Congratulations to WPC board member Arianne Kolb for the Women of Waveny exhibit that she co-curated along with Micaela Porta earlier this year at the New Canaan Museum and Historical Society. The show explored and celebrated women’s work in the creation of New Canaan’s Waveny House and Park and beyond. The show highlighted two renowned, innovative artists and three enlightened patrons whose collective and complementary efforts – spanning nearly 150 years – still resonate today.
Within Waveny Park, a bronze nymph by sculptor Abastenia St. Leger Eberle adorns the spouting fountain in the formal gardens. The sculpture was installed in 1918 and served as the only outdoor sculpture on the Waveny property. Eberle would have been a natural choice for such a commission by the Lapham family since she was well known in New York with exhibits in top galleries and a sculpture acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Original bronzes by Eberle, on loan from museums and private collections, were exhibited together with images reproduced from photographer Frances Johnston’s archive in the Library of Congress. Also featured were historical ephemera and the stories of the Lapham women, who commissioned, cherished, and later bequeathed Eberle and Johnston’s Waveny work to New Canaan. Photographs of the fountain by Torrance York and of the Herter Looms murals by Julia O-Dowd highlighted and vividly captured Waveny’s decorative features.
The Waveny Park Conservancy will be restoring the Lotus Fountain, repairing the water elements that are no longer working and celebrating this iconic Waveny figure over the course of the next year.