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Nichols House Museum

Nichols House Museum We are open Wednesday - Sunday for tours at 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00. More info on our "Visit" page! The Nichols House Museum welcomes visitors year-round.

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 that 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. 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.

Temporarily closed

Nora Burke worked for the Nichols family in the early 1900s, living on the top floor of 55 Mount Vernon Street. Her gran...
01/13/2023

Nora Burke worked for the Nichols family in the early 1900s, living on the top floor of 55 Mount Vernon Street. Her granddaughter and great-granddaughter visited last weekend and brought with them an incredible photo collection. Nora is seen on the left, boating with an unknown woman and dog.

In 2023 we're continuing our exploration into the lives of domestic staff employed by the family.

Today is Rose Nichols' 151st birthday! Confident, in-charge, and highbrow, Rose Standish Nichols was successful in many ...
01/11/2023

Today is Rose Nichols' 151st birthday!

Confident, in-charge, and highbrow, Rose Standish Nichols was successful in many walks of life: she is remembered as a garden designer, writer, collector, craftsperson, suffragist and pacifist, historic preservationist, and museum founder. Rose Nichols lived independently at 55 Mount Vernon Street until her death in 1960, at which point it became the Nichols House Museum.

Rose believed in the power of conversation to promote mutual understanding and peace. She had lived through two World Wa...
01/07/2023

Rose believed in the power of conversation to promote mutual understanding and peace. She had lived through two World Wars and arranged her own intellectual battles in her Beacon Hill parlor. 10-20 guests were invited over every Sunday for a lively discussion over tea.

Her cook and housekeeper, Mary King, remembers, "She'd get somebody started, you know, on politics or international things, and then it all went along. Sometimes they'd be here until eight in the evening. She'd have Harvard professors and neighbors, and if somebody new came and she didn't like them, they wouldn't get asked again."

It's Rose' 151st birthday week!

We're looking for a part-time Research and Public Engagement Intern. This spring's internship focuses on expanding the M...
01/06/2023

We're looking for a part-time Research and Public Engagement Intern. This spring's internship focuses on expanding the Museum’s understanding of those employed as domestic staff by the Nichols family. It includes archival and secondary research as well as developing a new public program on the topic.

The intern will work roughly 11 weeks for around 11 hours per week during February - April 2023 and receive a $1,500 stipend. Applications are due by January 13th. More details can be found at he bottom of our "About" page. www.nicholshousemuseum.org/about

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me... instructions to take down the Christmas tree? The Victorians ...
01/05/2023

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me... instructions to take down the Christmas tree? The Victorians popularized the Christmas tree and determined when it should come down- Twelfth Night. One could also consume the fruits and nuts traditionally used to decorate.

The Museum is closed this month but tours resume in February. Stay warm and see you then! (The wine tours are still on f...
01/04/2023

The Museum is closed this month but tours resume in February. Stay warm and see you then!

(The wine tours are still on for those with tickets. Otherwise they are sold out.)

New year, new look! Kind of. The daybed cover in Rose's bedroom needed to be conserved to secure it's longevity, so this...
01/03/2023

New year, new look! Kind of. The daybed cover in Rose's bedroom needed to be conserved to secure it's longevity, so this faithful reproduction now sits in its place.

Kathy Gubernat of The Seamstress Shop created it using velvet and gimp. About 5 years ago she reproduced the Museum's curtains as well.

Textiles are one of the most fragile things in our collection. This is especially true since our collection is always on view and therefore doesn't get a break from potentially deteriorating effects. Reproductions are currently the best way for us to maintain accuracy in the historic house while also preserving its belongings for years to come.

1961.484a-c

It's officially 2023 so we're at the end of our countdown with just one more to go. Over the last few months, what did v...
01/01/2023

It's officially 2023 so we're at the end of our countdown with just one more to go. Over the last few months, what did visitors say their favorite thing in the house was? The tapestries! The two largest tapestries hang complimentarily in the dining room and parlor. If I had to guess an overall favorite, it would be the one with a unicorn.

"Feuilles de Choux" tapestry, Spanish Netherlands, ca. 1550-1600. Silk, wool, linen. 1961.192.
Daphne and Apollo tapestry, Spanish Netherlands, ca. late 16th-early 17th or early 18th century. Silk, wool, linen. 1961.208

Happy New Year's Eve! TIED for 2nd in our countdown of favorite things at the Nichols House: "wood carvings" and "sculpt...
12/31/2022

Happy New Year's Eve! TIED for 2nd in our countdown of favorite things at the Nichols House: "wood carvings" and "sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens". Visitors are sometimes surprised to learn that two of the three Nichols sisters worked with wood. Rose (1872-1960) in particular was encouraged artistically by her "Uncle Gus" and worked in multiple mediums. Her chairs and chest (detail seen here) are tour highlights.

Three sculptures by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) live in the house and one, the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, can be found just down the hill. There's a lot to cover between these numerous works, so I'll point you to our website's collection page for more! www.nicholshousemuseum.org/collection-highlights

Rose Standish Nichols. Chest, early 20th century. Mahogany. 2018.01
Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Diana, 1893-94 (this cast, 1894). Bronze. T-59.

#3 on the countdown... this wallpaper! High up on visitors' list of favorite things in the Museum, this Kinkarakawakami ...
12/30/2022

#3 on the countdown... this wallpaper! High up on visitors' list of favorite things in the Museum, this Kinkarakawakami Japanese "leather" wallpaper is actually embossed paper imitating leather. Before exposure to the coal fireplace, gas lighting, ci**rs, and time, the golden shimmer was much brighter.

This is one of the few rooms left wallpapered in the house and can be found in the dining room. It was likely purchased through a dealer in Boston in the late 1880s.

#4 on the countdown of Nichols House Museum favorite things is "embroidery"! This photo features crewelwork bed hangings...
12/29/2022

#4 on the countdown of Nichols House Museum favorite things is "embroidery"! This photo features crewelwork bed hangings by Rose Nichols at around age 18. But the Museum's collection includes numerous examples of needlework including in the form of samplers, pillow covers, table runners, a fire screen, and more.

Bed hangings made by Rose Standish Nichols (American, 1872-1960), ca. 1890. Linen and silk. Nichols House Museum, 1961.505.

Welcome to the countdown of Nichols House favorite things! According to votes over the last few months, #5 out of 5 is "...
12/28/2022

Welcome to the countdown of Nichols House favorite things! According to votes over the last few months, #5 out of 5 is "Asian art". From Chinese reverse glass paintings to a ceramic umbrella holder to Japanese woodblock prints, belongings from China and Japan decorate every room in the house. This year we highlighted recent research on this collection through a pop-up exhibition, virtual talk, and case exhibition.

Detail of églomisé panel, Chinese, ca. early 19th century, Qing dynasty (1636-1912). 1961.39.1

12/27/2022

Visitors are often suprised by the number of things in the house Rose Nichols herself crafted. One that was just returned to its place in the parlor is this needlework pillow.

It was out for conservation by Textile Conservator Kathleen MacKay who stabilized it and replaced the worn backing. (The old backing lives in collections storage now.)

Without a careful look its easy to miss the dragon! Sitting below the equally fanciful tapestry is an ideal location.

1961.196

A 76 year old Rose received this holiday postcard from her niece on the other side of the world. "Merry Christmas and a ...
12/24/2022

A 76 year old Rose received this holiday postcard from her niece on the other side of the world. "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Aunt Rose from Alice. Tokyo 1948."

Happy Holidays!

In December 1893, Elizabeth Nichols hosted a large tea party. "My tea yesterday was very successful. It was a fine day a...
12/22/2022

In December 1893, Elizabeth Nichols hosted a large tea party. "My tea yesterday was very successful. It was a fine day and I think there were about fifty here." Elizabeth had help from her sister, "Aunt Gussie", other relatives and friends, and of course domestic staff for this occasion. "We had a man to help Ellen in the dining-room and Mrs. Godsoe upstairs in your room to help ladies with wraps etc." She decorated with fresh flowers and added mistletoe "to give a sort of Christmas effect". Food including chicken, lettuce sandwiches, tea, and chocolate were placed in the dining room with a table set in the parlor as well.

Happy first day of winter! Margaret Nichols remembered of her Mount Vernon Street neighbors, “In the winter the hospital...
12/21/2022

Happy first day of winter! Margaret Nichols remembered of her Mount Vernon Street neighbors, “In the winter the hospitality of the Curtis family outdid itself. When the cold weather arrived we stopped up the drain in the yard, banked the snow around the edges, and by means of a hose flooded the yard. After a few generous sprayings followed by freezing nights we produced a good skating surface. Then we all played hockey…”

The Museum is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this week. Encounter more stories of Margaret Nichols' snow days and historic holiday traditions on a tour!

Image: Detail of the Curtises' Back Yard in 1895 with Margaret Nichols. From Lively Days by Margaret Homer (Nichols) Shurcliff.

January 11th is Rose Nichols' 151st birthday! That weekend we’re celebrating with a wine tasting tour through her home. ...
12/20/2022

January 11th is Rose Nichols' 151st birthday! That weekend we’re celebrating with a wine tasting tour through her home. Saturday, January 14th at 6:30pm.

Bring a friend, date, or yourself to taste your way through the historic rooms of this 19th century Beacon Hill townhome. We’ll try three non-traditional wines, each paired with a work of art created by or for our founder, Rose Nichols. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-uncorked-a-wine-tasting-tour-of-the-nichols-house-tickets-490576656987

“Monument Hill on the Common was the popular center for coasting, and was an exciting, steep hill. When snow conditions ...
12/19/2022

“Monument Hill on the Common was the popular center for coasting, and was an exciting, steep hill. When snow conditions were good the hundreds of coasters made icy ruts and we went at a good clip all the way to the Charles Mall."

Encounter more stories of Margaret Nichols' snow days and historic holiday traditions on tours this month. W-Sun at 10, 11, 12:00.

"...My sled was long and low and I soon found that the only way to keep control of a sled and to stay on through thick and thin was to coast belly-bumps like the boys… On slushy days I came home with water dripping from my coat, two pairs of wringing wet mittens and a large hole in the toe of each overshoe.” -Lively Days, Margaret Homer Shurcliff.

Christmas Eve is one week away but this Beacon Hill tradition for the day is 98 years old- Christmas Eve Bellringing. Bu...
12/17/2022

Christmas Eve is one week away but this Beacon Hill tradition for the day is 98 years old- Christmas Eve Bellringing. Bundle up and join this year and sing along on 12/24 at 8pm in Louisburg Square. Carol books will be provided.

The tradition began with Margaret (Nichols) Shurcliff. She took after her father, Arthur Nichols, in her devotion to bellringing with her first lesson at age 21. The two of them traveled to London two years later where the opportunities to learn were better. There, she was listed as the first woman to successfully ring a peal of “Stedman Triples.”

When Arthur Nichols died in 1923, the only specific bequest in his will was his handbells, which went to Margaret. Margaret taught her children bellringing and began the long held Christmas Eve tradition of bellringing carols on Beacon Hill. They lived at 66 Mount Vernon Street, just down the road from Louisburg Square.

Photo of Margaret (far left) and others courtesy of Back Bay Ringers.

Consider supporting our Annual Appeal before the year ends. Your contribution allows us to develop innovative programmin...
12/16/2022

Consider supporting our Annual Appeal before the year ends. Your contribution allows us to develop innovative programming and supports the ongoing preservation of 55 Mount Vernon Street! https://www.nicholshousemuseum.org/donate/

Did you know 55 Mount Vernon Street was a physician's office? Dr. Nichols practiced out of what is now the library, made...
12/15/2022

Did you know 55 Mount Vernon Street was a physician's office? Dr. Nichols practiced out of what is now the library, made house calls, and was an expert medical witness. His physician's day journal lists some of the patients and illnesses he encountered. In this case for December 1912, it lists a few testimonies he gave in court.

The blank form on top was found inside the book. It reads,
"To Arthur H. Nichols, M.D., Dr.
NO. 55 Mount Vernon Street
For Professional Services...
Received Payment,"

What do you think it is?

"Our front yard, elevated several feet above the sidewalk and the adjoining yard, had the best strategic location on the...
12/13/2022

"Our front yard, elevated several feet above the sidewalk and the adjoining yard, had the best strategic location on the street for a fort. The only drawback was the close proximity of the windows of my father’s office in the background."

Explore more snow day stories from Margaret Nichols (and festive decor) on tours this month! Peek at the yard and doctor's office mentioned here.

"...When we were not enjoying a regular snow-ball fight we concentrated out activities on any passerby. We went through the formality of calling out “Free shot!” to a man and he would generally turn up his coat collar and reply “Fire away!” If he were a good sport he would exchange a few shots with us.”

In three days, hear about new names in the Nichols House story: Charlotte, Alice, and Nora. As domestic staff, these wom...
12/12/2022

In three days, hear about new names in the Nichols House story: Charlotte, Alice, and Nora.

As domestic staff, these women helped make the lifestyles and accomplishments of the Nichols family members possible but lived rich lives of their own.

Join us as we dive into the archives during this virtual talk.
Uncovering Stories of Domestic Staff
at 55 Mount Vernon.
Thursday, December 15th, 6:30-7:30pm. https://www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/uncovering-stories-of-domestic-staff-at-55-mt-vernon/

“It was a bit discouraging to a five-year-old to be picked up from the comparative country of Roxbury and deposited on a...
12/10/2022

“It was a bit discouraging to a five-year-old to be picked up from the comparative country of Roxbury and deposited on a city street on Beacon Hill. I complained I had no friends to play with. One snowy day Rose said, “There is a nice little girl about your age playing with her sled. Run out and play with her.”

Margaret Homer (Nichols) Shurcliff recounted childhood snow day memories in her memoir, Lively Days.

Encounter more tales of the season on our festively decorated tours or Sunday's Beacon Hill Holiday House Tour where ticket holders can stroll through the house (and neighborhood) at their own pace. Grab a copy of Lively Days or a pre-wrapped gift while you're here! https://www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/beacon-hill-holiday-house-tour/

Who worked here? Hear about the lives of those who worked “downstairs” and lived on the top floor of the Nichols House a...
12/09/2022

Who worked here? Hear about the lives of those who worked “downstairs” and lived on the top floor of the Nichols House at this virtual talk. Join us as we dive into the archives and explore the narratives of a handful of these individuals, including Mrs. Petersen highlighted here in the Nichols family records.

Uncovering Stories of Domestic Staff at 55 Mt Vernon. Thursday, December 15, 6:30pm. Via Zoom.
https://www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/uncovering-stories-of-domestic-staff-at-55-mt-vernon/

12/07/2022

Beacon Hill Holiday House Tour goers are in for a real treat! Enjoy refreshments and music by critically acclaimed pianist Liya Nigmati at Harvard Musical Association this Sunday from 2-4.

Nigmati is an accomplished solo and collaborative pianist, a vocal and instrumental coach, and a music educator. Winner of several international piano competitions, Liya has toured across the world. She has been critically acclaimed for her “stunning performance” (Global Times) in which she “…shined through” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer).

Grab your Holiday House Tour tickets at www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/beacon-hill-holiday-house-tour

Rose purchased at least a few belongings at Yamanaka & Co., including this lacquer cup. The Boston location of this Japa...
12/02/2022

Rose purchased at least a few belongings at Yamanaka & Co., including this lacquer cup. The Boston location of this Japanese company was located just a 14-minute walk across the Public Garden at the time of her purchases. A "dark blue flower design" kimono was also on her receipt (but is unfortunately not part of the collection).

When the Nichols House became a museum in 1961, approximately 100 belongings were loosely inventoried as Chinese and Japanese. Titled after Light from the Far East written by friend of the Nichols family Reikichi Kita, the (mini) exhibition- From the Far East: Nichols Family Belongings from Asia- takes a deeper look.

Take a peek in the case next time you stop in!

Stockings are hung, trees are twinkling, and evergreens abound. Tour the house in its holiday finest! Hear about the bol...
12/01/2022

Stockings are hung, trees are twinkling, and evergreens abound. Tour the house in its holiday finest! Hear about the bold and accomplished Nichols women, view art and furniture from around the globe, plus encounter a few stories of the holiday season along the way.

Tours are most Wednesdays through Sundays at 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00. Check our schedule and grab tickets at nicholshousemuseum.org/visit!

Did you miss Guerilla Opera’s performance at the Nichols House last summer or want to see it again? Catch the recording!...
11/29/2022

Did you miss Guerilla Opera’s performance at the Nichols House last summer or want to see it again? Catch the recording! I Give You My Home is *the* Rose Nichols story.

Wondering why the Boston Classical Review says that our production of I Give You My Home has "a certain timelessness"? Come see for yourself tomorrow!! NOT TO BE MISSED!

All-Access Passes: https://www.stellartickets.com/o/guerilla-opera/bundles/1ac6483f-2f71-4374-8d5f-ee04bbeeb42b

Individual tickets: https://www.stellartickets.com/o/guerilla-opera/events/guerilla-emergence-festival/occurrences/79aa7a80-4057-4975-ab9d-63e8a0edd567


"I mean to try the experiment of having Mrs. Williams make butter from our cream for a while." Elizabeth Nichols, seen h...
11/23/2022

"I mean to try the experiment of having Mrs. Williams make butter from our cream for a while."
Elizabeth Nichols, seen here in her garden, was displeased with the decreased income from outsourcing the task. She oversaw work at both their Boston and Cornish, NH homes, including the farm.

Mrs. Williams, seen here in front of her cottage, lived and worked on the property with her husband for around 30 years. Elizabeth wrote this note to her husband in November of 1902. Without any additional details, we're left to wonder 120 years later how the experiment went for both women.

To round out the story: a floral butter plate used by the family.

Whiteware butter plate, Adams Calyx Ware, English, late 19th century. Imitation Chinese peony design. 1961.413

Museum staff and volunteers took a trip over to the The Gibson House Museum for their "Upstairs Downstairs" tour last we...
11/22/2022

Museum staff and volunteers took a trip over to the The Gibson House Museum for their "Upstairs Downstairs" tour last week. It included fascinating details on the lives of domestic staff, plus we got to use the back alley entrance! Thank you, GHM!

So many projects around the house! Ivy removal on the neighbor's building has really changed the look of the back yard. ...
11/19/2022

So many projects around the house! Ivy removal on the neighbor's building has really changed the look of the back yard.

Catch the last regularly scheduled Hidden Spaces tour on Saturday, December 10th at 1:00 for the final view. www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/hidden-spaces

Why does the baby Jesus' face look like a grown man? This is the theory of the "homunculus," Latin for "little man." Thi...
11/14/2022

Why does the baby Jesus' face look like a grown man? This is the theory of the "homunculus," Latin for "little man." This is the idea that even as a baby, Jesus was fully formed and fully capable of answering prayers and petitions and performing miracles. He is both a baby and God all at once. This painting is unusually painted on copper, much more luminous and costly than canvas. It was painted in the 19th century, but hearkens back to Venetian Renaissance depictions of the Virgin, Christ child and John the Baptist.

Framed oil on copper painting, Italian, 19th century, Unsigned work after an earlier painting. 1961.147.

Members of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay came through for a private tour earlier this week. Thanks for vi...
11/12/2022

Members of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay came through for a private tour earlier this week. Thanks for visiting!
Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay

Catch these hidden spaces while you can! This Saturday is one of the last opportunities to hop on the specialty tour, Hi...
11/10/2022

Catch these hidden spaces while you can! This Saturday is one of the last opportunities to hop on the specialty tour, Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum--November 12th at 1:00. Peek into rooms and spaces not usually on view, take the back stairs, and explore over 200 years of this old house’s secrets! www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/hidden-spaces

Let this 1920s campaign advertisement be your reminder to vote! Growing up steps from the MA State House undoubtedly ins...
11/07/2022

Let this 1920s campaign advertisement be your reminder to vote! Growing up steps from the MA State House undoubtedly inspired Marian Nichols’s lifelong commitment to political action and reform. Marian launched her campaign as an Independent candidate for Ward 8 *immediately* following the ratification of the 19th amendment.

Although she lost the election, Marian was not deterred from politics. Over the course of her career, Marian attended hearings on mandating maximum hour laws for women workers and she continued to pressure the State House for reforms, causing many of the “boys...to [reach] for an aspirin” as one lawmaker put it.

Happy Halloween from our favorite creepy portrait!Susanna Towne Nichols was a direct descendant of Rebecca Towne Nurse a...
10/30/2022

Happy Halloween from our favorite creepy portrait!

Susanna Towne Nichols was a direct descendant of Rebecca Towne Nurse and her two sisters, Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyce, who were all accused during the Salem Witch trials of 1762. Rebecca and Mary both were both hung later that year.

Susanna was Arthur Nichols’ grandmother and so Rose Nichols' great-grandmother. Her portrait hangs in a set with her husband's in the dining room. (1961.368.2)

Address

55 Mount Vernon Street
Boston, MA
02108

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 12:45pm
Thursday 10am - 12:45pm
Friday 10am - 12:45pm
Saturday 10am - 12:45pm
Sunday 10am - 12:45pm

Telephone

+16172276993

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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.


Comments

The story of Daphne turning into a tree is perfect for this month's ! It is depicted in the dining room's Flemish tapestry.

In one rendition the story goes as follows: Apollo, the god of archery, the sun, beauty, and other things, made the mistake of belittling Cupid, seeing himself as the superior archer. Cupid retaliated by shooting Apollo with a golden love arrow and causing him to fall head over heels with the next person he saw- the beautiful nymph, Daphne. Cupid also shot Daphne with an arrow, but one that caused her to be impervious to love.

Apollo would not take no for an answer and chased Daphne through the woods until they came upon her river god father, Peneus. Hearing her cries for help, Peneus transformed Daphne into a laurel tree. Apollo was distraught. He made and wore a crown of laurel leaves from her tree and deemed the laurel sacred. The laurel crown is still used to honor athletic victors and has became all but ubiquitous with ancient Greece.

Apollo’s twin sister Artemis, also an archer, can be found just around the corner in Augustus Saint-Gaudens' sculpture Diana sculpture.

Apollo and Daphne Tapestry, Flemish, late 16th-early 17th or early 18th century, Silk, wool, and linen, 1961.208.
Celebrate spring with a sampling of art and wine on May 7th! Bring a friend, date, or yourself to Art Uncorked: a Wine Tasting Tour of the Nichols House.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-uncorked-a-wine-tasting-tour-of-the-nichols-house-tickets-311391208487
Our mini-exhibition in the lobby is up! Catch "Out of the Cabinet: Examining Objects of Use" through spring! View today's story for more.

Put together by our spring intern, Kate, it highlights belongings that can often be overlooked as visitors walk through the house and allows us to appreciate them in a new way.
Happy to gardeners of plots large or small! "Small gardens succeed where large ones fail, in being livable and lovable." Landscape architect Rose Nichols praised small gardens in a 1909 article for The House Beautiful.

She used this plan by her brother-in-law, Arthur A. Shurcliff to demonstrate how one can feel secluded and remote even in a suburban house lot- note the 6' ledge!

Image description: Drawn garden plan with the title, "Sketch of a small garden near Boston, Massachusetts".

Image and quote source: "A Plea for Small Gardens", Rose Standish Nichols, The House Beautiful, March 1909.
We're developing a new experience for families and we need your help!

Friday, April 22 at 10:30am (Free): Tour the house and spend time interacting with a few different types of artworks and each other. Then, share your thoughts on how the experience went with staff to help us make important improvements.

www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/family-tour-feedback-session
Take home this vintage photo in notebook and notecard form! It features Nichols siblings -Rose and Margaret- enjoying the garden of their summer home in Cornish, NH, with a few friends. Or catch the real thing on Rose's bedroom mantel. Happy !

: Hand holding a small notebook in front of a mantle which holds the same photograph pictured on the notebook, white square outlining the notebook.

A big welcome to Annaliese Arnsten, our new Visitor Services Representative. You can catch Annaliese welcoming visitors and giving tours in a few weeks!

"Hello, I am so excited to be joining the team at the Nichols House Museum! I am an honors Public History student at Suffolk University, and am looking forward to hands-on experience preserving and educating the public about the home, its beautiful collections, and the fascinating individuals that inhabited it.

There are many small and obscure objects in the collection that I find fascinating, but two of my favorite pieces are the Colonial Revival chairs that were intricately hand-carved by Rose Nichols herself. I love how they represent Rose’s commitment to detail and artistry in her home, as well as the bed hanging she personally embroidered for her bedroom. These everyday objects are so rich in both the style of the time as well as Rose’s personal tastes, and they bring her vision of the museum to life." -Annaliese

Image description: A photo of Annaliese with Rose's bed hangings in the background.

Bed hangings made by Rose Standish Nichols (American, 1872-1960), ca. 1890. Linen and silk. 1961.505.
Did you know Rose Nichols founded a Beacon Hill Reading Club in the 1890s? We continue that tradition with the Gibson House Museum. Join us next week for our Poetry Month edition! (Don't' worry, the "required" reading is provided and much shorter for this one!)

Wednesday, April 6th at 6:00pm. Virtual via Zoom.
www.nicholshousemuseum.org/events/book-club-meeting-the-poetry-of-william-stanley-braithwaite-friends

Image description: Third floor reading nook complete with window, pillows, and a full book shelf.
Time is hard on textiles. They are one of the most sensitive materials in a museum's collection. Last week, textile conservator Kathleen MacKay began work on the dining room tapestry. It needed minor repairs and cleaning.

It was also a chance to look at the full scene unobstructed. We can see a lush forest with a village and figures but most importantly, we see the Greek naiad Daphne transforming into laurel tree to avoid Apollo's pursuit.

: 1. Person with a headlamp on a ladder in front of a tapestry in the dining room. 2. Center view of the textile with forest, village, and around five figures in the foreground, including a woman with tree arms. 3. Close-up of the tapestry, a women whose fingers are branches.

Happy ! Come by for a tour of join a program. Here's what's coming up this week:

*Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields, a Boston Marriage (virtual program)-- Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30.

*Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum (specialty tour)-- Saturday, March 26 at 2:00.

*Tours of the museum-- Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and some Sundays (check website for schedule and tickets).

: 1. Green bulb leaves popping up out of the ground. 2. Two staff standing in front of the entrance of the museum.
Nicknamed “the Joan of Arc of the Civil Services” and the “Champion of the Underdog,” Marian Clarke Nichols was deeply engaged in the politics of her community. Following the ratification of the 19th amendment in August 1920, which stated women have the right to
vote, Marian began a campaign to serve as the representative of Ward 8 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. While she would lose her campaign, Marian went on to found the still-active Beacon Hill Civic Association two years later, and continued to fight for social reform up the hill at the Massachusetts State House.

Almost 100 years after Marian Nichols’s run for office, Michelle Wu would be the first women and first person of color to be elected as the mayor of Boston. While Wu currently faces very different sociopolitical issues than those Nichols might have addressed in her time,
both imagined a world in which more people had a say in the governing of Massachusetts. Happy Women's History Month!

(This post comes from Kate Criscitiello, NHM spring intern.)

Images:
1. Marian Nichols's 1920 campaign advertisement text that reads, "Eights Suffolk Representative District vote for Marian Clarke Nichols, Independent Candidate for Ward S, Tuesday, November 2, 1920, "Public Office if a Public Trust".
2. Portrait photograph of Marian ca. 1920s, age 50.
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Other Museums in Boston (show all)

Submarine Force Museum Old massachusetts state house The Gibson House Museum Gibson House Museum The Sports Museum Young Audiences of Massachusetts Museum of Science EiE - Museum of Science, Boston Luna (tugboat) Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library Sankey Milk Bottle Boston Sparks Association MIT Museum Francis Russell Hart Nautical Museum