Director’s Message – March 20, 2023

Dear Friends,

I took this photograph at the Art of Shearing event last year. I couldn’t pull myself away from these two lambies.

Little yin and little yang, only a few days old and in the center of our sheepapalooza – 1,600 visitors, 50+ mama-sheep and a handful of their babies, plus one man masterfully giving them haircuts – these two find and fix on one another, as though nothing else existed in the universe. Marvelous.

Then and now, they make me think of the power of true connection. Finding and nurturing it can enable us to experience worlds so far and delightfully beyond our everyday existence.

A truly unique aspect of Hill-Stead is the countless ways we can offer visitors an awe-inspiring and transporting connection. Inside the house, one can realize that the Monet seascape at Antibes is really a series of horizontal stripes. Or outside, on the trails, one can feel that delicious well-being that comes when being full of fresh air. Or, in the space between, the house itself tells the story of its designer, Theodate. Or, in our cherished new gallery, one can delight in the discovery of her long-overlooked father and his unique combination of hard work, generosity, success, selflessness, and … modesty.

View de Cap d'Antibes, Claude Monet

Claude Monet, View of Cap d’Antibes,1888

We who work here adore the limitless possibilities of experiences Hill-Stead can offer. And we are thrilled, on this first day of spring, to share a new line-up of upcoming events!

This Sunday the 26th, the Art of Shearing is baaaaaack, celebrating all things wool in what promises to be fine springlike weather. Next week, on Thursday 30th, we’ll host a behind-the-scene discussion of the making of the Alfred Pope exhibition. Beginning April 22nd, the second phase of this show will be unveiled in the historic house, giving guests the once-in-lifetime chance to see the interiors as it looked when Theodate’s parents lived there. Then, at the end of April, the popular Star of the Bar cocktail competition returns on Friday, April 28th, as the kick-off event for our Belle Epoque-themed gala on May 20th. Lastly, we will wish Happy Birthday to Hill-Stead on Sunday, April 30th with a new event, intended for children and their caregivers, to share Theodate’s inspiring story in unforgettable fashion: a special tour of the house and a proper English tea party.

A bit of something for everyone.

Hoping to see you again soon,


Dr. Anna Swinbourne
Executive Director & CEO