Understanding Katharine S. Day’s Identity: Interpreting Sexuality in early 20th-Century New England

Four Case Studies in LGBTQIA+ History

March 2, 2023
Virtual event. 12-1:30 pm


Woman in purple reading newspaper: painting by Katharine Seymour Day

          How do historians interpret historical relationships that appear to our 21st-century eyes as LGBTQIA+ if the people in question did not self-identify?  How do we design responsible guidelines for museum storytelling keeping in mind the complexity of suppressed and hidden histories—as well as the wishes of the subjects?



          Join us as we share for the first-time new research on Katharine Seymour Day (1870-1964), the founding preservationist of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Panelists include the Stowe Center (Hartford, CT), CT Landmark’s Palmer-Warner House (East Haddam, CT), the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum (South Berwick, ME), and the Gibson House Museum (Boston, MA).




          In this program, museum professionals interpreting LGBTQIA+ history in New England will share insights and challenges in the work. Our goal is to better understand Katharine Seymour Day’s identity within the history of gender/female sexuality in the early 20th-century, how it might have informed her activism as a preservationist and promoter of women’s rights, and in concert with other sites engaged in similar interpretive work.




Registration is open.




Featured panelists:



Susan Ferentinos, PhD is a public history researcher, writer, and consultant, specializing in project management for historical organizations and LGBTQIA+ and women’s history. She works with many historic sites and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center on a CT Humanities funded project titled Understanding Katharine Seymour Day’s Identity: Interpreting Women’s Sexuality in the early 20th Century.



Shaelyn Amaio, Public Engagement Manager at Connecticut Landmarks.: interpreting the relationship between Frederic Palmer and his partner, Howard Metzger, from the mid-20th century.



Marilyn Keith Daly, Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum Site Manager, Maine: interpreting Jewett and Annie Fields’s 19th-century “Boston marriage.”



Meghan Gelardi Holmes, Gibson House Museum Curator, Boston; interpreting museum founder Charlie Gibson Jr.’s queer life in early 20th century Boston.



This program was made possible in part by the generosity of Anne Stanback and Charlotte Kinlock.



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Image, top: Woman reading newspaper by Katharine S. Day, undated.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, CT.

Location Virtual
Doors Open 12:00 pm
Program 12:00-1:30 pm