Nichols House Museum

Nichols House Museum The Nichols House Museum has reopened for 45-minute tours on Saturdays for groups of up to four visitors from the same household. Tours must be booked in advance.

Visit our website to book your tour and for more information on our COVID procedures. In 1885, Dr. Arthur Nichols and his wife Elizabeth purchased an 1804 townhouse attributed to architect Charles Bulfinch. The house was where their three daughters matured into designers, writers, and social activists. In 1930, Rose Standish Nichols (1872-1960) inherited the property and began laying the plans for

Visit our website to book your tour and for more information on our COVID procedures. In 1885, Dr. Arthur Nichols and his wife Elizabeth purchased an 1804 townhouse attributed to architect Charles Bulfinch. The house was where their three daughters matured into designers, writers, and social activists. In 1930, Rose Standish Nichols (1872-1960) inherited the property and began laying the plans for

Operating as usual

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to add to our canvas and enjoy Hill Fest! Beacon Hill Civic Association, who hosted th...
09/12/2021

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to add to our canvas and enjoy Hill Fest! Beacon Hill Civic Association, who hosted the Fest, was founded in part by our own Marian Clarke Nichols.

This week! Explore the Nichols House Museum from behind-the-scenes with our new tour: Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House...
08/24/2021
Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum - nicholshousemuseum.org

This week! Explore the Nichols House Museum from behind-the-scenes with our new tour: Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum. Thursday at 6:00pm and Sunday at 11:00 and 12:00. Tickets at www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/hidden-spaces-of-the-nichols-house-museum.

What did it take to make the house run in the Victorian era? How do staff manage it’s preservation today? Peek into rooms and spaces not usually on view, take the back stairs, and explore over 200 years of this old house’s secrets. Catch us in September if you can't make it this week.

Explore the Nichols House Museum from behind-the-scenes. What did it take to make the house run in the Victorian era? How do staff manage it’s preservation today? Peek into rooms and spaces not usually on view, take the back stairs, and explore over 200 years of this old house’s secrets.

It's #NationalMiddleChildDay so I present: Marian Clarke Nichols (1873-1963). Her mother once wrote to her, “I fully rea...
08/12/2021

It's #NationalMiddleChildDay so I present: Marian Clarke Nichols (1873-1963). Her mother once wrote to her, “I fully realize that you cannot put yourself forward as much as Rose does, I mean in the way of making acquaintances. Neither can I.” Marian was quieter and less outgoing than either of her sisters, but that didn't stop her from campaigning for state legislature in 1920. She filed her paperwork just one month after women were granted the right to vote, passionate about improving the status of women and the working class. Her campaign slogan was “Public Office is a Public Trust”. She was ultimately unsuccessful, loosing to the incumbent.

Marian also graduated from college, golfed, hiked, and rode horses. She owned a car most of her adult life and lived next door at 57 Mount Vernon after Rose inherited the house. Here she is at age 6 and with her older sister, Rose.

We're excited to welcome more visitors with expanded hours! Reserve tickets below to secure your spot. Tours are usually...
07/27/2021

We're excited to welcome more visitors with expanded hours! Reserve tickets below to secure your spot.

Tours are usually—
Wednesdays: 11:00, 12:00, 1:00
Fridays: 1:00, 2:00
Saturdays: 11:00, 12:00, 1:00
Plus one evening per month- the next one is Tuesday, August 10, 6:00pm.

*Check our website for the most accurate dates and times.* Masks are currently required to enter the museum.

We're excited to welcome more visitors with expanded hours! Reserve tickets below to secure your spot.

Tours are usually—
Wednesdays: 11:00, 12:00, 1:00
Fridays: 1:00, 2:00
Saturdays: 11:00, 12:00, 1:00
Plus one evening per month- the next one is Tuesday, August 10, 6:00pm.

*Check our website for the most accurate dates and times.* Masks are currently required to enter the museum.

In case you missed in it your email (or still need to sign up for our list), here's a round up of what's happening this ...
07/13/2021

In case you missed in it your email (or still need to sign up for our list), here's a round up of what's happening this summer- including a virtual book talk with Kellie Carter Jackson TONIGHT! https://conta.cc/3B9JaFQ

This image is from the Rose Standish Nichols Postcard Collection, PC1.1239, Bathing Beach, Nantucket Mass., 1945.

In case you missed in it your email (or still need to sign up for our list), here's a round up of what's happening this summer- including a virtual book talk with Kellie Carter Jackson TONIGHT! https://conta.cc/3B9JaFQ

This image is from the Rose Standish Nichols Postcard Collection, PC1.1239, Bathing Beach, Nantucket Mass., 1945.

Iris, tulips, and other bulbs were planted in front of the Nichols House by the 1920s. Tulip season might be over, but t...
05/27/2021

Iris, tulips, and other bulbs were planted in front of the Nichols House by the 1920s. Tulip season might be over, but there are still plenty of blooms (inside and out). Come see for yourself! Tours are available on upcoming Saturdays.

This postcard image is one of 1,200 postcards Rose Nichols collected or received over the years. (PC1.218)

We reopen for tours this weekend! There are currently two tours available this Sunday and a few each Saturday after that...
04/15/2021

We reopen for tours this weekend! There are currently two tours available this Sunday and a few each Saturday after that. (Masks and pre-registration required.)

This 19th century bronze statue of Narcissus thinks you should come on in!

(1961.05)

We reopen for tours this weekend! There are currently two tours available this Sunday and a few each Saturday after that. (Masks and pre-registration required.)

This 19th century bronze statue of Narcissus thinks you should come on in!

(1961.05)

As of today, December 16th, Nichols House Museum and other Boston museums are temporarily closed until further notice in...
12/16/2020

As of today, December 16th, Nichols House Museum and other Boston museums are temporarily closed until further notice in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 per new guidelines and regulations issued by Mayor Walsh. Visit our website to join our mailing list and stay up to date on reopening news, virtual programming, and more! You can also visit the History, Family, and Collections pages of our website to take an armchair tour of the Nichols House Museum. We hope to see you all again soon!

As of today, December 16th, Nichols House Museum and other Boston museums are temporarily closed until further notice in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 per new guidelines and regulations issued by Mayor Walsh. Visit our website to join our mailing list and stay up to date on reopening news, virtual programming, and more! You can also visit the History, Family, and Collections pages of our website to take an armchair tour of the Nichols House Museum. We hope to see you all again soon!

Tomorrow our friends at Royal Oak Foundation are hosting a virtual lecture on English Gardens. Rose Standish Nichols pub...
10/26/2020
Fall 2020 Online Lectures & Tours - A Celebration of English Gardens - The Royal Oak Foundation

Tomorrow our friends at Royal Oak Foundation are hosting a virtual lecture on English Gardens. Rose Standish Nichols published "English Pleasure Gardens" in 1902 which can be purchased by emailing the Museum at [email protected] or by calling us at (617) 227-6993.

Using stunning photography from the archives of Country Life, Kathryn Bradley-Hole will distill the essence of what makes the British garden style so popular.

Did you hear? We've reopened to the public on Saturdays! Maximum four visitors from the same household and tours must be...
09/21/2020

Did you hear? We've reopened to the public on Saturdays! Maximum four visitors from the same household and tours must be booked in advance. Mask wearing is mandatory and social distancing is in place. Go to the Visit page of our website to book your tour and to learn more about the local, state, and federal guidelines we are following. Welcome back!

https://www.nicholshousemuseum.org/visit/

Yesterday we celebrated Labor Day! Between 1885 and 1929, the Nichols family employed domestic staff, the majority of wh...
09/08/2020

Yesterday we celebrated Labor Day!

Between 1885 and 1929, the Nichols family employed domestic staff, the majority of whom were women. Among them were Irish immigrants Nora and Hannah Burke (pictured left and center in first photo) who shared a room, possibly with other female staff, on the cramped fourth floor of the Nichols family's Beacon Hill townhouse (previously servants slept in the attic). While upper-class women of the Progressive Era expressed shock and concern at the brutal conditions endured by women working in factories, ironically, most overlooked the 16-hour workdays and unfavorable circumstances which they imposed on their servants. Working-class women, many of them immigrants, found a place in the labor movement by initiating strikes that demanded safer working conditions and better pay. In 1919, Margaret Nichols demonstrated solidarity in joining a picket line of women strikers at the Lawrence Textile Mills.

The second image shows Mary King, also an Irish immigrant, who worked as Rose Nichols’s live-in caretaker from 1957 until Rose’s death in 1960. When the Nichols House Museum opened in 1961, Mary King continued to live onsite as the Museum’s caretaker.

While the Nichols House Museum is most known as the former residence of Rose Standish Nichols and her family, it was also the residence and place of work for countless individuals. #laborday2020 #laborday #workingclass #immigrantstories #lawrencetextilestrike

Each day this week, we'll be sharing on Instagram an aspect of the Nichols family's life in Cornish, New Hampshire. In 1...
07/14/2020

Each day this week, we'll be sharing on Instagram an aspect of the Nichols family's life in Cornish, New Hampshire. In 1892, the Nichols family purchased a property in Cornish known as Chester Pike farm, and soon after the house was modernized, remodeled, and renamed Mastlands (shown here). Their social life at Mastlands revolved around the Cornish Art Colony, a community of artists established by the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), Elizabeth Nichols's brother-in-law and uncle to Rose, Marian, and Margaret Nichols. Cornish is a densely wooded farming town situated on the Vermont border and along the Connecticut River, with impressive views of nearby Mount Ascutney. The Nichols family enjoyed their summers in Cornish, taking great pleasure in the Arcadian landscape—which they likened to the Italian countryside—and outdoor activities such as tennis, golf, and croquet (and tobogganing in the winter). Visit our Instagram @nicholshouse throughout the week to learn more about life at Mastlands!

Upcoming Virtual Program: Fashion in Portraiture Tuesday, 7/7 6:00-7:00pmWhat does our clothing say about us? What would...
07/02/2020

Upcoming Virtual Program: Fashion in Portraiture
Tuesday, 7/7 6:00-7:00pm

What does our clothing say about us? What would you wear to have your portrait painted and why? This virtual program will discuss three portraits in the Nichols House Museum collection focusing on the sitter’s dress and examine comparable costume items from the collection of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. This virtual program will be led by Laura Cunningham, Curator of Collections and Education at the Nichols House Museum, and Elizabeth Weisblatt, Resident Dress Historian with the NSCDA and Visitor Services Representative at the Nichols House Museum. Laura and Liz will discuss the propagandistic nature of fashion in portraiture and examine real examples of historic dress for comparison.

This program is free, suggested donation $5-$10.
Register through Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-lecture-fashion-in-portraiture-tickets-111187562994

The Nichols House Museum is pleased to launch a new recurring programming series focusing on its collection. Eye of the Beholder will investigate the subjective nature of art and the context in which it is considered. The objects in the Nichols House Museum collection have taken on new meaning over time, beginning with the original environment in which they were produced, to their reappropriation as the possessions of Rose Standish Nichols, and now as museum artifacts looked upon by visitors of differing ages, backgrounds, and lived experiences.

ABCDEFG! Check out our new Object Spotlight this #textiletuesday featuring a Mexican sampler in the Museum’s collection ...
06/23/2020
Object Spotlight

ABCDEFG! Check out our new Object Spotlight this #textiletuesday featuring a Mexican sampler in the Museum’s collection by a Maria Josefa Gonzalez in 1840. Visit the Object Spotlight blog to learn more about the history of samplers and the special qualities of this example in particular. Maria’s sampler features not one, not two, but ELEVEN different stylized alphabets and numbers from simple lowercase block lettering to flowing capital script. The sacred heart motif in the bottom register suggests this sampler was produced in Mexico where religious motifs are more commonly observed in embroidery compared to Spain.

at the Nichols House Museum

06/22/2020

Dear Gibson House Museum and Nichols House Museum communities,

We write today to state firmly and unequivocally that the Gibson and Nichols House Museums condemn systemic racism and police violence. We stand in solidarity with the protestors and activists who are expressing our collective grief and righteous anger over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, and Tony McDade and so many more. Their lives mattered and all Black Lives Matter.

Historic house museums are a place for engaging with new ideas and connecting our own stories to larger narratives that stretch backward in time. History is an essential tool to make sense of these complicated, many-layered narratives and put our present-day experiences in context.

However, historic house museums have long excluded certain stories from the history we tell. Black communities and individuals are one of the groups too often underrepresented or misrepresented in our spaces. Museums are not neutral and white privilege has long shaped our institutions.

There is real work to be done. We must further reflect on our complacency and educate ourselves, we must put inclusive history at the center of our museums, and we must ensure our institutions are welcoming spaces for everyone in our community. Along with our staff and boards, we also encourage all members of our museums and communities to join us in this work.

We promise to work harder and do better and we are here to listen to you as we do so. Please feel free to reach out to us. Museums are only as strong as the communities they serve.

Thank you ArtStuffMatters for reminding us that #MuseumsAreNotNeutral.
Thank you to our staff and communities for holding us accountable in this work.
Thank you protestors and activists who continually shed light on these injustices.

Sincerely,

Gibson House Museum
Nichols House Museum

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.

Address

55 Mount Vernon St
Boston, MA
02108

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

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Our Story

In 1885, Dr. Arthur Nichols and his wife Elizabeth purchased an 1804 townhouse attributed to architect Charles Bulfinch. The house was where their three daughters matured into designers, writers, and social activists. In 1930, Rose Standish Nichols (1872-1960) inherited the property and began laying the plans for its establishment as a museum. Soon after her death in 1960, the Nichols House Museum opened to the public. Today, the Museum engages with the social concerns of those who lived and worked in the house.

The Nichols House Museum maintains and preserves an original collection which reflects the Nichols family's cultural values and changing tastes across two generations. Highlights include sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Flemish tapestries, Japanese woodblock prints, and Boston furniture. Visitors also encounter day-to-day objects including an 1897 dumbwaiter and a 1936 radio.

The Nichols House Museum welcomes visitors year-round. It provides an active schedule of lectures, programs, and special events for its members and the surrounding Boston community. The Nichols House Museum offers engaging tours and public programming for all ages. Groups that visit include students from nearby colleges and universities, adult learners, and youth.

Visit and join the conversation.