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Holiday Happenings at the Concord Museum!

 A CELEBRATION OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Concord Museum’s 26th Annual Family Trees

Join the Concord Museum to celebrate the 26th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature opening to the public on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 through Sunday, January 2, 2022.  Admire 32 fancifully decorated holiday trees and wreaths inspired by acclaimed works of children’s literature.

Family Trees was started at the Concord Museum 26 years ago to give a creative twist to Concord’s esteemed literary history and to share one of life’s greatest pleasures- reading to a child. Since then, we have brought over 800 children’s book titles to life using trees and wreaths of all shapes and sizes as the canvas,” explained Carol Haines, Manager of Exhibitions and Design at the Concord Museum. “Such an endeavor is made possible by the talented and dedicated volunteers who organize the event and design and decorate the trees, and by our many generous sponsors, including Barefoot Books. “

This year’s Honorary Chair of Family Trees is award-winning author and illustrator Grace Lin. whose work has been named by a Caldecott Honor and a Newbery Honor among others. Grace Lin explained, “Family Trees is such a joyous celebration of the holidays, and books. It’s so much fun to see your book come to life on a tree.” Past Honorary Chairs of Family Trees have included Tomie dePaola, Gregory Maguire, Peter Reynolds, Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi Stemple, Cokie Roberts, Jerry Pinkney, D.B. Johnson, Melissa Sweet, Pamela Zagarenski and Nicole Tadgell.

 

Admission: During this benefit event, Concord Museum admission is $18 adults, $15 seniors & students; $8 Youth (6-17); Children $5 (3 to 5); Children (2 and under) free. Members Free. The Museum is open  Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm. (Also open Monday, December 27; Closed November 25,December 24 and December 25). Walk-ins welcome. Go to www.concordmuseum.org for more information and this year’s Family Tree’s Booklist. For questions 978-369-9763 x222

 

Family Trees is organized by the Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers as a benefit for the Museum’s education initiatives.

A special thank you to our lead sponsor Barefoot Books and to our media sponsor Boston Parents.

 

Family Trees Programs

Page to Stage Puppet Show

Saturday, December 4 | 11:00 – 11:45 am

Free with Museum admission

Colorful and beloved characters from stories around the world come alive on the puppet stage. Some stories are interactive, some hilarious, all have positive messages!

 

Constellation Craft

Sunday, December 5 |10:00 – 12:00 pm

Free with Museum admission

During Family Trees, families can drop in to read Ada and the Galaxies and imagine the universe we live in. Design your own constellation of stars while exploring the galaxy.

 

An Afternoon with Authors & Illustrators

Sunday, December 5 | 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission

Meet some of the accomplished authors and illustrators who books are featured in Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature. Explore the decorated forest of trees throughout the Museum and visit with authors and illustrators as they sign your books. In partnership with the Concord Bookshop.

 

Reach for the Stars Stargazing Event

Sunday, December 5 | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission

Explore the galaxies without having to leave Earth! Join Jim Zebrowski of the Aldrich Astronomical Society for a demonstration of how telescopes help us see far, far away, all in honor of the new picture book, Ada and the Galaxies.

11th Annual Holiday House Tour- Inside Out!
Saturday, December 11, 2021

Join the Guild of Volunteers for the 11th Annual Holiday House Tour on Saturday, December 11!  We are thrilled to return this year’s event to an in-person format, with the exciting twist of featuring a variety of beautifully decorated outdoor spaces sure to delight and inspire.  Hidden and often overlooked spaces, like patios, porches, doorways, barns, and gazebos, will take center stage for this showcase of outdoor winter wonderlands.  Concord’s holiday charm will be on full display in these unique settings, with the magic of twinkling lights and richness of abundant greens enhanced by the seasonal atmosphere.  Gather your friends and bundle up to enjoy this one-of-a-kind holiday tour!

Tickets: $30 Museum Members/$35 General Public

Inclement weather date: Sunday, December 12

Please note: Attendees will not have access to home interiors.  The event will take place entirely outdoors.

For more information and tickets click here.

Drop-In Flower Design

Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12 | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission

Families can design their own flowers while reading Have You Ever See a Flower? And Welcome Flower Child: The Magic of Your Birth Flower. Learn about the different types of flowers and the symbolism behind them.

 

Holiday Members Night

Tuesday, December 14 | 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Free and Exclusive to Concord Museum Members

Celebrate the winter season with an evening of viewing Family Trees and enjoying festive treats. Stop by pop-up shops throughout the Museum to find unique gifts and take advantage of discounted holiday shopping. This event is open to all members of the Concord Museum.

 

 

 

Celebrate Concord’s 386th Birthday and all-new Concord Museum Celebration

WE’RE MAKING HISTORY (Literally)!

CONCORD’S BIRTHDAY AND THE ALL-NEW CONCORD MUSEUM!

In celebration of Concord’s 386th Birthday and the opening of the Concord Museum’s 16 new permanent galleries, the public is invited to a week of activities including Forums, Gallery Talks, Encampments, and Family events starting Labor Day, September 6 through Sunday, September 12, 2021.

The week-long celebration includes free Museum admission for all Concord residents and the opportunity to see the newly renovated Museum first-hand on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 2021.

 

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021 the public is invited to a panel discussion “Concord Farms: Resilience, Revolutionaries, and Renegades” on the history of agriculture in Concord that is both informative and celebratory as we help spread the word about the resilience of the Concord farmer. On Wednesday, September 8 join Jacqueline Jones, the president of the American Historical Association and Concord resident, in a conversation about her prize-winning books including: Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present.

 

Drop by the Museum to experience the history of Concord’s incorporation as a town! Families can participate in activities that explore life and craft in the era of the 1600’s Concord from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12.

Free outdoor community activities are scheduled on the weekend! Meet baby lambs and a fluffy angora rabbit outside the Museum. Watch as their wool and fur are carded and spun into fine yarn with a master weaver at work at a loom. On Sunday, visit an encampment with the Acton Minutemen for cooking, music, crafts, and musket drills as the men and women prepare for battle.

 

The final phase of Concord Museum’s decade-long $16 million renovation project is culminating with the opening of renovated and interactive galleries and celebration starting on Labor Day, September 6, 2021. The ten newest galleries include a renewed focus on Concord’s famous Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, the women who led the effort to abolish slavery, and African Americans who lived in Concord before and after the Civil War.

Friday, 9/10:

11am: Henry David Thoreau Gallery Talk

2pm: Farming in Concord: History Learning Center Program

 

Saturday, 9/11:

10am Celebrate Concord Community Day

11am Mill Brook Walking Tour 

2pm Getting a Living Gallery Talk

 

Sunday, 9/12:

10am Celebrate Concord Community Day

11am Incorporating Concord Gallery Talk

2pm History Learning Center Program

For a full program listing of Family Activities visit www.concordmuseum.org

Sponsors: WBUR, Gourmet Catering and Middlesex Savings Bank.

 

 

CELEBRATE CONCORD’S 386th BIRTHDAY AND THE ALL-NEW CONCORD MUSEUM

In celebration of Concord’s 386th Birthday and the opening of the Concord Museum’s 16 new permanent galleries, the public is invited to a week of activities including Forums, Gallery Talks, Encampments, and Family events starting Labor Day, September 6 through Sunday, September 12, 2021.

The week-long celebration includes free Museum admission for all Concord residents and the opportunity to see the newly renovated Museum first-hand on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 2021.

 

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021 the public is invited to a panel discussion “Concord Farms: Resilience, Revolutionaries, and Renegades” on the history of agriculture in Concord that is both informative and celebratory as we help spread the word about the resilience of the Concord farmer. On Wednesday, September 8 join Jacqueline Jones, the president of the American Historical Association and Concord resident, in a conversation about her prize-winning books including: Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present.

 

Drop by the Museum to experience the history of Concord’s incorporation as a town! Families can participate in activities that explore life and craft in the era of the 1600’s Concord from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12.

 

Free outdoor community activities are scheduled on the weekend! Meet baby lambs and a fluffy angora rabbit outside the Museum. Watch as their wool and fur are carded and spun into fine yarn with a master weaver at work at a loom. On Sunday, visit an encampment with the Acton Minutemen for cooking, music, crafts, and musket drills as the men and women prepare for battle.

 

The final phase of Concord Museum’s decade-long $16 million renovation project is culminating with the opening of renovated and interactive galleries and celebration starting on Labor Day, September 6, 2021. The ten newest galleries include a renewed focus on Concord’s famous Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, the women who led the effort to abolish slavery, and African Americans who lived in Concord before and after the Civil War.

For a full program listing of Family Activities visit www.concordmuseum.org

 

Sponsors: WBUR, Gourmet Catering and Middlesex Savings Bank.

 

 

 

 

Concord Museum presents Outdoor Film Screening “Summer Under the Stars Film Series: Women in History””

As part of the exhibition Every Path Laid Open: Women of Concord and the Quest for Equality the Concord Museum is hosting a three part film series Summer Under the Stars: Women in History starting on Thursday, June 10, 2021. The movies made by and about women, will address historical and contemporary issues of women’s rights, reform, and activism –

celebrating female heroes – the fictional, historical, and super!

 

 

On Thursday, June 10th the film series kicks-off with the 2019 film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, Little Women. On the eve of Juneteenth, to celebrate and to continue the conversation raised by Harriet Tubman’s heroic efforts to free enslaved people through the Underground Railroad, the Museum will host Harriet, Thursday, June 17, 2021.

 

The heroes of Concord turn super with the screening of Captain Marvel on Thursday, August 19th the first female-led superhero movie to gross over $1 billion, and the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film led by a female superhero.

 

Concord Museum’s Summer Under the Stars movies will be held on the Museum’s lawn from 8:15 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. All of the movies are free with a suggested donation. Advanced registration is required www.concordmuseum.org 

 

All of the movies are in partnership with The Robbins House, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, and The Umbrella Arts Center.

 

Summer Under the Stars is supported by Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area.

Concord Covid Creativity Comes Alive at the Concord Museum!

Behind the Scenes look as Decorators set up for the Concord Museum’s Family Trees Exhibit…

 

Necessity is the mother of invention and Concord creatives have risen to the challenge in this year’s Family Tree exhibit at the Concord Museum which opened this week.

 

It turns out Zoom and Facetime have powered even more creativity than ever before as artists, families, friends and Girl Scout troops bring children’s stories to life through holiday tree interpretations that will blow your mind.  But what has been even more inspiring is to see the grit, resilience, creativity and laughter that fused behind the scenes to bring us such holiday joy in the absence of holiday parties and family get togethers.

 

In a typical year, creative minds would collect to choose a story to interpret and build a tree together over a series of weeks but in fairly normal tempo and in-person construction.  Not this year.  This year Covid has ignited some inspiring innovations that can’t help but bring a smile to your face in awareness of what we can all accomplish together when we put our minds to it.

 

One  Girl Scout troop used this project to stay connected, as did groups of friends, designing ornaments together over Zoom and having virtual workshop sessions replete with holiday music and bring-your-own snacks.  Parents and college kids, newly working from home, were able to participate in ways that weren’t practically possible and formulated family projects that successfully tugged everybody away from Netflix.

 

Equally impressive has been the creativity, care and insight that the museum staff has brought to bear to create a Covid-aware viewing experience for all of us when we go to see these miraculous trees.

 

 

Earlier this week, we got an inside glimpse of the decorators setting up their trees. It was magical to see the children’s books come alive as their stories were reflected through the ornaments of each tree. Take a peek at our “90 Seconds Behind the Scenes” of the decorators preparing for opening day of the Exhibit.

 

 

In past years, all the decorators would all arrive one morning to decorate their trees together. However, this year, due to the pandemic, a lot of time and thought had to be put into placement of trees, scheduling the decorators and setting up reservations to stay in line with COVID protocol.

 

The staggered slots for decorators to set up the trees allowed each group to be alone in their space for their allotted time. This also gave us a chance to see the different phases.

 

Over the course of two days we were able to walk around the Museum and see the trees in various stages – from decorators lugging in boxes and bags into the Museum, to setting up the actual tree to carefully unwrapping the various ornaments then on to the thoughtful placement of each on to the branches.

 

We look forward to making a reservation and returning to see the Exhibit in its entirety and have a chance to linger at each wreath and tree.

 

 

A change from past years is the amount of space between trees which will allow visitors to feel comfortable as they roam the galleries. Also, plexiglass book stands have been provided with the book opened to a spread that the decorator chose as her inspiration. This will keep it a touch-free zone and safer for visitors. One group found a creative way to display several pages of the book around the base of the tree… See if you can spot this when you visit.

 

 

 

During this pandemic, more people than ever are making sourdough starters and baking bread. All of you bakers will get a kick out of the theme of the tree in the Center Hall. Be sure to take extra time to look at the detail of each ornament. One Concord family worked hard to bring the The Bread Pet book to life on the branches of their tree.

 

 

The adorable children and talented staff of Concord Recreation After School Program and Concord Carousel Preschool found fabulous ways to create a snow globe, complete with faces of the children, modeling their unique face masks. Several other local schools are represented and teachers worked hard to include the children in creating their trees,

 

 

The reservation system that has been implemented is another safe step the Museum has taken to keep its visitors safe and follow COVID protocols. Be sure to book your reservation soon!

 

          

 

Family Trees is on view through January 3, 2021, seven days a week from 10am to 4pm. Timed tickets can be reserved online. (closed 11/26, 12/24, and 12/25)

 

Visit the Concord Museum this holiday season to see 28 trees and wreaths of all shapes and sizes ornamented with inspiration from children’s books.  Brimming with whimsy and charm, this creative twist on Concord’s renowned literary legacy is sure to brighten spirits and warm hearts of all ages.

 

 

Please enjoy some of the in-progress photos and reserve your spot to come and celebrate the holidays in this historic time.  We thank you in advance for supporting  the Concord Museum, the Staff has worked tirelessly, behind the scenes, to make this happen.

 

Concord Museum Galleries:
NOW OPEN!
Open Seven Days a Week from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Purchase timed tickets on the Museum’s website.

 

Tickets are now available for our 25th annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature. To purchase your timed ticket choose the Family Trees Area and select the day would like to visit. Then scroll through the next screens using the gray side bar to select your time slot and types of tickets. As always, Members visit for free! Not a member? Join or renew today

July 23: This Day in History

The Concord Museum offers so many lessons about our history.

Did you know significance of July 23?

On July 23, 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in the Concord Jail. Learn more about the story behind Thoreau’s arrest and how it sparked his essay “Civil Disobedience” in this week’s edition of History at Home presented by the Concord Museum!

ENVISIONING THOREAU’S ARREST

Upon leaving Walden Pond to run an errand, Henry David Thoreau was unexpectedly arrested by the local constable. In this two minute video, join Curator David Wood as he narrates the story of Thoreau’s arrest for non-payment of the poll tax in July of 1846.

LOCKED IN WITH THOREAU

Thoreau’s night in the Concord jail sparked his writing of “Civil Disobedience” which left an indelible mark on history through its influence on movements for nonviolent change.  Curatorial Associate Erica Lome gives us a closer look at the lock and key used to hold Thoreau in his cell that night in a two-minute video, sign up to watch it.

FAMILY ACTIVITY

History at Home: Learn about Thoreau’s night in the Concord Jail in 1846 and how it sparked his subsequent essay, “Civil Disobedience.”

This week’s Family Activity is “Use Your Voice” which encourages kids to stand up for a cause they believe in!

Sign up for this lesson and more through the History at Home, offered by The Concord Museum

Concord Museum’s Memorial Day Offerings

 

To commemorate Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who died in service to our country, The Concord Museum has crafted a special edition of History at Home. 

The program includes an introduction, comments on Ralph Waldo Emerson (whose birthday is today), a tribute to Peter Brooke, and then four vignettes about the Melvin Memorial including a conversation with Harold Holzer, a description of Daniel Chester French’s sculpture, Mourning Victory, a tour of the Memorial itself in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and then a few excerpts from the recent rededication of the Memorial (last June) including a very touching keynote address by our curator, David Wood, and a poem read by Neil Rasmussen.

Check out these links:

Concord Museum Memorial Day Program

History at Home

Memorial Day Op-Ed

Concord Journal Guest Commentary (May 21, 2020 edition)

Our Memorial Day tradition of honoring military men and women who died while serving our country originated in the aftermath of the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971.

Each year my wife and I attend the ceremony in the village where we grew up, smiling at the high school band playing songs we performed at their age; warmed by the remarks made by decorated veterans; and touched by such time-honored rituals as the playing of taps; the 21 gun salute, and the reading of names of those who lost their lives in battle.

This year there will be no parade and yet, it seems, we have so much to mourn including the recent loss of loved ones and those who have risked (and in some cases lost) their lives while caring for others.

In chronicling the history of Concord, my colleagues and I at the Concord Museum are guided by the words of Robert Penn Warren: “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.”

On Monday, May 25, 2020 we will be posting a special Memorial Day video program that we hope will provide solace and perspective to those who view it – uniting us in ways to better face the future.

The posting will feature our Curator David Wood’s keynote remarks last June at the rededication in Sleep Hollow cemetery of the Melvin Memorial which honors the lives of three brothers from Concord who died in the Civil War. Their surviving brother commissioned his boyhood friend, Daniel Chester French, to create a sculpture later called, Mourning Victory.

David’s remarks were based on one of the brother’s diaries which include his account of being captured by the rebel forces (where he would die in captivity) and of his brothers’ deaths from dysentery and a fatal charge in Petersburg.

While observing a different civil war in his native land in Ireland, the poet, William Butler Yeats, minced no words about the destruction it unleashed which, to me, are reminiscent of our recent experience of this pandemic.

We are closed in, and the key is turned

On our uncertainty; somewhere

A man is killed, or a house burned

Yet no clear fact to be discerned.

 

Despite the destruction all around him, however, outside Yeats’s window he notices a more hopeful natural phenomenon: honey-bees building a home in a starling’s empty nest.  Seamus Heaney once championed Yeats’s poetic observations for “satisfying the contradictory needs which consciousness experiences at times of extreme crisis, the need on the one hand for a truth telling, and, on the other hand, to credit as a reality the squeeze of the hand, and the actuality of sympathy and protectiveness between living creatures.”

We hope our special virtual Memorial Day observance will elicit such sympathies and our need to protect each other in this, our moment of collective crisis.

 

Thank you and best wishes on this unique and solemn “stay-safely-in-place” Memorial Day.

Concord, MA 9/15/08 Tourists visit the Concord Museum, on Monday, September 15, 2008. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff); Reporter: Brad Kane; Section: NWWk; Slug: 21nwtouris Library Tag 09212008 Globe NorthWest

 

Events

Concord Museum Holiday House Tour Inside Out!

 Concord Museum’s Holiday House Tour- Inside Out!

On Saturday, December 11th from 11:00am to 3:00 pm get ready to turn Concord “inside out”!  This twist to Concord Museum’s 11th Annual Holiday House Tour showcases the incredible outdoor spaces of 10 Concord homes. Hidden and often overlooked spaces, like porches, doorways, playhouses, barns, and cottages, will take center stage for this showcase of outdoor winter wonderlands.

Each location on the Holiday Inside Out Tour was carefully selected for its unique and architectural details and historical significance. Properties range from Georgian, Victorian, and Federal-style homes to simple New England farmhouses. This year, one of several standout historical locations includes the Emerson’s barn. The Ralph Waldo Emerson property was originally constructed in 1828 and is on the National Register of Historic places. We know visitors will enjoy the experience of walking through this beautifully decorated space.

 

The annual Holiday House Tour, which is organized by Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers, is one of the Museum’s largest fundraisers. Tickets directly support the Museum’s education resources for local schools, exhibitions reflecting inclusive historical scholarship, and public programs featuring nationally renowned historians.

 

Tickets include admission to 10 outdoor spaces on the Inside Out Tour, a program booklet with detailed information about each home and property, free cocoa at the Colonial Inn, and Free Admission to the new galleries at the Concord Museum including the 26th Annual Family Trees event. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 978-369-9763 ext. 222.

 

On the day of the event, Saturday, December 11th starting at 10:30am tickets and maps may be picked up at the Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, MA. 01742.

Thank you to 2021 Presenting Sponsor: Mahoney’s

 

Thank you to these generous sponsors: J.W. Adams Construction, The Andrew Marquis Team CrossCountry Mortgage, Kistler & Knapp Builders, Platt Builders, Frances Walker Coldwell Banker Realty, McWalter Volunteer Insurance Agency, Barrett Sotheby’s, Dewing Schmid Kearns Architects + Planners.

 

Thank you to Cambridge Savings Charitable Foundation, William Raveis, Sara Campbell, Russell’s Garden Center, J. McLaughlin, Discover Concord, New England Home, Concord’s Colonial Inn, and Season’s Four.