In late 2010, the museum began what is the first phase of what will be a comprehensive, multi-year restoration of the Farnsworth Homestead. This presentation will focus on the work that has been done thus far and the kinds of projects that will be undertaken in coming years. Built in 1850 for Rockland businessman William Alden Farnsworth, the elegant two-story, twelve-room Greek Revival style building was home to his wife and six children, including Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, who would be the last surviving member of the family and whose bequest upon her death in 1935 at the age of 97 founded the Farnsworth Art Museum. Lucy’s devotion to her father and her family was such that the house was virtually unchanged from the time of his death in 1876. Much of its original furnishings – wallpapers, carpets, draperies, bed furnishings, china and silver, kitchen stove, children’s toys, books, clothing, family records, and other items for everyday use remain, including original gas lighting fixtures, and a state of the art coal-fired hot water heater and plumbing fixtures. The Homestead thus offers the unusual and distinctive combination of a well-preserved, richly furnished mid-Victorian interior within a refined Greek Revival exterior. In 1973, in recognition of the Homestead’s significance, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Lecture by chief curator, Michael Komanecky.
Location: Farnsworth auditorium
Cost: $10 nonmembers, $5 members