Katharine Hepburn Museum opens at ‘The Kate’ in Old Saybrook

Katherine Hepburn Museum opens at 'The Kate'
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - The late, great actor Katharine Hepburn may be gone but she’s certainly not forgotten.

A museum showcasing her life and career officially opened Monday in her hometown of Old Saybrook.

Katharine Hepburn was a huge part of this community, and now The Kate is sharing that story in the newly opened 1200 square foot Katharine Hepburn Museum.

Thanks to a dedicated staff and numerous donations of Miss Hepburn’s personal items including clothing, costumes, photos, home movies and memorabilia, you can learn more about this world-renowned actress, especially by reading her handwritten letters.

“For her, her parents and family are everything. They mean everything to her, and I felt that when I was reading it and transcribing it, it’s just amazing to have that sense of family,” said Robin Andreoli, Director of Development at the museum.

There’s a 1912 letter to Santa, asking for dolls, bed clothes, a wristwatch and three rail electric train.

The U.S. Senate was on-board Monday’s opening ceremony with a special recognition to the museum’s chair and museum coordinator.

While the museum is housed on the first floor of The Kate , today the theater upstairs is thriving with 266 shows last year.

“People are coming and we’re so appreciative that we got to hit the ground running strong,” said Brett Elliott, Executive Director of the Kate.

“When the Kate built a museum, it’s good for the town. It’s good for the economy of Main Street,” said Carl Fortuna, First Selectman.

The sidewalk outside is a who’s who in the entertainment world, while inside is a peek behind the curtain of the real Katharine Hepburn.

Home movies show the Hurricane of ‘38 that leveled the Hepburn summer homestead and Kate rebuilding it bigger and better.

Museum Docent Bunnie Lubf loves to tell visitors the story about Miss Hepburn’s and her quote about wearing pants.

“I realized long ago that skirts are hopeless. Anytime I hear a man say he prefers a woman in a skirt, I say, try one, try the skirt,” Lubf said.

“She championed many efforts in Old Saybrook and she was sort of an unsung hero she was Katherine Hepburn and very popular but she supported things in her own way,” said Elliott.

Thanks to a special grant from the governor’s office, The Kate Museum will have expanded hours this summer.

For more information, click here.

Kate’s brownie recipe:

Kate's brownie recipe
Kate's brownie recipe(The Kate Museum)