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Ridgefield museum hopes to draw in Downton Abbey fans

Friday is Fairfield County Gives day.  It's a 24-hour online giving day sponsored by the Fairfield County Community Foundation for non-profits in the area. 


One of those participating in the fund drive is the Keeler Tavern Museum.  They're hoping to attract Downton Abbey fans.  The Ridgefield museum owns the court ensemble worn by architect, Cass Gilbert's wife when the couple was presented to England’s King George V in 1925. 


Museum Executive Director Hildi Grob says the gown is in dire need of restoration.


The mauve silk brocade dress--mostly sewn by hand--has lace inserts, clusters of beads and rhinestones and a 6 foot train.  The outfit also includes a headdress and fan made with ostrich feathers.  The project, along with a custom mannequin for the display, is going to cost $5,000. 


The Museum is also repurposing what is now the dining room into a Cass Gilbert Museum showcasing photos, documents and artifacts that tell the story of his life in Ridgefield.  He designed the Woolworth Building in New York City and the Supreme Court Building in Washington DC and others.


160 people giving $25 each means the Museum will meet its goal because the Board of Directors has pledged a matching $1,000.


Many non-profits in the Greater Danbury area are participating in this fund drive.  They have links on their websites as well as a place on the site to donate to the organization of choice.

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