Harvard Mass events. Fruitlands Museum 100th Anniversary Celebration. Fun and events! Free Admission on Centennial Saturday – June 21, 10am-5pm. Summer Solstice Farm-to-Fork Dinner – June 22, 5pm.
On June 21 and 22, Fruitlands Museum kicks off a yearlong centennial celebration with a weekend full of events for all ages. On Centennial Saturday, June 21 from 10am – 5pm, the Museum officially turns 100 and offers a FREE admission day filled with fun for the whole family! And, on June 22, Fruitlands hosts a stylish Summer Solstice Farm-to-Fork fundraising dinner. The entire weekend will celebrate the founding of Fruitlands on a summer solstice 100 years ago–June 21, 1914–by the visionary Clara Endicott Sears.
On Saturday, June 21, Fruitlands’ beautiful grounds will be filled with live music, craft activities, artist demonstrations, games, trail walks, children’s events and much more. Everyone will be welcome to enjoy the Fruitlands galleries and grounds for free. Artist-in-Residence Richard Kattman will be painting en plein air to transform a canvas into a vibrant work of art. Visitors will be invited to contribute a stroke of paint to a community canvas. Animal Adventures will be doing a presentation about the critters found in and around the Fruitlands property. Deborah Costine Nature Puppets will be weaving the story of a Woodland Cinderella. Bluegrass music, nineteenth-century crafts, kite flying, and much more will be available throughout the day. All of this and cake! This is one party you won’t want to miss.
On Sunday June 22, Fruitlands hosts a glorious Summer Solstice Farm-to-Fork Dinner out in the fields. The afternoon begins at 5pm with cocktails and private tours of the Museum’s gallery buildings followed by a sumptuous, locally sourced seated dinner provided by Fireside Catering of Gibbet Hill Grill. Beautiful music, delicious food and sparkling conversation will surround guests as they dine under a blue summer sky and toast Fruitland’s 100th Anniversary. Funds raised at the event will benefit education and outreach programs. More information about this year’s dinner at www.Fruitlands.org/f2fdinner. Tickets are $150, and can be purchased on the website or by calling Kerry at 978.456.3924, x289. firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We invite everyone to have a little fun in utopia, or, as Bronson Alcott called it, our ‘New Eden’” said Executive Director Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “We’re not only marking our 100th anniversary, but celebrating Clara Endicott Sears, the woman that made it possible, the collections that she cared for and all that we’ve accomplished to get to this point,” she said. “In honoring her work as historian, preservationist, author and collector, we’re reminded of the need to know and respect the past in order to shape a legacy for the future.“
Fruitlands Museum is open Monday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., weekends and holidays 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, $5 for children 5 – 13, and free for members and children under 5. Fruitlands Museum is located at 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard, Mass. For more information please visit www.fruitlands.org or call 978-456-3924 ext. 292.
ABOUT CLARA ENDICOTT SEARS & THE FOUNDING OF FRUITLANDS:
As Fruitlands celebrates its 100th anniversary, the vision of founder Clara Endicott Sears’ renews and redefines itself for the next century. A contemporary of Edith Wharton and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Sears was born in 1863 and lived to see her 97th year. Wealthy on both sides of her family as a result of the China trade, she was justifiably proud of her Boston Brahmin ancestors –with Peabodys and Endicotts, Winthrops and Sears, on her family tree.
In 1910, Sears built a summer residence known as the “Pergolas” on Prospect Hill in Harvard, Massachusetts. The house (now gone) and property commanded breathtaking views of the Nashua River Valley, originally settled by the Nashaway Indians. Sears soon discovered that her property was adjacent to the dilapidated small red farmhouse that had been the home of Transcendentalist Bronson Alcott’s 1843 experimental utopian community “Fruitlands.” She quickly acquired the land, and set to restoring the house.
Like the famous writer and one-time resident of Fruitlands, Louisa May Alcott, Miss Sears was not a conventional Victorian woman. Sears was cosmopolitan, cultivated and independent. She preferred artistic and intellectual pursuits to the conventional roles expected of a lady of her social stature. She had a deep interest in New England history and culture, and wrote several books, fiction and nonfiction. The spectacular site where she decided to build her new home, turned out to have historical associations that dovetailed with Sears’ passionate interest in the great minds and spiritual seekers of America’s past.
She opened Fruitlands as a house museum in 1914. In 1917, when the neighboring Harvard Shaker community closed, the eldress asked Miss Sears to move the Shaker office building to the Prospect Hill property; it opened as a Shaker museum, the first in the country, shortly afterwards. In the 1920’s, Miss Sears added an American Indian museum and a building that housed a collection of Hudson River School and American folk paintings. She built a museum complex that tells the story of the many peoples who lived, and searched for their own utopias, in the countryside she loved.
CENTENNIAL EVENTS AT A GLANCE:
Saturday, June 21, 10AM-5PM, FREE ADMISSION.
CENTENNIAL SATURDAY: FRUITLANDS TURNS 100!
Come celebrate the kickoff of Fruitlands’ centennial year! On this FREE day there will be fun for the whole family, with live music, craft activities, artist demonstrations, games, trail walks and more.
Sunday, June 22, 5PM, $150.
SUMMER SOLSTICE FARM TO FORK DINNER.
Celebrate Fruitlands 100th Birthday in style! Cocktails and private tours of the Museum’s gallery buildings followed by a sumptuous locally sourced dinner provided by Fireside Catering of Gibbet Hill Grill. www.Fruitlands.org/f2fdinner or 978.456.3924, x289 for more information.
Thursday, June 26, 7:15PM, Grounds open at 6 p.m. for picnicking. Concert at 7:15 p.m.
100th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT.
The Concord Band celebrates the Museum’s 100th anniversary with a special performance of music composed by Fruitlands founder Clara Endicott Sears. Parking: $15; $10 for Fruitlands’ Members. Tickets@ConcordBand.org or (978) 897-9969
FRUITLANDS CENTENNIAL LECTURE SERIES.
Throughout the year notable scholars will provide insights into the people, ideas, landscape and rich collections of Fruitlands’ past, present and future. Free with admission.
Sunday, June 22 | 3:30-4:30pm – Richard Francis
Richard Francis, author of Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia, starts off the Fruitlands Centennial Lecture Series with a presentation focusing on the Alcott children and their presence in the Fruitlands experimental community. Richard Francis has taught at universities on both sides of the Atlantic and has previously written on Mother Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, and on the Salem witch trials. He is also a novelist.
Saturday, August 23 | 1-2pm – Dr. Cecilia Macheski
Dr. Cecilia Macheski, Professor Emeritus of LaGuardia Community College in Hudson, NY, shares with us the mercurial energy, diverse interests, and unique vision of Fruitlands Museum founder Clara Endicott Sears in this 60-minute illustrated lecture.
Saturday, October 18 | 1-2pm
Cynthia Barton presents History’s Daughter: The Life of Clara Endicott Sears, Founder of Fruitlands Museum
Biographer Cynthia Barton relates a chronicle of Clara Endicott Sears’ life and details the influences leading to the creation of the Fruitlands Museum in this insightful presentation.