"A Public Patriotic Museum": Artworks and Artifacts from the General Artemas Ward House

, Fogg Museum

Fogg Museum

This exhibition is drawn from the General Artemas Ward Museum in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Artemas Ward (1727-1800) commanded the revolutionary force besieging British-controlled Boston from April 1775 until the appointment of George Washington two months later. Objects associated with Ward are presented in counterpoint with others owned or made by his female descendants. Their lives, unlike his, remained private, yet it was through their efforts that his memory was preserved. The exhibition raises questions regarding contrasts between public and private in relation to gender roles. By presenting ordinary artifacts for aesthetic attention, it also questions the assumption that their aesthetic qualities are irrelevant to the writing of history. Organized by Ivan Gaskell, Margaret S. Winthrop Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts, Fogg Museum; and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 300th Anniversary University Professor, Department of History, Harvard University. A brochure accompanies this exhibition.