For those with demanding fulltime careers, getting to a museum during the day can be a challenge -- even on weekends.

The Fairfield Museum & History Center says it understands the pressures of modern life. So to make museum-going a little easier, it has come up with "Museum After Dark," an occasional series of free early-evening gatherings. The next one, featuring wine and cheese, is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Meri Erickson, a museum spokeswoman, said the events are similar to art gallery openings, at which "members of the community come together to network and meet folks."

"Sometimes we have a lecture or a talk ... usually some type of theme," she said.

More Information

Thursday, July 31, 6-8 p.m. Free.
Fairfield Museum & History Center, 370 Beach Road.
203-259-1598, www.fairfield

"This one will be purely social," she added.

The programs are geared to attract return visitors who are eager to view the museum's most recent exhibitions, which change throughout the year, she explained.

Now on view is "Picturing Fairfield: The Photographs of Mabel Osgood Wright," which runs through Sept. 16.

Wright's name may be familiar to area residents: The early 20th-century conservationist helped to found the Connecticut Audubon Society and the Birdcraft Sanctuary as a bird refuge in Fairfield; served on the national board of the Audubon Society, and wrote popular field guides on the region's wildlife.

Thursday's "After Dark" is co-sponsored with the state Audubon Society, whose members also will be on hand.

The exhibit, presented as part of the museum's continuing celebration of the town's 375th anniversary, provides a window to the region's agrarian past through Wright's camera lens -- all in "living color." It features a selection of about two dozen poster-board blow-ups of Wright's original "lantern" slides, which she took to accompany her lectures around the country in the early 1900s.

Her black-and-white rectangular glass slides were then hand-painted in colorful hues in the photography studio of John D. Scott in New York City, explained museum Curator Andrea Renner.