Day Three: Concord, Ma to Providence, RI

On our third day, we left a very wet and rainy Salem, Massachusetts for Concord, Massachusetts.  Once arrived at Concord, we  met  curator David Wood who introduced us to the very diverse collection of the Concord Museum.  We then had a chance to tour the ground breaking exhibit The Shot Heard Around The World: April 19th, 1775.  This exhibit debunked the age old myth of the unprepared New England farmer responding to the shots fired on Lexington Green, and tells the story of a highly prepared and trained militia waiting for the right time to attack.

The exhibit included many unique objects, but most notably is an British Royal Artillery cartridge pouch with a fascinating story told by Historian Joel Bohy.  See the video below:

Pouch VimeoPro from Concord Museum on Vimeo

After leaving Concord, we visited the Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Site Manager Wendy Hubbard took us through the 1937 home carefully explaining the life of Walter Gropius and his major impact on architecture during the twentieth century.  The house used many traditional New England building materials including stone, wood, and bricks, but Gropius added glass blocks, cork, acoustic plasters, and tubular piping to meet his design aesthetic.

DSC00471Looking out of the Gropius office window into their meadow

After visiting with Henry Harrison, H.F. du Pont’s grandson for lunch, we departed for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  At the MFA we were joined by Nonie Gadsden (WPEAC ’00) Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Dennis Carr (WPEAC ’99) Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture.  We toured through the newly renovated American Wing.  One of the most poignant stops for me personally was the display of the Magna Carta, next Thomas Jefferson and John Adams working copy of the Declaration of Independence.  It was a truly spectacular exhibit.

MFA Boston’s Magna Carta and the Sons of Liberty silver punch bowl made by Paul Revere

In the late afternoon we departed Boston for Providence, Rhode Island.  That evening we were hosted by Cait Emery (WPAMC ’09) who provided a wonderful dinner and some much needed relaxation.  The much anticipated and famous from years past “Newport March” was on our horizon for the next day.

Neal Hurst, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, Class of 2015

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