People are now obsessed with games on their smartphones, but there was a time in the late 19th century when board games were all the rage. This fad will be explored at an upcoming lecture at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum entitled, "Chromolithography and the Golden Age of Board Games."
The lecture, presented by Margaret K. Hofer, curator of decorative arts at the New-York Historical Society, will be held on Oct. 9.
The presentation will begin at 11 a.m. at the museum, at 295 West Ave. in Norwalk.
Boldly designed and colorfully packaged board games exploded onto the market in the late 19th century with the adoption of chromolithography by American game manufacturers. In this illustrated lecture, Hofer will consider the games that entertained Americans from the 1840s to the 1920s, focusing on the golden age of the 1880s and '90s, when firms like McLoughlin Brothers produced vibrant, sumptuous games for a burgeoning middle-class audience. These parlor amusements offer a visual feast as well as a window onto the values, beliefs and aspirations of a nation undergoing tremendous change.
Hofer is curator of decorative arts at the New-York Historical Society, where she has worked since 1993. Hofer has curated numerous exhibitions on topics ranging from Colonial carriages to Victorian board games. Her publications include "Seat of Empire" (2002, with Roberta Olson), "The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board and Table Games" (2003), "A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls" (2007, with Martin Eidelberg and Nina Gray), and "Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York" (2011). She received her B.A. from Yale University and M.A. from the University of Delaware's Winterthur Program in Early American Culture.
The lecture is part of a series of lectures at the Museum on "Technologies and Discoveries of the Victorian Era." The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers. The price includes lecture, lunch and choice of a mansion or exhibit tour. Lunch is courtesy of Michael Gilmartin's Outdoor Cookers.
To reserve a seat, please contact the Mansion at 203-838-9799.
Tours are offered Wednesdays through Sundays, at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Admittance is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children. Children under 8 are admitted free. For information on tours and programs, visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail email@example.com, or call 203-838-9799.