The following press release was provided by the Florence Griswold Museum:
The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT presents “A Wee Faerie Village in the Land of Oz” on the grounds of museum’s campus from October 4 through November 3. Over 24 hand-crafted faerie houses and scenes capture the spirit of this year’s theme, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, for this highly anticipated annual outdoor exhibition.
This year’s Wee Faerie Village is the fifth of the Museum’s annual outdoor creative installations. Last year a record-breaking 13,800 people attended the 2012 Wee Faerie Village during its four-week run. The annual event has come to signify an enriching outing not to be missed by Connecticut families.
Combining both the enchantment of “wee faeries” and the classic story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, this year’s event is expected to draw both fans of faerie house creations and the archetypal story of Oz. Visitors travel the grounds to discover faerie-sized scenes from each of Baum's original 24 chapters: from the twisty Kansas cyclone to the Land of the Munchkins, through the dark woods and colorful poppy fields, to the Emerald City and Wicked Witch's castle, and home again. Visitors will also be treated to scenes they may not be familiar with that are specific to the original book including the Country of the Quadlings, the Dainty China Country, and the home to the Queen of the Field Mice.
A grant by Connecticut Humanities (www.cthumanities.org) allows the Museum to establish and promote with partner organizations a number of educational activities that encourage the literary connection to Baum’s masterwork originally published in 1900. Readers will be surprised to learn the many differences between the original text and the more commonly known 1939 movie adaptation by MGM and starring Judy Garland. In addition to key differences (for example, the original story features silver rather than ruby slippers), the Baum classic provides a richer story with 24 chapters of adventures for the traveling Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow, and Toto.
Nearly 50 artists and designers have been working since early spring to create their mini masterpieces, which collectively transform the Museum’s eleven acres into Oz. Children delight in the fun and whimsical creations while adults marvel at the creatively conceived and handcrafted works of art. Faerie House Architect Madeline Kwasniewski of Niantic, Connecticut chose to interpret Chapter Five, The Rescue of the Tin Woodman. Madeline has spent the summer gathering tin objects and natural materials to meld into her installation. According to Madeline, "My goal is to create an impressionistic and whimsical adventure land to spark in the imaginations of our audiences."
The Museum commissioned six original faerie illustrations of the iconic characters by illustrator Aaron B. Miller based in Chicago, IL. Miller’s original art cleverly re-imagines Baum’s beloved characters for the faerie world. (www.AaronBMiller.com ) Miller also created a map of the campus for inclusion in the Yellow Brick Roadmap keepsake brochure.
The Museum is collaborating with local libraries and bookstores to promote reading Baum’s classic. Additionally, a collaboration with the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce (www.VisitOldLyme.com ) encourages visitors of the Museum’s Wee Faerie Village to take advantage of special offers by local merchants in a “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road” promotion.
As part of its Wee Faerie Village exhibition, The Museum is presenting special events featuring both adult educational opportunities and family activities.
The Museum’s heralded Samuel Thorne Memorial Lecture this year presents scholar and author Michael Patrick Hearn on Saturday, October 12 at 5 pm. A leading authority on The Wizard of Oz and its author, Hearn will share with the audience a behind the curtain look with “All About Oz: The Annotated ‘Wizard of Oz.”’ The Samuel Thorne Lecture requires reservations and is free-of-charge.
With support from CT Humanities, a series of events, Oz for Adults: Multiple Ways to “Read” the American Icon, will be held over the course of the exhibition. The series includes “Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story,” a lecture by Evan I. Schwartz, author of the groundbreaking biography of L. Frank Baum, Finding Oz. Schwartz speaks and signs books Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30 pm. Further information on the complete lecture series and reservations can be found at www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org. Other events feature book talks, magic shows and film lectures.
Families with children enjoy a month of fun faerie and Oz-themed events beginning with Family Weekends in Oz. Saturdays bring themed parties including the October 26 “C’OZtume Parade.” On Sundays children enjoy “Oz & Crafts” with special projects adaptable for a wide range of ages. See www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for specific themes and activity hours. Family weekends are included in Museum admission.
Children are encouraged to dress up as their favorite faerie or Oz character throughout the month.
In addition to a grant from CT Humanities and an anonymous donor, support for the Wee Faerie Village in the Land of Oz also comes from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Joffray, the Platner Family Foundation and in part by the Institute of Library and Museum Services and the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95. Throughout this special event the Museum will have extended hours Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Sunday11am to 5pm. Admission during the exhibition is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for students, $5 for members. Children 12 and under are free thanks to the support of an anonymous donor. Admission includes the outdoor walking tour of the faerie village (including Family Weekend in Oz activities) as well as the Florence Griswold House, Chadwick Studio, Rafal Landscape Center and Krieble Gallery featuring the special exhibition, Harry Holtzman and American Abstraction.