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.
"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''.
Featured sculpture by Carolyn Wirth in her show "Seeing Past Faces,'' through Aug. 20 at the Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, Mass., where she is artist-in-residence. The gallery notes say that she "blends images of her subject and photographs of herself in order to create an entirely unique facial structure.''