The museum relies on Gilded Age Gala fundraising to restore programs and carpeting

TROY — The Hart Cluett Museum’s resources have been a treasure trove for HBO’s ‘The Gilded Age’ team, and now the nonprofit is counting on its ‘Gilded Age Gala’ to raise funds for its own programs and restore some of its buildings at the end of 19e century chandelier.

“It’s a very important fundraiser when you’re taking a two-year break,” said Michèle Vennard, gala chair.

This is the first time since 2019 that the gala will take place entirely in person. The museum’s first goal is to raise $45,000 before dinner on September 29 to restore its in-person operations and educational programs.

The second fundraiser will take place on the evening of Sept. 29 “Gilded Age Gala” at downtown Franklin Plaza, when attendees will be asked to raise their hands to pledge an additional $40,000.

Gala sponsorship and ticket purchase information is available on the museum’s website at

The additional $40,000 will go towards the creation of 19e century-style carpet that sat in the parlors of the Hart Cluett for nearly 70 years, from the late 1840s to the early 20th century. The new rug will be similar in pattern and style to what covered floors during the Gilded Age period.

“He would have been there through the Golden Age. It will be authentic for the periods,” said Kathy Sheehan, a Troy and Rensselaer County historian based at the museum.

The carpet will cost $36,000 to manufacture. It will take an additional $3,000 to $4,000 to install. The carpet was installed in strips and then sewn together, Sheehan said.

The museum provided information and suggestions to the production team of the popular TV series “The Gilded Age” while filming in Troy in 2021. Troy replaced 19th century New York City due to survivability of the architecture of this period.

Gala attendees will have the option of appearing in Gilded Age dress styles if they choose, said Karin Krasevac-Lenz, the museum’s former executive director, who returned temporarily for the fundraising effort.

“It’s about coming out strong after the disastrous two years of COVID,” Krasevac-Lenz said.

The museum will display jewelry, clothing, fans and other artifacts from its collection that were used during the Gilded Age.

“There was a whole fan language that opened up in the Golden Age,” Vennard said of the cultural touches that aren’t apparent without studies by local museums.

HBO’s production team returned to Troy to continue scouting locations and planning filming times. They were recently in Cohoes and Troy reviewing locations that are set to appear in the popular series’ second season.