Past Exhibitions

June 20 – August 24, 2019

Summer by the Sea: Sloop Logs and Ledgers

Peel back the layers of Southport’s history to reveal a vibrant and thriving harbor town, once hailed as the “Onion Capital of the World” in the mid-19th century. Summer by the Sea: Sloop Logs and Ledgers feature 19th-century sloop logs and ledgers from Pequot Library’s Special Collections illustrating this rich maritime legacy. Filled with notable Fairfield family names, these volumes capture the daily details of harbor life and emphasize the preeminent role of the Southport Harbor on the New England coast. Explore the Southport of yesteryear through the works on display from the Library’s collections of historic photography. Track Southport’s evolution from a working harbor and shipping grounds to a quaint village and sailor’s paradise.

Executive Director Stephanie J. Coakley, Special Collections Librarian Dr. Jaime Cumby, and local historian Richard “Deej” Webb deliver introductory remarks at the exhibition’s opening reception. Click the link below:

Watch | Director Stephanie Coakley, Dr. Jamie Cumby Opening Reception

February 7 – May 2, 2019

Illumination to Illustration: Art of the Book

From illuminated manuscripts to illustrated novels, books have always been more than words on the page. Whether meticulously crafted by hand on vellum or artfully produced using an early printing press, books have been utilized by artists and authors as a visual art form for centuries. Featuring items from Pequot Library’s Special Collections including a medieval illuminated antiphonal (musical liturgy); The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, printed by the Kelmscott Press in 1896; and a 1946 pop-up edition of The Jolly Jump-Ups: A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, this exhibition invites the viewer to discover the artistry found in a selection of books from the 15th century to today.

September 6 – October 7, 2018

Paradise Lost

Paradise [Lost] features a collection of photographs by Árpád Krizsán, Best in Show winner of Pequot Library’s 2017 Art Show. Explore with Krizsán as he scratches past the superficial “to look at the other side or what others wouldn’t see, yet finding beauty in all of it.” Krizsán’s passion for photography was inspired by his father, who taught him to “walk and see.” He has studied in Vienna, Washington, D.C., and New York City and participated in shows in Austria, New York City, and Connecticut for which he received numerous awards.

Artist’s Statement:
Where I grew up in Graz, Austria, artists from around the world participated in the Steirische Herbst (autumn) festival, providing a glimpse into an unpolished world beyond the picture-perfect façade. This prompted me to explore Hungarian masters such as Brassaï, Kertész, Capa, and Munkácsi and ultimately to travel to and settle in a new world. Eventually, my father gave me my first camera with the instructions “to look.” Those incredible artists and the camera opened up a new world to me and provided me with the ability to uncover the realities behind façades. Later, while in Vienna, I became a photo journalist documenting the crumbling of another, but very real, façade erected by the communist regimes all over Central and Eastern Europe. These events shaped my style of photography — the chance to capture the moment, the unstaged reactions and expressions. I strive to look beyond what might otherwise seem like undisturbed beauty, to see what is lurking just around the corner or behind closed doors. This is what drives my work: an attempt to scratch the surface, to look at the other side or what others wouldn’t see, yet finding beauty in all of it.

June 14 – August 25, 2018

Garden Menagerie

Garden Menagerie features a variety of works by Alex Sax and a selection of nineteenth-century books and poetry from Pequot Library’s Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives. The exhibition includes the artist’s “garden” of imaginative and whimsical finely detailed nature drawings, prints, egg tempera paintings, and cast paper and paper-mâché animal sculptures inspired by Pequot’s holdings of works by American poets Emily Dickinson and John Greenleaf Whittier and The wild flowers of America…with fifty- colored plates, from original drawings, by Isaac Sprague by George L. Goodale, 1886, among other literary works highlighting the grandeur of nature. Also featured are a number of the artist’s handmade books.

About the Artist:
Alex Sax is a fine artist who draws inspiration from nature and history. Working in different media, from drawing to installation, Sax captures the spirit and energy of each of her subjects. Installations of her work include “Material Matters,” Whitney Art Works, Portland, ME; “Altered Realities,” Westchester Community College Gallery, Valhalla, NY, and “A Shift in Scale,” The Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT. Sax has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Weir Farm.  Sax received a BA from Hamilton College and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Alex Sax lives and works in Portland, Maine.

February 15 – May 6, 2018

Living in the New World

Journey back in time to the early days of the New World and explore the dynamics between new settlers and Native Americans through Pequot Library’s Special Collections. This exhibition features a selection of the Library’s rare books held in Southport and on long-term loan at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, including The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, in the Mohawk language, William Hubbard’s 1677 discourse on the Pequot War, and an early catechism for young children. Materials on native languages and colonial New England life offer insight into the intersection of two cultures in Fairfield and beyond. Items on view include primers, language studies, and histories of local, state, and New England life.

Exhibition Guide for Educators

December 14, 2017 – February 4, 2018

Holiday Magic: Selections from the Children's Historical Collection

Experience the magical and memorable role holidays play in the lives of all readers, especially children, through this exhibition highlighting holiday materials from Pequot Library’s Children’s Historical collection. Items on display include classic works of holiday literature, caroling music, and vintage postcards. From Christmas and Halloween to Thanksgiving and “Primrose Day,” explore books and imagery covering a variety of religious and secular subjects including etchings of “The Three Wisemen” and the antics of Eloise and Babar the Elephant.

October 27, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Nature Morte

Artist Jarvis Wilcox’s paintings explore the subtle relations among objects portrayed and the interactions of the colors chosen, while encouraging thoughtful consideration from the viewer. This exhibition highlights a selection of recent works featuring oil paintings and drawings of floral arrangements, nature scenes, and wildlife. Wilcox’s body of work includes still lifes, water scenes, landscapes, and works on paper that have been featured in solo exhibitions from New York to California.

October 12 – December 3, 2017

The Great War and the United States Home Front

This exhibition considers the question posed by those at home during the Great War: “What can we do?” It features a selection of books, maps, military diagrams, pamphlets, and propaganda posters from Pequot Library’s Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives. Discover and learn more about a variety of patriotic, civilian efforts that took place on the American home front after the United States entered WWI in 1917.

Exhibition Guide for Educators

March 9 – July 2, 2017

Perspectives at Pequot: U.S. Immigration Today

Migration Now is a portfolio of 37 silkscreen and letterpress prints illustrating the power of art to engage people in informed conversation about immigration and the broader global theme of human migration. The collection highlights reasons why people migrate, from helping family or escaping persecution, to alleviating financial burdens or finding personal fulfillment. Many of the contributing artists are students of the global tradition of political printmaking. Their visual portrayals of migration provide a lens through which to begin a discussion about immigration and social issues such as race, culture, gender, class, and economics, that affect us all.

Exhibition Guide for Educators

February 16 – May 6, 2016

Pages from Pequot: Uncovering Shakespeare

Uncovering Shakespeare features material from Pequot Library’s Special Collections including extracts from the First Folio; complete Second, Third, and Fourth Folios; the Players’ Shakespeare series from 1923 with seven plays; the Norton Facsimile of the First Folio; stunning editions of As You Like It and Merry Wives of Windsor; a small popular edition called The New Temple Shakespeare, with engravings by Eric Gill, and many scholarly editions and studies about Shakespeare and the Earl of Oxford. The exhibit includes, in large part, the collection of Shakespeare materials bequeathed in 1974 by Dean S. Edmonds, a trustee of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, founded in 1957. Mr. Edmonds was dedicated to exploring the Shakespeare authorship question and researching the evidence that Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford (1550 – 1604) is the true author of the poems and plays of William Shakespeare.

Exhibition Guide for Educators

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