Money Talks: The Gilded Age in Fairfield

February 10, 2024 — June 16, 2024
South Gallery

Immigrant labor and innovative businessmen. Domestic servants and wealthy vacationers. Growing public need and local benefactors. Dichotomies characterize the Gilded Age in Fairfield. The “Gilded Age” (1865-1912) was a period of immense growth in America known for lavish expressions of wealth and cavernous class distinctions. In 1873, Mark Twain gave the era its name with the novel, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. Tremendous social and economic changes could also be found in Fairfieldchanges that would not have been possible without the working class supporting the grand lifestyle of the upper classes.

This exhibition presents the industrialists, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs who summered in the Fairfield area, including P.T. Barnum, Annie Burr and Oliver Gould Jennings, Dr. Ira DeVer Warner, and Jonathan and Harriet V.S. Thorne, alongside the people who made their lifestyles possible.


Exhibition-Related Events & Programs

February 14, 2024 | 12 – 1 pm | History Bites | Evolution of the Wedding Gown

April 3, 2024 | 10 am – 4 pm | Pop-Up Display in the Research Library

April 9, 2024 | 6:30 – 7:30 pm | Local to Fairfield Talk Series | Money Talks: The Gilded Age in Fairfield

April 20, 2024 | 10 – 11 am | Gallery Tour: The Gilded Age

May 19, 2024 | 2 – 4 pm | The Mansion’s Gilded Age Tea


Image: Postcard of Sunnieholme and its gardens, c. 1910-1930. Fairfield Museum Postcard Collection.