Because of Seven Hearths‘ long association with the art world, art is often the subject of the summer exhibit. For most of the 20th century, Seven Hearths was the home of George Laurence Nelson, who painted, conducted art classes and held exhibits in the house. Upon his death, he bequeathed the house and its contents, including a large collection of his artwork, to the Kent Historical Society. We have frequently drawn from this collection for our summer exhibit, sometimes combining it with the works of other area artists such as Rex Brasher, Robert Nisbet or Spencer Nichols.
In the summer of 2003, the Kent Historical Society presented a very special exhibit entitled “Picture Perfect: Images of Northwest Connecticut,” which was part of a statewide exhibit of the same name. “Picture Perfect” was based on an exciting new art history book entitled Artists of the Litchfield Hills by Kent Historical Society Trustee Robert Michael Austin. Featuring the best of Nelson’s family portraits, just recently returned to us after undergoing professional restoration, and displayed in our newly refurbished gallery at Seven Hearths, the exhibit was a great success. Copies of Mr. Austin’s book may be obtained through the Kent Historical Society Gift Shop, or from the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT.