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.
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