“New England” wrote Nathaniel Hawthorne, “is as large a lump of earth as my heart can readily take in.” As writers have recorded the ever-changing nature of the area and its inhabitants, so too have artists. Artful Stories reflects what it is about New England – its architecture, landscapes, townscapes, and people – that imbues the region with a unique sense of place. Painted between the 1730s and today, the artworks are arranged by topic. Land & Sea, in the first gallery, highlights the region’s geography. At Home in New England, in the second gallery, considers where and how people have lived here. New England’s People, in the third gallery, introduces an array of intriguing men and women. The Wide World, in the fourth gallery, demonstrates the ways New Englanders have experienced places and cultures elsewhere.
Artful Stories, featuring forty-six of Historic New England’s artworks, will open in the exhibition galleries at the Eustis Estate in Milton, Massachusetts, in the fall of 2020. This website, arranged by gallery, shares what we’ve learned about the paintings and about New England as we’ve researched the collection over the past two years. Co-curators Peter Trippi, Editor-in-chief of Fine Art Connoisseur, and Nancy Carlisle, Senior Curator of Collections, Historic New England, and the Artful Stories team hope you enjoy this preview and welcome your feedback.