Wilton Historical Society: Exhibit Opening Night


Wilton Historical Society Opens Two New Exhibitions

On Friday, May 19th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm the Wilton Historical Society will hold a reception to
celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions, Commitment to Community: The Lives of Laurent
Clerc and Francis Clerc Ogden and The Town Book: E. Boyd Smith’s 20th Century Wilton.

Commitment to Community is developed in partnership with the American School for the Deaf,
and explores the lives of two men, Laurent Clerc and his great-grandson Francis Clerc Ogden.
Clerc, a co-founder of the American School for the Deaf, spent his life working to make
education accessible for deaf students, including recruiting other trailblazing educators
developing sign language. Ogden, a Wilton resident for nearly 70 years, was involved in
countless town organizations and projects, including helping to found the Wilton Historical
Society. This exhibit will examine the work both men did in service to others and the fortuitous
circumstances that brought two organizations together.

The Town Book takes a deeper look at Wilton during the early 20th century – a time of radical
transformation for the town – through the work of a resident who witnessed it firsthand, E. Boyd
Smith. Smith was a children’s book author and illustrator, and along with his wife Mary, was an
active member of the community. Smith’s illustrations were directly inspired by the scenes he
saw as he traveled around Wilton, often including landmarks familiar to his fellow residents. His
books capture a lifestyle that was rapidly disappearing and made it accessible to young readers.
The exhibition will display Smith’s art alongside objects from the museum’s collection to offer
different perspectives on Wilton’s evolution during the first half of the 1900’s. Funding for this
exhibition was provided by Connecticut Humanities.

The reception is open to the public at no charge.

Wilton Historical Society 224 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897 wiltonhistorical.org