Very often in museums the stories that we share focus on the people and events connected to a place. What can be overlooked are the methods that we use to develop these stories. The House of the Seven Gables will be looking at the various disciplines used to study history and architecture in this year’s annual exhibition, These Walls Do Talk. Eleven text panels will tell the story of how we know what we know about The House of the Seven Gables. The exhibit begins with an introduction focusing on historical interest in the house beginning with Nathaniel Hawthorne. As a visitor to the house in 1840, Hawthorne’s inquisitive instinct had him exploring every corner of the house looking for clues about its architectural past. The publication of his novel in 1851 would spark an endless curiosity in the mansion at the foot of Turner Street among scholars, artists, and the general public. The question is then asked: what do we know? The answer to this question is informed by the subjects of the subsequent panels, including documentary research, paint analysis, dendrochronology, archaeology, and more. The motivation behind this exhibit theme was to shed light on the behind the scenes work that is done to understand history and to encourage young people to consider entering these fields.
The panels were all written by The Gables lead researcher and senior tour guide, David Moffat. Moffat was the principle researcher and writer for the last four exhibits at The Gables. In addition to Mr. Moffat, each panel was reviewed by a leading expert in the field being examined. Sponsors for the panels include David M. Hart, AIA; CTM; Merry Fox Realty; Peabody Essex Museum; Adelphi Paper Hangings, LLC; Red Barn Architecture; and Structures North Consulting Engineers.
Join us on the evening of April 6 for an exciting exhibit opening in the Seamans Visitor Center at The House of the Seven Gables. The event begins at 5pm.
This post was written by Julie Arrison-Bishop