re delighted that the restoration and framing of these exceptional portraits have finally been accomplished and we’re ready to hang these important additions to our collection in their rightful place – the Resseguie Dining Room,” said executive director Hildegard Grob. “Since the museum is currently closed for indoor tours, we are opting for a virtual public unveiling. We hope that everyone who contributed to this project will be able to join us on February 23.”
This Zoom program is free with a $5 suggested donation per participant. Registered participants will get a link to the Zoom program on the afternoon of February 23.
Also during this program, Prescott and Askin will be announcing the project for this year’s Fairfield County Giving Day.
To register, go to keelertavernmuseum.org/events/247/curators-corner-reuniting-and-restoring-a-family.
About Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center
Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center (KTM&HC) tells 300 years of the town’s—and nation’s—history through the lives of its past residents. The 4-acre historic site features four architecturally significant buildings, including the historic Keeler Tavern which dates to 1713, and the Cass Gilbert-designed Garden House built-in 1915.
The site is currently open for outdoor visits, including pre-registered, guided outdoor-themed walking tours (see website for dates and times and to register online). In addition, visitors can enjoy a self-guided walking tour, “Gilberts in the Gardens” (scan the QR code on any one of the outdoor signposts for a map of the campus and the walking tour stops) and see the famous British cannonball from the 1777 Battle of Ridgefield still lodged in the corner post of the historic Keeler Tavern. The Carriage Barn is open for designated, limited-capacity exhibitions and events. The Tavern Museum is temporarily closed due to the pandemic.