Deck the Halls: Female Abolitionists and the Evolution of Christmas
Join us Thursday, December 1st at 6 pm for a special lecture as part of our 125th anniversary, in partnership with the Nahant Historical Society.
What we think of as the traditional trappings of Christmas celebrations were just beginning in the mid-nineteenth century. Ken Turino narrates how female abolitionists in the North Shore and America contributed to the development of modern American Christmas traditions. These abolitionists, including Maria Chapman, Lydia Marie Child, and Abby Kelly of Lynn hosted and or contributed to Christmas fairs to raise money for the abolitionist cause. Turino looks at woman’s Sewing Circles here and abroad which contributed a wide array of goods for sale at these fairs. Christmas fairs had a wide-ranging influence on our customs, including the use of Christmas trees, greenery in decorating, and gift giving in America.
Tickets are $10 for LM/LA and Nahant Historical Society members and $15 for nonmembers.
Ken Turino is Manager of Community Partnerships and Resource Development at Historic New England and on the faculty of Tufts University in the Museum Studies Department where he teaches courses on Exhibition Planning and Reimagining Historic House Museums. Ken is a curator, educator, director, producer, and author. His films have been shown on PBS including the prize winning film, “Back to School: Lessons from Norwich’s (VT) One-Room Schoolhouses.” Ken has published numerous public history articles including many with a focus on interpreting historic sites and on LGBTQ history. Ken’s most recent publication in 2019, with Max van Balgooy, is Reinventing the Historic House Museum, New Approaches and Proven Solutions, editors, for Rowman & Littlefield. Ken speaks widely on the history of Christmas. With Max van Balgooy he is currently working on a book on Interpreting Christmas at Historic Sites and Museums.
Ken served on the Council for the American Association for State and Local History and for that organization, teaches a daylong workshop on historic houses. He frequently consults on interpretive planning and community engagement projects at historic sites. These include Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee, James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, Virginia, and Trent House in Trenton, New Jersey. Ken holds an MAT from George Washington University. He was awarded an Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from Salem State University in 2008. Currently Ken is President of the House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts.