Nichols House Museum

Nichols House Museum The Nichols House Museum will be closed during September and October for preservation and conservation work.
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The Nichols House Museum's mission is: To preserve and interpret the 1804 townhouse that was from 1885 until 1960 the home of Rose Standish Nichols, landscape gardener, suffragist and pacifist. The house was built by Jonathan Mason and is attributed to Charles Bulfinch. The museum educates visitors by providing a unique glimpse into the domestic life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries on Boston's historic Beacon Hill. We offer guided tours on the hour of the historic home.

We’re rounding out #PreservationMonth with this image of the Museum exterior taken earlier today. The house is the bigge...
05/28/2020

We’re rounding out #PreservationMonth with this image of the Museum exterior taken earlier today. The house is the biggest object in our collection! Today, our curator, who has been working-from-home, visited the Museum to collect data on the temperature and relative humidity—important environmental information to monitor and manage for the long term preservation of the collection and historic building.

55 Mount Vernon Street and the adjoining row houses (51, 53 and 57) date to 1804 and are attributed to Boston architect Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844). The architecture of 55 Mount Vernon Street is Federal in style with later Greek Revival additions. Throughout the 19th century, many of the earlier Beacon Hill facades were updated with newly fashionable architectural details, such as ornate doorways, mansard roofs, and bay windows. 55 Mount Vernon, however, is the best-preserved of the early rowhouses, retaining much of its original 1804 design. The four-story brick building is one room deep and two rooms wide, divided by a central stairwell. While brick buildings were relatively rare in the 18th century (although occasionally found in urban centers), brick became increasingly popular by 1800 and the Flemish bond pattern of alternating stretchers and headers observed at 55 Mount Vernon Street is a common characteristic of Federal design. Other Federal elements repeated elsewhere in Bulfinch architecture include the painted stringcourse, recessed arches, lintels, and receding fenestrations. The Greek Revival portico was added in the1830s.

#federalarchitecture #beaconhill #flemishbond #bricktownhouse #neoclassicalarchitecture #neoclassical #charlesbulfinch #housemuseum #historichousemuseum #nationalpreservationmonth #museumpreservation

May is Preservation Month! There’s A LOT that goes on behind the scenes at the Nichols House Museum, much of which conce...
05/14/2020

May is Preservation Month! There’s A LOT that goes on behind the scenes at the Nichols House Museum, much of which concerns the long-term preservation of our 1804 townhouse attributed to architect Charles Bulfinch. This photo is from last fall at the height (pun intended) of our Collections Conservation Project. The CCP replaced the outdated climate control system with a new system appropriate for the heating, cooling, and dehumidifying needs of a museum collection, as well as building envelope upgrades to improve energy efficiency. We never said it was all glamor and glitz! This scaffolding was installed in the back courtyard next to the early 19th-century shed that survives behind the townhouse. A big thanks to all who contributed to this project, from donors, big and small, to workers—it takes many hands! #preservationmonth #preservation #historicpreservation #historichousemuseum

05/05/2020

Today, the Nichols House Museum is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of unity and giving in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. While 55 Mount Vernon Street is currently closed in the interest of public health and safety, we remain dedicated to bridging the gap between history and the present.

By giving to the Nichols House Museum on this global day of giving, you will help us to sustain our mission and to continue to build and engage our community—both digitally and on Beacon Hill when it is safe to reopen. We look forward to seeing you soon and we are keeping you in our thoughts through these uncertain times. Thank you for keeping us in yours.

Visit our website at www.nicholshousemusuem.org to make a donation to our Annual Appeal.

05/04/2020

While the Nichols House Museum continues to be closed due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, we are hopeful that we will be able to re-open over the coming months. We will continue to closely follow state and federal requirements and recommendations in that regard so please check the Museum's website and social media for up to date information.

Happy Spring! This pillowcase embroidery done by Rose Standish Nichols ca. 1900 is currently out for conservation work. ...
03/20/2020

Happy Spring! This pillowcase embroidery done by Rose Standish Nichols ca. 1900 is currently out for conservation work. The vibrant colors seen here are preserved on the reverse side of the pillowcase while the exterior has faded greatly.

The historic image shows the pillow in the tapestry room of the Nichols family’s summer home, Mastlands, amid the Cornish Art Colony in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Foremost a garden designer, Rose Nichols favored botanical colors and motifs in her both her craft as well as her interior design work. She worked in historic embroidery and needlework styles reflective of Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival trends.

03/12/2020

The Nichols House Museum has made the decision to close to the public for tours and public programs for the remainder of the month of March. The safety of our visitors, members, volunteers, and staff is of immediate concern, and given the current situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and the state of emergency recently declared in Massachusetts, we feel it is necessary to take this step. We will reassess at the end of the month about plans for reopening later this spring.

Thank you for your patience as the weeks unfold. Please check our website for updated information on programs and future opening hours.

Nichols House Museum's cover photo
03/12/2020

Nichols House Museum's cover photo

What a wonderful year we've had! Thank you all so much for your support. We wish you a very happy New Year and hope to s...
12/31/2019

What a wonderful year we've had! Thank you all so much for your support. We wish you a very happy New Year and hope to see you in the next decade!

We wish you a very happy holiday with family and friends. We will be closed for tours on Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, ...
11/27/2019

We wish you a very happy holiday with family and friends. We will be closed for tours on Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov. 29. Regular tours will resume on Saturday, Nov. 30!

Last night our Patron members enjoyed a wonderful private tour of "Women Take the Floor" with MFA curator Nonie Gadsden!...
11/15/2019

Last night our Patron members enjoyed a wonderful private tour of "Women Take the Floor" with MFA curator Nonie Gadsden! So many beautiful and moving works of art.

One of our favorites was "Self Portrait: The Algerian Tunic" by Polly Thayer, 1927. Rose Nichols had her portrait painted by Polly Thayer a few years after this, and you can come see the painting on one of our tours!

For any information about the Patron Program or our upcoming events, please visit our website or contact the Museum.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

We are temporarily CLOSED during the months of September and October as we implement climate control upgrades. We will r...
09/03/2019

We are temporarily CLOSED during the months of September and October as we implement climate control upgrades. We will reopen to the public on November 1, 2019. In the meantime, visit our website to learn more about our upcoming programs and events being held offsite at partner institutions!

http://nicholshousemuseum.org/programs_events.php

On Monday we visited the Cornish Art Colony including Aspet, the home of Augustus and Augusta Saint-Gaudens. The famed s...
08/23/2019

On Monday we visited the Cornish Art Colony including Aspet, the home of Augustus and Augusta Saint-Gaudens. The famed sculptor married Elizabeth Homer Nichols’s younger sister Augusta who was an artist in her own right. The current exhibition at @saintgaudensnps focuses on Augusta’s life and work. Ultimately, it was her uncle that proved to be a major influence on Rose Nichols’ career. We also visited Mastands, the Nichols family’s nearby summer estate. Not a bad Monday at the office!

#saintgaudensnhs #augustussaintgaudens #augustasaintgaudens #saintgaudens #aspet #cornishartcolony #rosestandishnichols #nicholshousemuseum

It was a beautiful morning for Nichols House Museum members to tour the Longfellow House and Garden! The Colonial Reviva...
06/12/2019

It was a beautiful morning for Nichols House Museum members to tour the Longfellow House and Garden! The Colonial Revival garden was designed by Martha Brookes Hutcheson and Ellen Biddle Shipman, a colleague and friend of Rose Standish Nichols. Thanks to Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site for a great visit!

We are thrilled to announce that the Museum has received a $125,000 matching Capital grant from Mass Cultural Council's ...
05/17/2019

We are thrilled to announce that the Museum has received a $125,000 matching Capital grant from Mass Cultural Council's Cultural Facilities Fund towards our Collections Conservation Project! Our project will upgrade the outdated climate control system and also improve the building's energy efficiency. These changes ensure the long-term preservation of the building and collection. Thanks, Charlie Baker for supporting the #CulturalFacilities Fund and the Mass Cultural Council!

Thanks to our friends at Wisteria & Rose, the museum is ready for the upcoming Beacon Hill Garden Tour! They have been s...
05/10/2019

Thanks to our friends at Wisteria & Rose, the museum is ready for the upcoming Beacon Hill Garden Tour! They have been so generous as to donate their time to cleaning up the Museum's courtyard, new window boxes, and an upcoming irrigation system, and we could not be more grateful. Check out the finished product below! Wisteria & Rose is a woman-owned and women-run business, which Rose Nichols would have greatly appreciated. Find out more about Rose's experience as a female landscape architect and see some of the gardens she designed at our new exhibit, The Gardens of Rose Standish Nichols, 1890-1930, which opens May 16th!

Independent researcher Rosemary Foy has been volunteering at the Nichols House Museum in preparation for our summer exhi...
03/07/2019
Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum celebrates women of New England horticulture

Independent researcher Rosemary Foy has been volunteering at the Nichols House Museum in preparation for our summer exhibition that will look more closely at the gardens designed by Rose Standish Nichols. We are thrilled to share that she will be speaking about some of this research this coming Saturday at the Arnold Arboretum!
https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/03/harvards-arnold-arboretum-celebrates-women-of-new-england-horticulture/

Many thanks to Rosemary for all of her hard work! Stay tuned for more information about the exhibition and related programming.

In observation of Women’s History Month, the Arnold Arboretum is presenting a seminar March 9 honoring six notable 20th-century New England women in horticulture.

In honor of Rose, Marian, and Margaret Nichols, the Nichols House Museum is pleased to offer free admission to all on Fr...
03/05/2019

In honor of Rose, Marian, and Margaret Nichols, the Nichols House Museum is pleased to offer free admission to all on Friday, March 8th and Saturday, March 9th in celebration of International Women's Day!

Tours will be on the hour, but please note that space is limited so we will operate on a first come, first served basis. We hope to see you there!

#internationalwomensday

Happy Birthday to Augustus Saint-Gaudens! Born #onthisday in 1848 in Dublin, Ireland, Saint-Gaudens is celebrated as one...
03/01/2019

Happy Birthday to Augustus Saint-Gaudens! Born #onthisday in 1848 in Dublin, Ireland, Saint-Gaudens is celebrated as one of America's most important sculptors. The Nichols House Museum is home to three works by Saint-Gaudens, including this exquisite gilded bronze Head of Victory, derived from a study for the Sherman Monument (1892-1903) in Grand Army Plaza in New York. This specific cast is inscribed to Rose Standish Nichols (1872-1960), Saint-Gaudens' favorite niece and the Museum's namesake. Visit the Nichols House Museum to learn more about Saint-Gaudens and the important bond Rose Nichols shared with her artist uncle.
...
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, born in Ireland, 1848-1907, Head of Victory, 1897-1903 (this cast, 1902). Gilded bronze, yellow marble.

Our friends at the Worcester Art Museum are opening their exhibit "Travels with Hiroshige" tomorrow!https://www.worceste...
02/22/2019

Our friends at the Worcester Art Museum are opening their exhibit "Travels with Hiroshige" tomorrow!
https://www.worcesterart.org/exhibitions/hiroshige/
If you can't make it out there this weekend to view his prints, why not stop by the Nichols House Museum to see our two Hiroshige prints acquired by Rose Standish Nichols in 1934!

"Scenes of Yedo," 1840-1858, Hiroshige. Nichols House Museum Collection.

Happy Valentine's Day! This February, we hope you will help us show the Nichols House Museum some love! Our goal is to r...
02/14/2019

Happy Valentine's Day! This February, we hope you will help us show the Nichols House Museum some love! Our goal is to raise $5,000 to support our ongoing preservation and programming initiatives. We've already raised one-fifth of our goal to date! If you would like to contribute, please click the link below to donate, or give us a call at (617) 227-6993. Checks can also be mailed directly to the Museum.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=77FADL5E7YXNG&source=url

Every donation makes a difference, no matter the amount. Thank you for your generosity!

Thank you so much to Stead McAlpin and Company for their work in reproducing our bedroom curtains! It is incredibly exci...
02/01/2019

Thank you so much to Stead McAlpin and Company for their work in reproducing our bedroom curtains! It is incredibly exciting to have these now installed in the Museum. Stop by for one of our general tours to see them for yourself!

We recently did a restoration project for Nichols House Museum in Boston. We scanned, separated and digitally printed their existing curtains that incidentally were originally block printed here in the late 1800's! I have attached some photos of the curtains in-situ at the museum and from the printing.

Barbara Brackman did an interesting blog about the fabric here:

http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2018/06/pheasant-palm-chintz-2-half-whole.html

#steadmcalpin
#blockprinting
#textiles
#steadmcalpinarchives

The Nichols House Museum will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, January 31, due to the frigid temperatures being forecast. W...
01/30/2019

The Nichols House Museum will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, January 31, due to the frigid temperatures being forecast. We will reopen for regular tours on Friday, February 1. Stay warm out there, everyone!

Our Patron members had a wonderful tour with Curator Meghan Melvin at the MFA Boston last night! Meghan kindly pulled ar...
01/18/2019

Our Patron members had a wonderful tour with Curator Meghan Melvin at the MFA Boston last night! Meghan kindly pulled archival materials related to "Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork," before taking us through the exhibition. It was incredibly interesting and informative - we highly recommend a visit to the exhibition! For more information about our membership program, please see our website. Thank you, Meghan!

Happy New Year! As we look forward to the upcoming year, we invite you to give to the Nichols House Museum's Annual Appe...
01/04/2019

Happy New Year!

As we look forward to the upcoming year, we invite you to give to the Nichols House Museum's Annual Appeal. The Nichols House recently earned a mark of distinction through accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. Your gift can help us to maintain the highest standards of professional practice in all areas of museum operations.

Together we can ensure that the Nichols House Museum remains a vibrant cultural resource in the Greater Boston community. Thank you for your generosity!

Click below to donate:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=SRM49GEPSVEVU&source=url

This Christmas Eve, the singing of Christmas carols to the pealing of English handbells will echo throughout Beacon Hill...
12/21/2018

This Christmas Eve, the singing of Christmas carols to the pealing of English handbells will echo throughout Beacon Hill for the 94th year. The Beacon Hill Bell Ringers will delight those gathering with traditional Christmas favorites performed on the original handbells. The Ringers will hand out song books and to accompany the singing of "Jingle Bells," sleigh bells will be given to children.

The tradition began in 1924 with Margaret Nichols Shurcliff, who was raised at 55 Mount Vernon Street, which is currently home to the Nichols House Museum. On Christmas Eve of that year, Margaret and her children, including her youngest daughter, nine-year-old Alice, rang Christmas carols in front of their home, then, joined by a joyful gathering of neighbors, strolled the streets of Beacon Hill ringing carols. This celebration grew in such popularity that Margaret's family has continued for many years, passing bell ringing down to new generations. Some of her grandchildren still observe the Christmas Eve ringing on Louisburg Square, the perennial home of this tradition on Beacon Hill.

All are welcome to attend this free event- dress warmly and bring a small light to read the carols!

If you would like more information about the program, please contact Pamela Madigan of the Beacon Hill Bell Ringers at 617-680-3393

Holiday Gift Baskets are available at the Nichols House Museum! Our "Afternoon Tea" Basket includes a Blue Willow patter...
12/06/2018

Holiday Gift Baskets are available at the Nichols House Museum! Our "Afternoon Tea" Basket includes a Blue Willow pattern teapot, a tin of Nichols House Museum Blend tea, and a lovely tea strainer. Our "English Pleasure Gardens" Basket includes a copy of "English Pleasure Gardens" by Rose Standish Nichols, our English Pleasure Gardens tote bag, and a set of 8 notecards featuring designs from "English Pleasure Gardens." To purchase a basket, stop by the Museum or give us a call!

Many thanks to the Boston Herald for including our Holiday House Tour on their list of holiday events! We are so excited...
11/26/2018
Celebrate the season with fun, festive events

Many thanks to the Boston Herald for including our Holiday House Tour on their list of holiday events! We are so excited for this festive annual event! http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/arts_culture/2018/11/celebrate_the_season_with_fun_festive_events

Tickets can be purchased here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beacon-hill-holiday-house-tour-tickets-51308282454

Greater Boston is all about the holiday spirit — there’s practically a celebration of the season every day! Here are some great, can’t-miss events to make your days merry, bright and fun-filled:Faneuil Hall Marketplace 4 South Market St.faneuilhallmarketplace.comHighlights of the jam-packed Ho...

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55 Mount Vernon St
Boston, MA
02108

Red or Green Line to Park Street; Red Line to Charles/MGH

Opening Hours

Thursday 11:00 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(617) 227-6993

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