My Favorites

Connecticut Explored magazine brings culture and history to life. In this month’s issue are amazing stories of artists and writers.

Partners include the Hartford Public Library, The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, the Mark Twain House & Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, State Historic Preservation Office. 

Hartford Explored

Artist, photographer, and Trinity College professor of fine arts Pablo Delano, a transplant from San Juan, Puerto Rico, beautifully captures that live/love relationship with place in his intimate and personal photographs of Hartford in the CT Explored  Summer 2021 issue.

Delano observes that the capital city “boasts extraordinary ethnic diversity and fluidity,” and that “this cultural diversity resonates in the built environment, which is continually adapted and repurposed to suit the needs and tastes of the newer populations.”

As a result, “the grays, muted ochres, and brick reds of Old New England succumb to a vibrant Caribbean palette of neon greens, acid oranges, and piercing yellows.”

He thought his book, Hartford Seen (Wesleyan University Press, 2020), was the end of the project but he continues to find inspiration—during COVID from the front seat of his car. And so his work continues, because, he writes, the city’s built environment “tells a story of a brash new beauty but also of respect for historical form. Layers of brick, paint, and plaster reveal the city’’s layers of history. The buildings whisper to me every day, as I drive or walk the streets, about the complex human dramas they have witnessed——fascinating stories for those willing to open their eyes and ears. Without immediately realizing it, I set about to make pictures that gave the buildings a voice.”

Grating the Nutmeg

How ofur Connecticut inventors helped change the way we live, think and act.

State Historian Walt Woodward talks with author and materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez about her award-winning and highly acclaimed book The Alcehmy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another and author of Summer 2020’s “Sarah Boone Invents A Better Ironing Board.” On virtually every national Top Science Book of the Year List for 2020, The Alchemy of Us is a wonderfully readable, lively, smart and witty account of the development of eight inventions that have not only transformed the way we live, but have transformed us, too. Not surprisingly, half of those inventions have important Connecticut connections.

Ramirez and Woodward discuss the roles Samuel F. Morse, Edwin Land, Ansonia’s William Wallace and New Haven’s George Coy [See “Coy Takes the Telephone to the Masses,” Winter 2020-2021] played in creating inventions that have helped the world convey, see, capture and think in new and different ways. It’s a fascinating and surprising story fest with one of the science world’s best story tellers.