Temporary Exhibit: Cover Girl Kate

On exhibit November 22, 2023, through May 11, 2024

Despite being an actress known to eschew the press, Katharine Hepburn graced magazine covers for eight straight decades. Collected in this exhibit are a select few of the covers featuring Miss Hepburn from the 1930s through the 2000s.

These magazines not only trace the trajectory of her career, from fresh faced starlet to the grand dame of American acting, but also reflect major historical events and cultural shifts in American life over the past century. 

In these magazines, articles on Kate are found alongside reports on farm bills during the Great Depression, editorials about Joseph McCarthy, features debating the role of women in the workforce, warnings about the emerging AIDS crisis, and reviews of the first Harry Potter film.

Temporary Exhibit: The Importance of Being Kate & Ernest

On exhibit May 21, 2023, through November 21, 2023

Katharine Hepburn and playwright Ernest Thompson worked together on two productions—the Academy Award-winning film On Golden Pond and the Broadway play The West Side Waltz. This exhibit features original costumes worn by Hepburn in both productions, an original oil painting by Henry Fonda, as well as photos, awards, and other items associated with these productions.

Temporary Exhibit: Costuming Kate in the Studio System

On exhibit November 12, 2022, through May 21, 2023

This exhibit highlighted three dresses on loan from costume collector John Davey. Each dress was designed by well-known costume designers of the day and were created specifically for Katharine Hepburn. Featuring a beige crepe dressing robe designed by Walter Plunkett and worn in the film Adam’s Rib (1949; a brown and tan plaid linen day coat designed by Irene and worn in the film State of the Union (1948), and a bronze silk coat dress designed by Charles Le Maire and worn in the film Desk Set (1957). Also on display was Katharine Hepburn’s contract from the film Desk Set (1957).

Temporary Exhibit: Pants!

On exhibit November 21, 2021, through November 12, 2022

Revered as a fashion icon, Kate received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fashion Designers of America in 1985. She was elegant and glamorous, but most of all she was practical. She adopted menswear and pants as her preferred look early on and often commissioned favorite costume designers to create tailored pants and other personal wardrobe pieces.

The Kate is generously sponsored by:

  • Pasta Vita
  • Saybrook Point Resort & Marina
  • Damon Wealth Management Group, Ameriprise Private Wealth Advisory Practice
  • Coburn Financial Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  • Sennheiser