March 29

The Nichols House Museum Lecture Series Presents:

Brock Jobe, Thomas Chippendale: The Man and the Myth

This year marks the 300th anniversary of Britain’s most celebrated furniture maker, Thomas Chippendale. His designs reached both sides of the Atlantic through a groundbreaking pattern book, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director of 1754. During his lifetime he oversaw one of the largest cabinetmaking and upholstery firms in London, and eventually his name defined an entire style of eighteenth-century furniture. Join Brock Jobe, Winterthur’s Professor Emeritus of American Decorative Arts, as he recounts the remarkable story of Chippendale’s career and takes us inside some of his greatest works. Along the way, we will confront the truth as well as the fiction associated with this fascinating character.

In 2000 Brock Jobe was appointed professor of American decorative arts in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture after a 28-year career as a museum curator and administrator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Colonial Williamsburg, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England), and Winterthur. Between 2010 and 2014, Brock co-directed the collaborative project, Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture, which united eleven institutions in a celebration of Bay State furniture-making. His newest publication, Crafting Excellence: The Furniture of Nathan Lumbard and His Circle, which he co-authored with Christie Jackson and Clark Pearce, appeared in January 2018. Brock is a recipient of the President’s Award from Old Sturbridge Village, the Award of Merit from the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America, and the Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts. He retired from his professorship in May 2015, but retains an office at Winterthur and continues to study, write, and lecture about American furniture.

Ticket information and event details forthcoming.

February 15

Nichols after Dark: Corsets and Courtships

Ticket information and event details forthcoming.

January 20

A New Leaf for the New Year: Tea Tasting with the Mark T. Wendell Tea Company

Ticket information and event details forthcoming.

December 10

Holiday House Tour

Time: 12:00-4:00pm
Location: Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

For over twenty years, the Nichols House Museum has organized and hosted the Holiday House Tour of Beacon Hill. This event offers the public a rare opportunity to experience a select group of remarkable private residences. Each year, the tour showcases outstanding examples of historic preservation, as well as creative modern interpretation and adaptation in a broad range of architectural and interior design styles.

The Nichols House Museum invites you to explore Peace and Prosperity: Rose Standish Nichols and Tea, a pop-up exhibition specially curated for the 2017 Holiday House Tour. Among her other achievements, Rose Standish Nichols was famous for hosting elaborate tea parties where she would cultivate lively conversation and promote world peace. Tea parties were a vehicle through which Rose Nichols furthered social and political agendas while also showcasing her collection of fine porcelain and silver. This exhibition will highlight collection items related to tea service while examining the culture and society in which Rose Nichols entertained. We hope the 2017 Holiday House Tour will be just your cup of tea!

The Holiday House Tour generates financial support for the Nichols House Museum's ongoing preservation and programming needs.


Reception from 3-5pm at the Kings Chapel Parish House

If you have purchased tickets and not received them in the mail, they can be picked up at the Nichols House Museum between 11:45am and 4:00pm on the day of the tour. If you wish to purchase tickets on the day of the tour, please note that this can be done only at the Museum and the ticket price will increase to $150.

December 5

Traditional Beacon Hill Eggnog Party

Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Location: Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Join us for a cup of cheer and delicious hors d'oeuvres with friends and neighbors of the Nichols House.

November 16

The Nichols House Museum Lecture Series Presents:

William Martin, The Back Bay: from Mudflat to Landfill to Modern Metropolis

Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, 02116

This is a ticketed event and advanced registration is required. Please register here.

Please join us and award-winning author William Martin for a talk on Boston's Back Bay. Using photographs he discovered while researching his first best seller, Back Bay, Martin will trace the development of this famous Boston neighborhood. Following the movement of the fictional Pratt family from the waterfront, over Pemberton Hill, and on to the Back Bay, Martin's photo presentation will examine the details in old and rare images of nineteenth-century Boston, revealing the city as you may never have seen it before.


The lecture will begin at 6:00pm, followed by a light reception.

Please note that this lecture is limited to 75 participants. Reserve your spot now!

William Martin is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels, a PBS documentary, book reviews, magazine articles, and a cult-classic horror movie, too. His first Peter Fallon novel, Back Bay, established him as "a master storyteller." He has been following the lives of the great and anonymous in American history ever since and has taken readers from the Pilgrims to 9/11. He was the 2005 recipient of the prestigious New England Book Award, given to an author "whose body of work stands as a significant contribution to the culture of the region." And in 2015, the USS Constitution Museum gave him the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for "patriotic pride, artful scholarship, and an eclectic interest in the sea and things maritime." He lives near Boston with his wife and has three grown children.

October 26

The Nichols House Museum Special Event Series Presents:

Nichols after Dark: Witches and Wives' Tales

Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, 02108

This is a ticketed event and advanced registration is required. Please register here.

Nichols after Dark is the newest addition to the Nichols House Museum’s Special Event Series. Join us on October 26th for an after-hours experience that will explore the Victorian world of Spiritualism, superstition and mourning, and learn about our ancestral connection to the Salem Witch Trials. Moving through the period rooms, guests will encounter overlooked objects in the museum collection that have spooky stories to tell. This will be a unique opportunity to visit the Nichols House Museum at night.


Apple cider and apple cider donuts to follow, generously donated by Red Apple Farm.

September 21

Julie Linsdell and Georgia Linsdell Enders Research Fellowship Lecture:

Rachel C. Kirby, "From Maids to Mary King: Stories and Spaces of the Nichols House Employees"

Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Tickets: free and open to the public, but advanced registration is REQUIRED. To register, please email info@nicholshousemuseum.org or call 617-227-6993.

Join Rachel C. Kirby, the Nichols House Museum's Julie Linsdell and Georgia Linsdell Enders Research Fellow, as she discusses her research and writing focusing on what happened with the servants behind the scenes at 55 Mount Vernon Street.

Since the initial construction of the building now known as "The Nichols House Museum," the structure at 55 Mount Vernon Street has been shaped and altered by and for service. Today, the house is most known as the former dwelling of the Nichols family: Arthur, Elizabeth, Rose, Marian, and Margaret. In the seventy-five years of Nichols' ownership, however, the house was also the residence and site of employment of countless other individuals whose names, positions, tasks, and stories are scattered throughout the Nichols family account books, diaries, and letters. The house itself displays signs of this less-remembered group of individuals, as evidenced in the layered utilitarian alterations in the kitchen, the rear service buildings, and the fourth floor - the initial site of the maids' rooms. This paper combines archival and architectural research to tell a history of domestic employment within the Nichols House. From the early alterations the Nichols Family made to accommodate a butler's pantry to the kitchen updates Rose Nichols carried out after hiring Mary King, this paper illustrates that the lives and labor of those employed at the Nichols House were fundamental to the daily occurrences on the site and the physical fabric of the house itself.

Rachel Kirby is a PhD student in the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University. She holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses primarily on memory, art, material and visual culture, and the American South. She is interested in how communities and individuals construct and interact with ideas of the past through the creation, preservation, interpretation, and circulation of objects, stories, and spaces. In particular, she is interested in the ways that race, class, and privilege influence remembering and forgetting. Her research has covered a variety of topics - from the Thompson Island Farm School to Planters' Mr. Peanut logo - all in an effort to better understand the ways that 19th and 20th-century objects negotiate ideas of history, place, and identity.

August 24

Panel discussion:

Makers' Marks; Discussion Panel

Presented in partnership with the Society of Arts and Crafts.
Time: 6:30-9:00pm
Location: Society of Arts and Crafts, 100 Pier 4, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02210

Panel:
Luiza deCamargo, Assistant Curator, Society of Arts and Crafts
Dina Deitsch, Director and Chief Curator of the Tufts and SMFA Art Galleries, and Makers' Marks exhibition juror
Maggie Dimock, Assistant Curator, Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center at Saint Anselm College
Emily Zilber, Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Moderator:
Laura Cunningham, Programs and Collections Coordinator, Nichols House Museum

Tickets: Free and open to the public, but advanced registration is REQUIRED. Please register here.

As part of the thematic programming associated with the Nichols House Museum's current exhibit, "Makers' Marks, Art Craft and the Fiber of Change," four art historians will discuss their research on contemporary craft practices.

The Nichols sisters came of age during the Arts and Crafts movement (1880 - 1910), which called for a return to handcrafts for the sake of beauty, quality and social progress. These values impacted the educations, careers and politics of the Nichols sisters. Letters, memoirs and objects in the museum's collection tell the story of their work with sewing, pottery and woodworking. Beyond being object makers, the Nichols sisters utilized their skills to educate and advocate for people from diverse backgrounds.

The participants in this panel will discuss their own research and experience decorative arts and hand-making in order to re-interpret the ideas that were important to the Nichols family in a contemporary context.

June 22

Panel discussion:

Making Marks; Artists Discuss their Practices

Presented in partnership with the North Bennet Street School.
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: North Bennet Street School, 150 North Street, Boston, MA 02109

Panelists are artists Beth Ireland, Maria Molteni and Ben Ryterband
Moderated by Miguel Gomez-Ibanez, President of the North Bennet Street School.

Tickets: Free and open to the public, but advanced registration is REQUIRED. Please register here.

As part of the thematic programming associated with the Nichols House Museum’s current exhibit, Makers’ Marks, Art Craft and the Fiber of Change, three artists working in the craft arena will discuss their art practice.

The Nichols sisters came of age during the Arts and Crafts movement (1880 - 1910), which called for a return to handcrafts for the sake of beauty, quality and social progress. These values impacted the educations, careers and politics of the Nichols sisters. Letters, memoirs and objects in the museum’s collection tell the story of their work with sewing, pottery and woodworking. Beyond being object makers, the Nichols sisters utilized their skills to educate and advocate for people from diverse backgrounds.

The panelists and moderator continue to investigate the ideas that were important to the Nichols family. By harnessing today’s spirit of making, activism and community engagement, these artists build on the Nichols family’s history and the role of craft as a platform for discourse and activism in contemporary society.

June 1

Spring Fête

Time: 6:00-8:30pm
Location: Boston Athanaeum, 10 ½ Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Tickets start at $150

Join us for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a silent auction at this annual fundraiser, as friends of the Nichols House celebrate the arrival of Spring. Proceeds support conservation efforts of the museum. Event tickets can also be purchased by calling the museum at (617) 227-6993.

Tickets:

May 24

NHM Book Club Series Presents:

Milkshake, a novel by Joanna Weiss

Light Refreshments will be served.

Time: 5:50-7:00pm
Location: Nichols House Museum: 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Tickets: $10 members, $15 nonmembers

We will be joined by author Joanna Weiss, who will lead is in a discussion of her debut novel.

When she tries to feed her baby in an art museum, new mother Lauren Bruce suffers a wardrobe malfunction — and becomes a poster child for the nursing wars. A politician, running for Massachusetts governor, enlists Lauren to help her win the women's vote. Nursing advocates want to make her a true believer. And a group called the MOMs — for "Mothers on Modesty" — wants everyone to cover up. Now, Lauren has to decide where she stands....

Joanna Weiss has been an op-ed columnist, political reporter, debate moderator, and TV critic for the Boston Globe. She is a commentator on Boston's WGBH and WBZ and a writer whose work has appeared in Politico, Slate, Pacific Standard, The Economist, and the live show Listen to Your Mother.

Her first novel, Milkshake, is a social satire about the politics of motherhood, and is available on Kindle and in print.

Tickets:

May 18

NHM Lecture Series Presents:

Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik, "Heroism and Hubris: Concrete Architecture in Boston"

Tour of City Hall to follow.

Presented in Partnership with the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: Boston City Hall, Mezzanine, 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201

Tickets: "pay what you will" donation; advanced registration is REQUIRED. Please register here.

The design of the Nichols House Museum is attributed to Charles Bulfinch, whose Massachusetts State House was built with a focus on civil service and public discourse. Completed nearly 200 years later, Boston City Hall is often problematically labeled as “Brutalist.” However, the concrete architecture that transformed Boston during 1960s and 1970s was conceived with progressive-minded intentions that are consistent with Bulfinch’s ethical vision. The recent publication Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston tells the story of a material, a city, and a movement, punctuated with works by the world’s leading architects at the time, including Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, I. M. Pei, Henry Cobb, Gerhard Kallmann and Michael McKinnell, Paul Rudolph, Josep Lluís Sert, The Architects Collaborative, and others. Today, when concrete buildings across the nation are in danger of demolition, Heroic surveys the aspirations of this earlier period and considers anew its legacies—both troubled and inspired.

Two of the book’s authors will present discoveries from their eight years of research. The event will have a particular focus on the site of the discussion, Boston City Hall, one of the most compelling and controversial works of the era. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Boston Landmarks Commission and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. It will be followed by a walking tour for those interested.

Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik are principals of the award-winning architecture and design firm over, under. Their book Heroic received a Graham Foundation grant, honors from the Boston Society of Architects and Historic New England, and was the subject of more than fifty reviews and articles in publications ranging from New York Review of Books to Harvard Design Magazine to Gizmodo. Chris teaches graphic design courses at Northeastern University and directs the pinkcomma gallery in the South End. Mark is a professor of architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology and a member of the Boston Art Commission.

May 9

Annual Meeting Lecture:

Emma Welty "Laborious Days, Margaret Homer Nichols and the Arts and Crafts Movement"

Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Location: Nichols House Museum: 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Free and open to members, but advanced registration is REQUIRED.

Nichols House Museum Head of Collections and Education, Emma Welty, discusses the youngest Nichols sister, Margaret (Nichols) Shurcliff. Shurcliff’s craft practice and carpentry business is the topic of Welty’s recent essay on the subject published in the catalog for the museum’s current exhibition, “Makers’ Marks; Art, Craft and the Fiber of Change”. Learn about the lifelong influence an Arts and Crafts education had on Shurcliff's life, and how her craft practice influenced her social and political activities.

In addition to overseeing collection and education initiatives at the Nichols House Museum, Emma Welty is a contract textile reproduction fabricator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She is also a practicing artist, working primarily in fiber. Welty’s work has been exhibited in local and national group and individual shows, and in several private collections. She is the recipient of a number of awards including the Haystack Mountain School of Craft Summer Conference Scholarship and the Marylin Pappas Award at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Welty is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design where she double majored in the History of Art and Fiber.

To register for this event, please email info@nicholshousemuseum.org or call 617-227-6993.

April 18

Opening Reception for the 2017 Exhibition
“Makers Marks: Art, Craft and the Fiber of Change”

Light Refreshments will be served.

Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Nichols House Museum: 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

This event is at capacity and RSVPs are no longer being accepted.

The Nichols sisters came of age during the Arts and Crafts movement (1880 - 1910), which called for a return to handcrafts for the sake of beauty, quality and social progress. These values impacted the educations, careers and politics of the Nichols sisters. Letters, memoirs and objects in the museum’s collection tell the story of their work with sewing, pottery and woodworking. Beyond being object makers, the Nichols sisters utilized their skills to educate and advocate for people from diverse backgrounds. The museum showcases the Nichols sisters’ accomplishments and tells the story of craft from the Progressive Era to today by presenting works by contemporary craft artists interspersed throughout its historic rooms. By harnessing today’s spirit of making, activism and community engagement, the museum expands its interpretation of the Nichols family’s history and the role of craft as a platform for activism in contemporary society.

April 13

NHM Lecture Series Presents

Karen Corsano and Daniel Williman, "John Singer Sargent in Boston"

Light Refreshments will be served.
Book sale and signing to follow lecture.

Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: New England Historic Genealogical Society: 99-101 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116

Tickets: $10 members, $15 nonmembers

John Singer Sargent was a contemporary of the Nichols family, who were aware of his work throughout the city of Boston and beyond. Rose Standish Nichols has in her postcard collection an image of his painting “In the Generalife”. Boston was a true home town to John Singer Sargent, from his very first solo exhibition in 1889 to the last installation of his murals in 1925. That was because Boston wanted to welcome and honor him, to give him a circle of friends and a succession of portrait subjects to match his professional and social successes in London. Sargent returned the compliment by painting monumental murals – which he considered the highest form of his art – here and nowhere else. The authors have lively stories to tell, in words and pictures, of Sargent’s life and work in Boston.

Until her recent retirement, Karen Corsano was the senior programmer of the Nurses' Health Study and other epidemiological studies at the Channing Laboratory, Boston. Daniel Williman retired in 2007 as professor of Latin and History at Binghamton University in New York State. Since 1991, they have collaborated on studies of Medieval Latin archives and libraries. By 2003, when they married, they were using their archival skills differently, collecting material for their history of John Singer Sargent and Rose-Marie André-Michel.

Following the lecure, Corsano and Williman will be selling and signing copies of their book, John Singer Sargent and His Muse: Painting Love and Loss, a sensitive and compelling biography shedding light on John Singer Sargent’s art through an intimate history of his family. The book features a special focus on his niece and muse, Rose-Marie Ormond, telling her story for the first time.

Copies of the new paperback edition of the book will be available for sale for $24 via cash or check only.

Tickets:

 

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For over fifty years the Nichols House Museum's membership has sustained its preservation efforts, its activities, and its place among the historic houses of Boston. Help us to continue to serve both visitors from around the world and local school groups with innovative, thoughtful programming!

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