Boston Athenaeum Summer Vacations Exhibition
A charming exhibition, “Always Delightfully Cool" Summer Vacations In Northern New England 1825-1900, will open at the Boston Athenaeum on May 7, 2008 and run through August 22, 2008. The exhibition is open to the public at no charge Monday 9-8, Tuesday-Friday 9-5:30 and the two Saturdays before Memorial Day: May 10 and 17 from 9-4. The Boston Athenaeum is located at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, a half block from the State House and near the Park Street T.
“Always Delightfully Cool” examines the history of leisure travel and tourism in nineteenth-century New England through advertising prints, photographs, maps, sheet music covers, and large-scale chromolithographs. Northern New England, with its varied landscape of beaches, mountains, and lakes, boasted many of the nation’s most popular vacation sites, including Maine’s Moosehead Lake and Mount Desert Island, the seaside resorts of the North and South Shores of Massachusetts, New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee, and the northern Vermont towns of Burlington and Stowe.
Nineteenth-century advertisers, like their modern counterparts, created idealized images of the grand hotels, scenic landmarks, wilderness areas, and recreational pastimes. Exuberant language, bright colors, and exotic scenes enticed would-be vacationers to these new holiday destinations which, according to one advertisement, were “always delightfully cool.” The fifty-seven items in this exhibition are drawn primarily from the Boston Athenaeum’s rich and diverse collection of works of art on paper.
“The Boston Athenaeum’s Prints & Photographs Department holds a particularly strong collection of nineteenth-century lithographs documenting New England culture and history. Many of these prints celebrate the region’s resorts, new transportation systems, and leisure activities. While most of the grand hotels, steamship lines, and amusement parks depicted in the exhibition are long gone or dramatically changed today, many of these areas remain as major vacation destinations,” says exhibition curator Catharina Slautterback, Associate Curator of Prints & Photographs at The Boston Athenaeum.
An illustrated catalog of the exhibition by Catharina Slautterback will be available for purchase through the Boston Athenaeum.
For more information, visit http://www.bostonathenaeum.org or call 617.227-0270. New members are always welcome - see the Web site for an online membership application.