Browse Exhibits (16 total)

Mobilizing the Homefront: Posters from World War II


During World War II, the U.S. government used posters to rally support for the war and convince Americans that an all-out effort at home was necessary to win the military campaign abroad. At a time when media was primarily limited to radio, film, and prints, posters--cheap, colorful, and immediate--were one of the most efficient means to spread the government’s messages. Various government agencies employed the country’s top artists and illustrators to create strong imagery to persuade Americans to increase their productivity in factories, buy war bonds, and enlarge their wartime responsibilities. In effect, every American, whether soldier or civilian, was enlisted to help win the war.

Although posters by their very nature are intended to be ephemeral--disposed of after display--many World War II images have endured, and speak to the issues we still face today: of sacrifice, responsibility, and the use of limited resources. As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, the posters on view in this gallery help us remember how Americans were urged to unite to meet the challenges of wartime. 

Mobilizing the Homefront: Posters from World War II was on view at the Fairfield Museum from January 16 - May 10, 2015.

Picturing Fairfield: The Photographs of Mabel Osgood Wright



Mabel Osgood Wright (1859-1934) always preferred the country to the city. As a child growing up in New York City, Wright savored the summers she spent at Mosswood, her family’s retreat in rural Fairfield, and made it her permanent home in 1884 after she married. Living at a time when the United States was rapidly shifting from an agrarian to an industrial and urban country, Wright became an avid conservationist, making the preservation of New England’s wildlife and countryside her life’s work. From her home in Fairfield, Wright wrote popular field guides on local wildlife, helped establish the Connecticut Audubon Society, and founded Birdcraft Sanctuary as a refuge for birds in Fairfield.

From early on, photography was instrumental to Wright’s conservationist efforts, a means to document the disappearing landscape around her. Wright often turned her camera toward Fairfield, which at the turn of the twentieth century was just beginning to move away from its rural past and feel the effects of city life. At times nostalgic and sentimental, Wright’s photographs focus on Fairfield’s homes, gardens, people, and the local countryside and present Fairfield as a traditional New England town. At a time when many writers and thinkers were increasingly worried that the nation was losing its “rural virtue” to the growth of the city, Wright’s photographs portray Fairfield as an ideal suburb, an antidote to what she viewed as the “whirpool” of city life. 


This exhibition was on view at the Fairfield Museum in 2014. 


Rising Tides: Fairfield’s Coast - Past to Future


Fairfield has always been a coastal community, although we have looked at the coast differently over time: as a place of natural abundance, an opportunity for travel and commerce, and a landscape of beauty and recreation. The coast has changed over time too, and rising sea levels will require us to adapt to new ways of living on the shoreline.  

This exhibition was on view at the Fairifeld Museum from September 2016-March 2017, and won an award from the American Association for State and Local History in 2017. Special thanks to the Connecticut Audubon Society, the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut, Tom Steinke, and the Town of Fairfield.

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Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

This exhibition explores how the changing culture and politics of the 1960s and 1970s touched people in our local area. Events on the national stage – such as the civil rights movement,  the assassinations of public figures, the war in Vietnam, the women's movement, urban riots and campus unrest, the space program, and Watergate  – echoed in the lives of people in and around Fairfield. The music and culture of this era, along with its political and social transformations, helped shape the world we still live in today. 

"Talkin' 'Bout My Generation" was on view from March 31-September 17, 2017 at the Fairfield Museum. 

Uncle Sam Wants You! Fairfield and the Great War

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How did government-sponsored messages about The Great War affect those who lived through it?  Posters, publicity campaigns, and censorship of critical viewpoints were an important aspect of the federal government’s efforts to inspire support and sacrifice on the home front. This exhibition explores these messages and how they influenced people in the Fairfield and Bridgeport area, where war time manufacturing made the city into a boom town.

Wartime posters and broadsides for local patriotic rallies, calling on citizens to purchase Liberty Bonds, volunteer for overseas service, or conserve food for the war effort, will be on view, along with newspapers, letters, uniforms and memorabilia from people from Fairfield who served “over there” and on the home front.

This exhibit was on display at the Fairfield Museum and History Center from September 28, 2017 - February 5, 2018. 

Wonder Women of Fairfield


Women have played a key role in shaping the community of Fairfield and beyond over the years. Past generations of women faced many barriers to taking a place in public life: in the nineteenth century they were barred from voting, higher education and the most respected professions. In the twentieth century, women’s choices continued to be limited, and it was rare to see a woman executive, senator, doctor, or professional athlete.  

Despite these barriers, women found opportunities to contribute to the community and the nation. The Fairfield women presented here are just some of the many women from the area who left a mark through their public achievements in politics, business, community service, and entertainment.  By reaching beyond the expectations of their times, they created not only new paths for themselves, but also new opportunities for the women who would follow. 

Wonder Women of Fairfield was on view at the Fairfield Museum from February 27-April 28, 2014.