2022 Events

Ammi Phillips portrait of Almira Lucretia Adams Perry (c. 1836) Oil on canvas. From a private collector
Ammi Phillips portrait of Almira Lucretia Adams Perry (c. 1836) Oil on canvas. From a private collector.

Through October 23, 2022
Portrait exhibit hours Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00am-4:00pm
Seven Hearths House Museum
4 Studio Hill Rd, Kent, CT

Kent Before Cameras: When Ammi Painted The Town is the Kent Historical Society's largest event of the year. This interactive exhibit will explore the mysterious life and masterful work of painter Ammi Phillips (1788-1865), whose most prolific period is known as his “Kent years."

Travel back to a time before photography, when an itinerant limner (the 19th Century word for “portrait painter”) made his way through Kent, plying his trade, forming relationships… and creating masterpieces.

Phillips’ paintings, including pieces on loan from private collections, will be on display in the perfect period setting for his work: the Historical Society’s own 1751 house museum, Seven Hearths.

Free admission to the exhibit and lectures for members; $5 suggested donation for non-members

Hanging an Ammi Phillips painting in Seven Hearths

Final Exhibition Lecture at Seven Hearths

October 22, 1 pm
Lecturer—Marge Smith, Curator

Kent Before Cameras: When Ammi Painted the Town is partially funded by a grant from Connecticut Humanities (CTH), an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources. Learn more by visiting cthumanities.org.


Discussion with David Allaway—author of the definitive texts on Ammi Phillips’ acclaimed body of work.

This discussion was filmed at a special one-night-only, pre-exhibition lecture and cocktail event in the Kent Barns Gallery above House of Books in downtown Kent. KHS trustee and resident history detective, Melanie Marks, and KHS Executive Director Ron Marasco shared the colorful tale of Phillips’ life and work along with some thrilling new discoveries about his time in Kent and his relationship with its citizens. This was followed by an intimate discussion with a special guest of honor author David Allaway.