Eustis Estate

The Wide World Intro

Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow in His Studio, Manchester, Massachusetts, photographer unknown, c. 1900

New Englanders have always looked beyond the region to engage with the world outside. One driving force has been international trade, thanks especially to New England’s maritime prowess; this factor is glimpsed here in a scene from China, where so many mercantile fortunes were made. There has also been an openness to incoming ideas and art forms, particularly through the region’s many institutions of higher learning. When we factor in the growing taste for foreign travel and easier transatlantic crossings in the nineteenth century, this gallery’s artworks make sense. A unique story is told on the wall that highlights the cosmopolitan family of Harvard University professor Charles Eliot Norton (1827–1908). There is even a reminder that—for some New Englanders—venturing to Niagara Falls in upstate New York was also an exotic experience.