I did not think I’d be posting another story on the Westport Museum for History & Culture’s decision to replace the name of the Sheffer Gallery (honoring a family with a long history of philanthropy and volunteerism) with that of Daniel Offutt (whose trust recently gave a large gift).
However, a number of “06880” readers remarked on the irony of a “historical society” turning its back on history.
Now, it appears the exhibition space is not the only place they’re doing that.
For years, the website (interestingly, it’s www.westporthistory.org) included information about many previous exhibits. One reader — who recalls that it went back to 2000 or so — found the descriptions and photos very useful when he was pitching his own exhibit idea, and again in the planning stages once it was accepted.
Now, the “Exhibits” page shows only 3. All were mounted under the current executive director and her staff.
In addition, the “Media” tab shows articles only since December 27, 2017. That one — the oldest — is headlined “Historical Society Names New Executive Director.”
The Westport Historical Society received excellent press coverage over many years. You wouldn’t know it, though, by looking at the website. That history is gone.
Also gone: a list of advisory council members. It was there Tuesday.
In addition, the list of board members on the same page was substantially shorter than the day before.
Yesterday, what appeared to be a link to the advisory council was no longer working. Like the organization’s history prior to 2018, the advisory council too is now invisible.
NOTE: Some readers have wondered why they have not heard the Westport Museum’s side of the story. No one has responded to the Comments section in an official — or even unofficial — capacity. And not a single staff member has contacted me, on or off the record.