Wednesday, October 18, 2023
5:30 p.m.
Shaw Research Library & Zoom


A long-time student of New England interiors, Jane C. Nylander’s talk on October 18, At Home in Portsmouth, 1750 – 1850 will weave together a host of primary sources to expand our understanding of the appearance and functioning of domestic spaces in Portsmouth during the years 1750 – 1850. Diary entries, probate inventories, newspaper advertisements, and excerpts from private letters will be combined with illustrations of documented household furnishings to illuminate the changing taste and advancing technology that enriched the lives of local residents.

Ms. Nylander is President Emerita of Historic New England and formerly a director of Strawbery Banke Museum, Curator of Textiles and Ceramics at Old Sturbridge Village, and a director of the New Hampshire Historical Society. Now an Honorary Trustee of Old Sturbridge Village and the New Hampshire Historical Society, as well as Honorary Governor of The Decorative Arts Trust. She has lectured extensively on New England social history and domestic interiors, textiles, clothing, and antiquarianism, as well as on the significance, organization, and management of museum collections in the U.S. and abroad. She has been widely published in periodicals, including Antiques, Antiques and Fine Arts, Early American Life, and Historic New England. Her books include Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860 (Knopf 1992), Windows on the Past: Four Centuries of New England Homes (Historic New England, 2009) and “The Best Ever!” Parades in New England, 1788-1940 (Bauhan Publishing, 2021).

The lecture series continues to celebrate our city’s significant anniversaries in Portsmouth’s quadricentennial year. This year, the talks shine a light on Portsmouth’s commerce over 400 years, the historic interiors of those who lived here, and finally, the impact of climate change as evidenced at Strawbery Banke.

Each program begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Shaw Research Library of the Portsmouth Athenaeum at 9 Market Square in Portsmouth, NH (unless otherwise noted). Reservations for each program are required as seating is limited. Please call (603) 431-2538 to reserve. If unable to keep a reservation, please call again to release the seat for someone else. If you are interested in attending virtually, please e-mail

Attendance at programs is free for Athenaeum Proprietors, Subscribers and Friends. Guests and members of the public are welcome to attend the entire series by becoming a Friend of the Athenaeum for as little as $25 per year, payable at the door. Admission to an individual program is $10.

Every presenter in this year’s lecture series is a Proprietor of the Portsmouth Athenaeum, suggesting the breadth of knowledge and interest in its dissemination that characterizes Athenaeum members. Each lecturer looks forward to engaging our audience with their knowledge.



Image: Courtesy photo.

For the complete 2023 Lecture Series, click the button.

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