Write-up by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb

 002Old film buffs and fashionistas might want to set aside time to visit an exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society, featuring stage and screen legend Katharine Hepburn. The daughter of a Hartford doctor and suffragette, Hepburn hailed from Connecticut. Famously, her family had a summer home in the Fenwick section of Old Saybrook. In 2003, she passed away there at age 96.

In its only New England stop, stories about the four-time Academy Award winning actress’ life in Connecticut will be added to the exhibit, according to the CHS web page. Titled “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen”, the visiting exhibit was organized by the Kent State University Museum.

It looks at Hepburn’s personal fashion sense of “informal elegance” that influenced generations of women. Shown are some of her “signature ensembles” of tailored beige trousers and linen jackets. (My personal favorites were her white turtlenecks paired with beige trousers). Hepburn’s stage costumes from “The Philadelphia Story” and “Coco” are included, in addition to her screen costumes from “Adam’s Rib” and “Stage Door.”

Hours are Tuesday – Friday noon-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Adults $8; Seniors $6; students with IDs and age 6-17 $4. The Connecticut Historical Society is located at 1 Elizabeth Street in downtown Hartford, CT. Contact 860-236-5621; chs.org/Hepburn. (Update: Usual free admission times have apparently been suspended for this exhibit, but free admission is supposed to be part of CT Open House Day on June 14. Call ahead to confirm.)


This summer might also be a good chance to visit the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Nicknamed “The Kate”, the theater can found on 300 Main Street in lovely Old Saybrook near the banks of the Connecticut River. It is a pleasant drive from Greater Hartford, less than an hour south, and there are some nice restaurants in the area.  Housed in a refurbished 99-year-old building, “The Kate”  has a roster of summer performances and a small museum. Tours are available – call 860-510-0473; http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org.