Four Centuries of History
At the Ipswich Museum 400 years of history surround you at every turn. The grand, Federal style 1800 Heard House serves as our headquarters and is filled with extensive collections of fine and decorative art celebrating the historical and architectural significance of Ipswich. Some of the fascinating collections on view include paintings by Arthur Wesley Dow and other North Shore artists, artifacts from the Ipswich Female Seminary, and China Trade treasures collected by the John Heard family.
The Ipswich Museum preserves an extensive collection of art, property, objects, artifacts, books and documents with historical significance to Ipswich. Our museum is anchored by two important properties: the 1677 Whipple House and the 1800 Heard House.
2013 Summer Exhibition
I Must Go Down to the Seas Again
Curated by the Museum's Dow Curator, Stephanie Gaskins, I Must Go Down to the Seas Again, examines the complex and enduring relationship between Ipswich residents and the sea. Come to the Opening Reception, Friday, May 31st. 6 - 8 p.m.
2013 Special Sundays (Sundays February through April 14)
Ipswich and the Civil War
Guest curators Scott Jewell and John Stump highlight the stories of Ipswich soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Come see Civil War objects, try hard tack and listen to Civil War music. Jewell, Ipswich Middle School teacher and editor of Ipswich in the Civil War, will be available select Sundays to discuss and sign his book. Copies are available in the Museum store.
2012 Summer Exhibition
Ipswich Women in the Arts, Mid-Seventeenth to Mid-Twentieth Centuries
Ipswich Museum is pleased to introduce its summer exhibit, Ipswich Women in the Arts, Mid-Seventeeth to Mid-Twentieth Centuries. Curated by Stephanie Gaskins, this show features historic works by Ipswich women artists of the past four centuries. It opens June 8 and runs through October during regular tour hours.
Prominent artists to be included in the exhibit are: Anne Bradstreet, America’s first poet, whose poems are still read at weddings today; and Caroline Kenyon’s pastels of children’s portraits. Frances Townsend, whose pastoral paintings have been rediscovered; and Ann Leighton, who planted the Housewife’s Garden at the Whipple House. Her books on 17th, 18th, and 19th century gardens are still in print today.
Jane Peterson, who after coming to Ipswich in her late middle age, continued her painting career at her home on Old England Road. Rylla Saunier, a landscape architect, was not only the WPA chronicler of local gardens, but created watercolors of flowers. Edna Ellis Baylor, who is already on exhibit in the Museum’s Ipswich Painters’ Gallery, studied at the MFA Museum School which honed her artistic expression of flower portraits.
Anne Wigglesworth and Elsie Reinert, both credited with starting the Museum’s Dow Collection, were artists. Anne used her marsh view as inspiration and Elsie painted whimsical still lifes of toys and dolls. Mine Crane, wife of Cornelius Crane, showed her devotion to wildlife and animals in her paintings. Alice Heard, the last member of the family to live in the Museum’s Heard House, was a talented copyist and painter.
Robin Silverman was a watercolorist, teacher and proponent of art in the Ipswich Public Schools. And, Sister St. Vincent de Paul of the Sisters of Notre Dame was a teacher, artist, and creator of stained glass windows. Her work can be seen at the Novitiate Chapel and the rose window of Our Lady of Hope Church.
Other important features of Ipswich Museum’s new summer exhibit, Ipswich Women in the Arts, will be a sample of Ipswich lace, representing many women who created hand made Ipswich lace in their own homes; a sampler, emblematic of the young girls who created samplers to show their skills in needlework; and a handmade quilt, to show the hours that women worked to not only keep their families warm but to express creativity. Thelma Carey, a truant officer by trade, was a prize-winning rug hooker.
All of these women were inspired to express themselves with paint, thread and the written word. Many of them had responsibilities in the home as wives and mothers or in other careers. But, each made time to leave a piece of themselves for us to enjoy.