, 2023-01-17 12:38:15,
When the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum opened in Hadley, Massachusetts, in 1949, visitors learned about the six generations of the family that lived there as they toured rooms of imported tapestries and other decorative examples of refined taste. The original experiment was supervised by James Lincoln Huntington, who opened the museum, actively formulated its interpretation, and until his death in 1968 led most tours of the house himself.
Seven decades later, visitors to the museum now hear stories encompassing the lives of the many people who lived and worked on the plantation known as “Forty Acres”: the free and enslaved blacks, Indigenous people, and the Porter-Phelps-Huntington women who kept it. Family farm in operation for more than 200 years, some of whom are active abolitionists. This retelling is thanks to decades of work by the Porter Phelps Huntington family, the foundation, the museum, and UMass Amherst students and faculty working to help reinterpret the site through its vast collection–thousands of letters written between dozens of relatives and hundreds of original farm and home objects.
To bring the house into line with his vision of genteel home living, James Lincoln Huntington converted the summer home into a Colonial-style show space. As he restores the property, he erases other parts of his family’s past. Victorian era…
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