Live & Learn

Workshops, classes, & seminars: Something to be learned

October 1 - 13, 2019
Wild and Beautiful Creatures:
The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon

Organized by the Sharon Historical Society & Museum in Sharon, Connecticut, Wild and Beautiful Creatures: The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon is a celebration of the art, science, and heritage of John James Audubon, one of America’s greatest naturalists. The Tremaine Art Gallery exhibit, Wild and Beautiful Creatures, is on view August 30 – October 13 and runs concurrently with The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon on view at the Sharon Historical Society Museum September 14 – December 13. The Tremaine will host a gallery talk Saturday, September 14 at 3 p.m. followed by a reception from 4 – 6 p.m. The featured speaker is Dr. Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia. The talk and reception are free and open to the public.

The Tremaine Art Gallery exhibition includes around thirty of Audubon’s stunning illustrations of birds and mammals for his two monumental publications, The Birds of America (1826-38) and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America(1845-54). Drawn largely from local collections, including that of Hotchkiss School Special Collections, most of the prints are from Robert Havell Jr.’s original hand-colored “double elephant folio” edition. Also on exhibit will be examples from other editions, as well as one of the few surviving oil paintings from a projected “Gallery of Paintings” of the birds, and one of the rare copper plates from which the Havell edition was pulled.

At the same time, the Sharon Historical Society and Museum will provide context with an exhibition on Audubon’s life and work. The show will explore his fascinating professional and family life, the evolution of his publications, his innovative working methods, his complex relationship with the conservation of American species and their environment, and his heritage in the founding and work of the National Audubon Society and Audubon Sharon. Among the objects on display are one of Audubon’s rare portrait drawings, his favorite snuff box, and a beautiful specimen of a passenger pigeon, abundant in Audubon’s lifetime but by the early 20th Century extinct. The exhibition will be complemented by an exhibit of works by local artist Allen Blagden, one of today’s foremost wildlife watercolorists.

A program of lectures and other events are scheduled to coincide with the exhibits. Autumn programming at Audubon Sharon, a division of Nation Audubon, whose three thousand acres of preserve and Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic continue the work begun by Audubon, will supplement the exhibits. For comprehensive information about events  please visit,, and

This community-wide event will be celebrated with a benefit tented brunch in Sharon on Sunday, September 15. For location, tickets and details visit or contact The exhibits are sponsored by AIG Private Client Group, Klemm Real Estate, and the Tremaine Art Gallery at The Hotchkiss School.


  • September 7, 4-6pm. Sharon Art Walk. At various locations on Sharon Green, including the opening of the exhibition Inspired by Audubon: The Art of Allen Blagden, one of the foremost bird watercolorists of today. Sharon Historical Society.
  • September 13, 7pm. Dr. Doug Tallamy, noted author of “Bringing Nature Home, will speak on the importance of caterpillars in the bird food chain. Litchfield Community Center, $10 suggested donation. Please register via email to referencing “Tallamy Talk.”
  • September 14, 10am – 3pm. The Butterfly Festival. A variety of lectures, field walks, ID workshops, tours of Sharon Audubon’s new butterfly house, a native plant sale, as well as several activities for kids. Sharon Audubon Center. Entry: $10 adult, $5 child.
  • September 14, 3-4pm.  Exploring the West with John James Audubon: The Last Expedition, an illustrated lecture by Dr. Robert McCracken Peck, Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, Philadelphia. Tremaine Gallery. Followed by an opening reception of the exhibition Wild and Beautiful Creature: The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon, 4-6pm.
  • September 15, 12pm. Celebrating John James Audubon. Join us for brunch under a tent in a private garden, Sharon, where Dr. Peck will talk about Audubon as inspiration for conservation today. For details and tickets contact
  • September 26, 6.30-7.30pm. Audubon’s Art and Science: A Guided Tour, by Michael Foley, Director of Arader Galleries, New York. Tremaine Gallery.
  • September 28, 4-5.30pm. Minnie’s Land: Audubon’s Final Home, illustrated lecture by Matthew Spady (author of the forthcoming book Audubon Park: The Neighborhood Manhattan Forgot). Sharon Historical Society. Registration preferred
  • September 29, 4pm. John James Audubon’s Pictures in Prose, an illustrated talk by Eileen Fielding. For details and location contact
  • October 5, 3-5pm:  Drawing the Birds. Come and try your hand at drawing the Center’s raptors. Sharon Audubon Center. Please register via email to
  • October 6, 3pm, Audubon’s Life and Work: A Guided Tour, by Christopher Robinson, exhibition organizer. Sharon Historical Society. Registration preferred
  • October 12, 4-5pm Allen Blagden will lead a walk-through of his exhibition Inspired by Audubon: The Art of Allen Blagden at the Sharon Historical Society and discuss the wonders and difficulties of painting in the wild.
  • October 26, time to be announced. Adventures in Bird Photography, an illustrated lecture by professional bird photographer Sarah Blodgett. Sharon Audubon Center.

Second show:
The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon
Sharon Historical Society & Museum
September 14 – December 13, 2019

Accompanying Events
Tremaine Art Gallery:
Gallery talk with Dr. Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia:  Saturday, September 14 at 3 p.m. followed by a reception from 4 – 6 p.m. Free and open to the public.

“Audubon’s Art and Science: A Guided Tour”, by Michael Foley, Director of Arader Galleries, New York. September 26, 6.30-7.30pm.


Sharon Historical Society & Museum
18 Main Street

The Tremaine Art Gallery
Main Building
The Hotchkiss School


October 5, 2019
Living the Good Life
Author Betty Krasne with Jill Drew

Betty Krasne’s novel revisits the town at the center of her short story collection Body Parts. Against a background of 1980s excess in America, two men come into conflict as they pursue opposite routes through the boom times. A corporate raider makes the most of the power over women and men his position and money bring him while the son of a famous senator, hides out as a gardener in the small New England town of Lynnfield. It is through the women in their lives that events become increasingly a conflict between trust and deceit,

Krasne will have a conversation with Jill Drew about the process of writing, read excerpts that introduce some of the characters, give hints of the plot, and answer questions.

Betty Krasne is the author of poems, articles, and seven books. For the greater part of her career she was a professor at Mercy College in Westchester, N.Y. Jill Drew is the former Associate Editor of The Washington Post.

Saturday October 5, 4 pm


Scoville Memorial Library
38 Main Street

October 5, 2019
Forcing Bulbs for Winter Delight
With Page Dickey

Join Page Dickey, beloved author and passionate gardener, as she shows us how many of the bulbs we buy in the fall can be potted up, put somewhere cold for about 12 weeks, then brought out to light and sun and coaxed into bloom for the winter months. Much more beautiful and less expensive than florist flowers to decorate your house! Page will show you “how to” and she will share her favorite bulbs.

Page Dickey is a garden writer, lecturer and designer. She is the author of seven books including the award-winning Breaking Ground. Page serves on the board of directors of Hollister House Garden, Stonecrop Gardens and the Garden Conservancy. Page lives and gardens with her husband in the company of assorted dogs in Falls Village.

Saturday , October 5, 10 – 11:30 am

Tickets: HHG Members $25; Non-Members $35

Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road


October 15, 2019
Autumn Bounty Watercolor Workshop
with Betsy Rogers-Knox

Autumn in New England is rich with brilliant leaves, colorful berries and pods. In this one day workshop students will draw these seasonal subjects, arrange them into a bouquet and render the bouquet in watercolor. All levels welcome. Suitable for beginners and more advanced artists. Limited to 12 students
Please bring a bag lunch. Water, soft drinks and snacks will be provided. A materials list will be emailed with your registration confirmation.

The watercolor workshops at Hollister House Garden are taught by Betsy Rogers-Knox. She has been painting since childhood, inspired by her English grandfather and his love of gardens

Betsy received a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from NYBG in 2006 and has been illustrating palnts ever since. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and at the Royal Horticultural Botanical Art Show in London where she was awarded the Silver Gilt Award.

Friday, October 25, 10 am – 3:30 pm

Cost: HHG members $95; Non-Members $120
Please register.

Hollister House Garden Inc.
300 Nettleton Hollow Road


October 19, 2019
Hidden in Plain Sight: 
A Deep Traveler Explores Connecticut

In the course of the mundane routines of life, we encounter a variety of landscapes and objects, either ignoring them or looking without interest at what appears to be just a tree, stone, anonymous building, or dirt road. But the deep traveler doesn’t make this mistake.
Instead, the commonplace elements become the most important. On Saturday, October 19th Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust welcomes David K. Leff, an award winning essayist who will lead a program entitled “Hidden in Plain Sight”. He will share the methods on how you too can become a deep traveler finding magic in the mundane, serving to give you a sense of place and appreciation of the importance of preservation.
Leff will share stories and photos of his own deep travel adventures of discovering drive-in theaters, Quonset huts, old growth forests, cider mills, ghost towns, roadside springs, Nike missile sites, neglected graveyards and many other quirky wonders throughout our state.

The former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Leff is the author of six nonfiction books, three volumes of poetry, and two novels in verse, David has read his work, given book talks, and lectured on literary, historical and environmental topics throughout Connecticut and beyond.

Saturday, October 19, 2 pm

$10 members; $15 non-members

Flanders Nature Center
Flanders’ Studio
located at the intersection of Flanders and Church Hill Road

203-263-3711, ext. 12

October 20, 2019
Growing Your Family Tree
with Professional Genealogist Toni McKeen

In recognition of National Family History Month, professional and popular Genealogist Toni McKeen will lead a lively and informative talk entitled Growing Your Family Tree. This illustrated presentation will take place on Sunday, October 20 at Gunn Memorial Library.

Ancestors have a way of hiding.  Understanding the capabilities of the available genealogy websites, knowing what various databases exist, and learning how to use these resources are critical to successfully finding long lost relatives.  Learn how and where to begin doing your family research, which important websites to use, and how to establish a system to keep track of your family tree as more ancestors are added to its branches.

A sought after expert Toni McKeen has taught a multitude of genealogy courses for the last 15 years and has been a popular lecturer at various genealogy societies in the New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Boston and Long Island areas. Visit

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 1:00pm

Registration requested

Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road



October 22, 2019
China Trade Relations
Lecture at Gunn Library

Professor, Historian & Author Mark Albertson will deliver a lecture entitled Decoding U.S.-China Trade Relations. His presentation will be on October 22 at Gunn Memorial Library.

The history of trade with China is almost as old as America itself, and today, America and China boast the world’s #1 and #2 largest economies. Trade between the two countries has been massive, yet often contentious. During more than 230 years of trade between the dominant powers China and the United States have witnessed a string of ups and downs, standoffs and reconciliations, trade wars and physical wars. Today, the relationship is strained, and the two countries are locked in a showdown where goods are viewed as economic weapons as much as they are merchandise to be bought and sold.
President Trump insists the trade war has weakened China and strengthened the position of the United States, but experts say “the measures have disrupted trade, hurt manufacturing, roiled international markets, and slowed the global economy.”
Join Professor Alberton as he discusses how the two global giants got to where they are today.

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America.  He has authored several books: USS Connecticut: Constitution State Battleship; They’ll Have to Follow You!: The Triumph of the Great White Fleet; and On History.  He is presently at work on the second of a two-volume history of Army Aviation.  Mark teaches as an adjunct at Norwalk Community College on the topics such as World War 1, World War 11, Vietnam, Iraq, The American Empire, the Nazi Revolution and Jihad!  An avid speaker, he travels widely throughout Connecticut presenting topics of history and current events in a variety of venues.  In May 2005, Mark was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of Congress in Hartford for his efforts in commemorating the centennial of Battleship Connecticut.

Tuesday, October 22, 6 pm

Registration requested

Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road

October 26, 2019
Edith Wharton: Poet. A reading
from Selected Poems of Edith Wharton

Goldman-Price has created a volume, arranged thematically, of some of Wharton’s most interesting and beautiful poetry including fifty poems that have never before been published. Subjects range from nature, love, and death to politics, art, and the essence of the imagination. She will read from Wharton’s poetry, setting the poems in historical and biographical context and sharing images of some of the subjects of the poems.

Few people have troubled to recognize Edith Wharton as a poet. Yet she published one hundred poems during her lifetime, and she left us an archive of one hundred more.
These poems round out our understanding of Wharton as a woman and as a complete writer.

Wharton is among the best known American writers, renowned especially for her New York society novels and short stories, books on house decoration and travel, and reporting on World War I from Paris. Writers often still quote from her literary criticism and her newly discovered play was recently published and performed in several locations.

Culling from published and unpublished poems, Goldman-Price has assembled a volume that provides new insights into Wharton. Goldman-Price has a PhD from Boston University and has been involved in Wharton studies for thirty years. She is editor of the 2012 “My Dear Governess: the Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann”.

Saturday October 26, 4 pm


Scoville Memorial Library
38 Main Street

October 26, 2019
Conversations On the Green:
Seth Meyers: Divine Comedy

Taking place at the Shepaug Valley School, Seth Meyers, the host of “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” is coming to Washington on October 26 to discuss the challenges of creating a nightly comedy show tied so tightly to the daily political disaster and the existential fear it provokes.

As the headliner of the not-so-late night Conversation On the Green, “Late Night: The Divine Comedy,” Meyers will spend the afternoon talking about how he puts politics into political humor at a time when politics is synonymous with panic.

All proceeds from the event benefit area charities: including Greenwoods Counselling Referrals, which provides mental health services to the area’s most vulnerable residents; Susan B. Anthony, which provides free crisis and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and New Milford Hospital, which serves thousands in the community

Saturday, October 26, 3 – 4:30 pm

Tickets: Individual $45; “Angels on the Green” tickets: $250 per person
and include preferred seating and the opportunity to meet Seth at a special cocktail reception at The Mayflower Inn & Spa following the conversation.

Shepaug Valley School
159 South Street

October 27, 2019
Conversations On the Green:
Working Without a Net: On Air
in the Age of Trump

Jim Acosta, one of President Trump’s chief whipping boys in his war against the press, is joining MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle and Reuters’ Jeff Mason to discuss the trials, tribulations and constitutional imperatives of covering The White House as a headliner of the October 27 Conversations On the Green, “Working Without A Net: On Air In The Age Of Trump.”

All proceeds from the event benefit area charities: including Greenwoods Counseling Referrals, which provides mental health services to the area’s most vulnerable residents; Susan B. Anthony, which provides free crisis and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and New Milford Hospital, which serves thousands in the community

Sunday, October 27, 3 – 4:30 pm

Tickets: Individual $45; “Angels on the Green” tickets: $250 per person
and include preferred seating and the opportunity to meet the panelists at a special cocktail reception at The Mayflower Inn & Spa following the conversation.

Washington Montessori School
240 Litchfield Turnpike
New Preston

October 30, 2019
White Hart Speaker Series
The Seine: The River That Made Paris

The White Hart Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with The White Hart Inn, Scoville Memorial Library and Oblong Books & Music

In the spring of 1978, as a young journalist in Paris, Elaine Sciolino was seduced by a river. In The Seine, she tells the story of that river through its rich history and lively characters—a bargewoman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat- dweller, a famous cinematographer known for capturing the river’s light. She patrols with river police, rows with a restorer of antique boats, discovers a champagne vineyard, and even dares to swim in the Seine. Sciolino’s keen eye and vivid prose bring the river to life as she discovers its origins on a remote plateau in Burgundy, where a pagan goddess healed pilgrims at an ancient temple. She follows the Seine to Le Havre, where it meets the sea. Braiding memoir, travelogue, and history through the Seine’s winding route, Sciolino offers a love letter to Paris and the river at its heart and invites readers to explore its magic.

Elaine Sciolino is a contributing writer and former Paris bureau chief for the New York Times. She is the author of five books, including The Seine: The River that Made Paris and The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs. Sciolino was decorated as a chevalier of the Legion of Honor, the highest honor of the French state, in 2010 for her “special contribution” to the friendship between France and the United States. She and her husband have lived in Paris since 2002.

Wednesday, October 30, 6 pm


The White Hart Inn
15 Undermountain Road