Manchester Silhouette Artist to be Featured at Tags & Treasures Event

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 Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, 211 Main St., Wethersfield, CT 06109  See map
Credit: SnowViolent, via flickr creative commons
Credit: SnowViolent, via flickr creative commons

Long before any camera captured the

human form, itinerant silhouette artists recreated mortal likenesses in

profile, providing a quick, inexpensive alternative to the painted portrait. Manchester

resident Elizabeth O’Brien will bring the rare and centuries-old art form to

the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Tags & Treasures Sale, with seatings on a

space-available basis for $25, on Saturday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and

Sunday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Webb Barn at 211 Main St.,

Wethersfield, Connecticut.

After a few moments spent studying

her subject’s profile—hair, eyelashes, nose, etc.—O’Brien quickly but carefully

sketches, and then cuts and pastes the delicate  paper profiles using 18th-and 19th-century

techniques, with the entire process taking about 20-25 minutes. She takes pride in

creating a true likeness of her subject. 

An established artist for years, O’Brien was always fond of silhouette

portraiture and paper cutting, and collected and produced many different

examples over the years. Her interest in the folk art gained momentum when she

and her family lived in England for several years, where she came across many

18th- and 19th-century silhouettes and examined old books on the subject. In

addition to periodically demonstrating her craft at museum and historical society

events throughout Connecticut, O’Brien is a historic interpreter at the

Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum and Nathan Hale Homestead.


Tags & Treasures

For more than 40 years,

the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Tags & Treasures Sale has been organized by

the Connecticut Chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of

America. The bi-annual event features hundreds of household items, including

small furniture, basement bargains, vintage pieces, and historic estate items

from some of Connecticut’s oldest families. Other treasures at this year’s

sale: glass, sterling silver, china, linens, fine jewelry and books – all

donated by the Colonial Dames, who maintain the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. $5 admission.

For more information, visit www.webb-deane-stevens.org

r call (860) 529-0612.

About the

Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Located in the heart of

Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Museum consists of three

authentically restored 18th-century homes, and provides the quintessential New

England experience, from the American Revolution to the early 20th century.

Tours include the 1752 Joseph Webb House, where General George Washington met

with French General Rochambeau, and planned the military campaign leading to the end of the Revolutionary War;


1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first diplomat to France; and the

1788 Isaac Stevens House - depicting life in the 18th and 19th centuries

through original family objects and a fascinating children’s exhibit. For rates

and hours visit www.webb-deane-stevens.org, or call

(860) 529-0612, ext. 12.


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