Past Exhibitions

Conversations in Craft:
Furniture from The Trustees Collection and North Bennet Street School Artisans

November 18 – April 29, 2018

Dan Faia, “Window to the Past” wall carving, 2017. Wakefield, NH, linden, mahogany, butternut, Douglas fir, black walnut. NBSS ’94 and Department Head, Cabinet & Furniture Making.

Sunflower chest, detail, circa 1690, Wethersfield, Connecticut, oak, pine, maple, Part of collection at Mission House, MH.F.A.

North Bennet Street SchoolCurated by the Trustees’ Senior Curator, Christie Jackson, this collaboration with the acclaimed North Bennet Street School (NBSS) of Boston will feature newly-created, original pieces of wooden furniture made by twelve select staff and alumni from NBSS alongside historical pieces of furniture from the Trustees collections.

Each participant worked closely with Jackson to select a piece of historical furniture to respond to, and they will “answer” in a range of ways -not with copies or reproductions, but in some cases with a contemporary companion to an 18th or 19-century object, such as a chair for a desk, or floral inlay that seems to bloom in response to bud-like inlay made in the 1820s. Each pair of objects – old and new – will be displayed together.

Conversations in Craft explores the stories of these historic objects, discovering the ways they were crafted, and creating new dialogues between old and new with contemporary interpretations. Through these conversations, the exhibition celebrates the rich tradition of cabinetmaking in New England that continues to this day.

Portraits & Penmanship: The Appletons in their Own Words

Sept 2, 2017 – March 25, 2018

Curated by Susan Hill Dolan, Trustees Curator, this exhibition will continue The Trustees’ literary theme of 2017, “The Language of Nature,” by pairing significant Appleton family portraits with written materials by family members. Appleton Farms, established by Samuel Appleton in 1638, is a Trustees property in Ipswich known for its rolling grasslands, on-site dairy production, popular CSA program, Appleton Cooks! classes, workshops, farm dinners and more! Letters, toasts, and other original written ephemera will help provide intimate views and give viewers an idea of the personal and public life of this family who began the longest-operating farm in America, which continues to be a vital and fascinating site of The Trustees.

#NECX: New England Cyclocross Heritage

October 18 – December 17, 2017

Photo by Katie Busick

Three of the best New-England based photographers of Cyclocross events, Katie Busick, Russ Campbell, and Meg McMahon, share their favorite images that they took at regional races in the past few years. This exhibition is a part of the annual Fruitlands Cup taking place at the Museum on Saturday, October 28. (please link to their page: - or if we have a link through our website, we should use that, but I couldn’t find one for this year). The photographs will be on view in our Wayside Gallery, with a special, race-day presentation of one image in the other museum buildings: the Art Gallery, Native American Gallery, Shaker Office, and Fruitlands Farmhouse.

Literary Spirit at Fruitlands Museum and the Old Manse

April 15 – November 5, 2017

Literary Soil

April 15 – August 20, 2017
Greg Lookerse

Greg Lookerse is the 2017 Artist-in-Residence at Fruitlands Museum and The Old Manse. With a practice that joins conceptual rigor with thorough craftsmanship, it is not enough for him to read texts by influential authors including St. Augustine and Annie Dillard. Once read, the pages of his personal copies become visual art. In a process that often evolves through performative consideration, the ideas held within the pages become activated and made public in a way they would not if they remained on a book shelf. Lookerse cuts and folds pages of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays into an elaborate, mandala-like relief resembling the rose window of a Gothic cathedral. Thoreau’s Walden becomes a labyrinth with a simply-hewn prayer bench standing at its center. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick become textured, monochromatic paintings as the artist systematically covers all but chapter headings with rows of white pigment.

Comforts, Cures & Distractions: Winter at Fruitlands Museum

November 29, 2016 – March 26, 2017

Find Your Park: National Parks in New England 

September 2, 2016 – March 19, 2017

Finding Metacom: Artists Duane Slick & Martin Smick in Dialogue with the Native American Collection

September 2 – November 6, 2016

Seeing Past Faces: Sculpture by Artist-in-Residence Carolyn Wirth

July 2 - August 21

Picturing Little Folk

July 2 - August 21

2016 Student Art Competition

April 15 - June 19

Hidden Treasures

January 3 - March 20, 2016

All Things Considered VIII ~ 2015

September 18 – November 29, 2015

Hidden Hudson

September 18 - November 29

LAYERS: A Pastel Exhibit by Eighty Dusty Fingers

July 12 - September 8, 2015

Gifts of the Saggar Fire

July 12 - September 8, 2015 

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