The Kentucky Wheelman
The Kentucky Wheelman

Louisville’s Gilded Age was an exciting time … if you happened to be rich and famous. The period between the end of the Civil War to the beginning of World War I was marked by rapid economic growth and fair wages for skilled workers.

Railroads, coal mining and factory work were the leading industries of the day, and things like Prohibition, women’s suffrage and lobbying for an eight-hour work day were hot-button issues.

FHMPhotoGilded Age PosterFrazier History Museum‘s latest exhibit, “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous: Art, Fashion & Luxury in the Gilded Age,” examines how the other half lived — that wealthy minority who didn’t have to lay down tracks or work in a factory. On display are fashionable dresses and accessories, American Impressionist paintings and luxury products that showcase the extravagance of the era and the birth of the modern consumer culture.

To celebrate the exhibit, the museum is hosting “Party Like It’s 1899” on Saturday, Jan. 17, that will showcase the glamorous side of the Gilded Age. There will be live entertainment by Dixieland Solution, The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Louisville and the Kentucky Wheelman, as well as Gilded Age silent films, appetizers and Falls City beer.

The event will run 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, and tickets are $20 ($15 for members). Frazier History Museum is located at 829 W. Main St. For more info, click here or call 753-5663. “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” continues through Feb. 1.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."