Fruitlands Museum

The fashion of recreation

"Weights" (circa 1850), shown in "Leisure Pursuits; The Fashion and Culture of Recreation,'' at Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, Mass., through March 24, 2019. "Weights'' is part of the collection of the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, in Cummington, Mass.     The museum says: "  This exhibition looks at the way in which the people of Massachusetts have spent their leisure time interacting with Massachusetts Trustees of Reservations properties over the last 125 years. Visitors will see original antique and vintage dresses and personal accessories that were integrated into activities such as gardening, entertaining, fitness, water activities, equestrian pursuits, and travel at and to various properties.''

"Weights" (circa 1850), shown in "Leisure Pursuits; The Fashion and Culture of Recreation,'' at Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, Mass., through March 24, 2019. "Weights'' is part of the collection of the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, in Cummington, Mass.

The museum says: "This exhibition looks at the way in which the people of Massachusetts have spent their leisure time interacting with Massachusetts Trustees of Reservations properties over the last 125 years. Visitors will see original antique and vintage dresses and personal accessories that were integrated into activities such as gardening, entertaining, fitness, water activities, equestrian pursuits, and travel at and to various properties.''

Gold and pink deco gown, circa 1930, silk brocade, rhinestones, metallic thread, Part of the Collection of the Stevens-Coolidge Place, in North Andover, Mass.

Gold and pink deco gown, circa 1930, silk brocade, rhinestones, metallic thread, Part of the Collection of the Stevens-Coolidge Place, in North Andover, Mass.

A cat would be safer

"One Day I'll Have a Cat and a Lover,'' by Candice Smith Corby, at the Fruitlands  Museum, Harvard, Mass.

"One Day I'll Have a Cat and a Lover,'' by Candice Smith Corby, at the Fruitlands  Museum, Harvard, Mass.

Harvard is an affluent rural town in Worcester County  is about 25 miles west-northwest of Boston. It was settled as a  farming community  in 1658 and incorporated in 1732. It has hosted several eccentric communities, such as Harvard Shaker Village and the utopian Transcendentalist center Fruitlands, after which the museum is named.

Harvard's Shaker Village in about 1905.

Harvard's Shaker Village in about 1905.

Harvard's common.

Harvard's common.

 

 

Seasonal 'Comforts, Cures, and Distractions'

"Image from the "Comforts, Cures, and Distractions'' show at the Fruitlands Museum, in Harvard, Mass., through March 26.

The gallery writes:

"Featuring a wintry theme, the exhibition features a wide assortment of art, artifacts and landscape paintings from the museum's Transcendentalist, Shaker and Native American collections.

The gallery notes that Fruitlands curator Dumont Garr "doesn't forget that the season had been difficult for those without the luxuries of central heating and other modern aids and conveniences we so often take for granted. 'Comforts, Cures, and Distractions' provides insight on how communities comforted, cured and distracted themselves from the colder weather.

"Featuring hand made Shaker scarves and mittens; skates, sleds and snowshoes that date back to 1834; a Woodlands Native American water warmer or mokuk; and several 19th-Century paintings of ice skaters or individuals playing in the snow, the exhibition gives a realistic view into what this time would have looked like.

"Each piece tells its own story while being part of a bigger narrative. The several pairs of mittens that are included in the exhibition are both colorful and useful and bring images of children playing in the snow while a red blanket chest displays the talent and precision that individuals used in order to create practical and necessary pieces for their homes. Reminiscent of wintry weather, beautiful landscapes and childhood innocence, 'Comforts, Cures, and Distractions' is both educational and exciting''.