Featured in The Boston Globe and Chronicle, view a 19th-century diorama of the Lynn, Boston, and Revere Railroad constructed by Lynn-based artist Todd Gieg. The Narrow Gauge ceased operation in 1940 but was instrumental in developing the North Shore, with many of the railroad stations still being used by the MBTA’s Blue Line.
Currently made up of three 4″ x 4″ sections, the Diorama took Gieg twelve years to create, and he hopes to complete the rest of the railroad diorama within the next eight years.
This display is a temporary deposit located in our second-floor galleries. The show will end on December 22, 2023.
To see more of Todd’s process and learn the history behind the Diorama, check out his other videos here.
“Industry & Craft: People At Work In Lynn” explores the different industries of Lynn Massachusetts, and shows that the Shoe City was the origin of many inventions that revolutionized the economy. Starting with early industries making flax for clothing and ice for refrigeration to modern day industry like the General Electric Company, this exhibit displays the artifacts of the Lynn Museum & Historical Society and shares the stories of real people at work in Lynn.
This exhibit is permanent, located in our second floor galleries.
What is a museum? Why do museums collect? “Collecting For: The Artifacts of Lynn” features highlights from the collection of the Lynn Museum & Historical Society, and information on the history and evolution of this institution. Explore concepts of museum collecting from the earliest “cabinets of curiosities” to modern day museums. Spotlights include our Victorian furniture and decorative arts collection, Abolitionism and collecting to preserve the history of social movements, and historic preservation.
This exhibit is temporary, located in our second floor galleries.
May 12, 2023, through June 28, 2024
After the success of our Untold Stories: A History of Black People in Lynn exhibition (May 2021 – July 2022), we reimagined the show into a rotating display in our second-floor galleries.
Expanding on the collaborative exhibition co-curated with Lynn’s Black community members, we will continue to explore the stories, achievements, and impact of Black people in Lynn from the colonial period to the present day. Untold Stories: Community Changemakers highlights Lynn residents Abner Darby, George Washington Johnson, Lillie C. Jones, Pearl and Edmund Brown, Sr., and Chickie Wilson.
The display features photographs, family memorabilia, ephemera from the Lynn community, and artifacts from the Lynn Museum’s collection. A small display details the initial exhibition, Untold Stories: A History of Black People in Lynn.
On April 27, 2022, the Lynn Museum & Historical Society, better known as Lynn Museum/LynnArts, celebrated its 125th anniversary. While things may look a bit different than in our early years, our mission remains the same: preserve, interpret, and promote the diverse cultural heritage of Lynn.
Over the past 125 years, we have grown and maintained a collection of over 10,000 objects chronicling Lynn’s rise from an early American settlement to an industrial powerhouse. This exhibition will highlight the early artifacts of the Lynn Historical Society collection, some staff favorites, and never-before-seen objects.
We had the pleasure of collaborating with LEAP for Education’s Dream MORE summer program from July 10 – August 10, 2023, to build an exhibition around Lynn’s history of youth activism.
Over five weeks, these students had the opportunity to learn more about activism, discuss issues within the Lynn community that activists are concerned about, interview and research current and former activists, and produce portraits of the activists they learned more about.
This exhibition highlights the activist work of Zhané Burton, Jason Cruz, Linda Jallow, Sky Sath, and Valerie Vong. The work featured includes portraits, student testimonials, video interviews, and research the students completed.
This exhibition is supported by a Mass Humanities Expand Massachusetts Stories grant.
On view September 21 – December 16, 2023
In the 1990s, Lynn was home to the third-largest community of Russian speakers in the United States after Boston and New York. The vast majority were refugees from the former Soviet Union and its successor states. Their arrival in the Bay State represented the culmination of more than two decades of protest aimed at alleviating the plight of dissidents and Jews in the Soviet Union.
During the past year, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) at Salem State University has conducted an oral history project focused on the history of the Russian-speaking Jewish community in the North Shore and the Greater Boston area. We recorded interviews with community members about their lives in the Soviet Union, their decisions to emigrate, and their experiences living in the United States. Excerpts from these interviews, alongside family photographs, archival documents, and original artwork, have been organized in an exhibit focused on the history of the community, refuseniks, and the protest movement in Massachusetts.
This project is made possible by funding from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP) and Mass Humanities.
On view October 14, 2023 through March 30, 2024
The Local 201 is the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers/Communications Workers of America (IUE -CWA). Approximately 1,500 workers at General Electric-Lynn, Lynn Wastewater Treatment Plant, Ametek Aerospace-Wilmington, MA, Avis and Budget Rental (East Boston), and Saugus Librarians make up the Local 201.
The Local 201 has a proud 90-year history in Lynn. Their unified strength allows them to negotiate their wages and working conditions, from who gets what shift to the Health Care Benefits their workers and families will have. Their purpose is to improve the lives of workers, their families, and the conditions of the communities in which they live. This also means speaking for working families in politics, from supporting Union Members who run for City Council or School Committee to electing pro-labor candidates to Congress.
Learn about the significant milestones and achievements in Local 201’s history and contribute to their growing archive with stories, photographs, and other union ephemera. View the archive here >>
Many thanks to:
Adam Kaszynski, President, IUE-CWA Local 201
Alex Brown, President, Local 201 Retiree
Frank Emspak; Emeritus Professor, School for Workers, University of Wisconsin.
Nick Juravich, Assistant Professor of History and Labor Studies, Associate Director, Labor Resource Center
Rebecca Beit-Aharon, UMass Boston Intern
June 19 – August 26, 2023
In celebration of Pride and Lynn’s LGBTQIA+ community, Lynn Museum/LynnArts is hosting its third annual art show featuring visual and written works by local, national, and international LGBTQ+ artists with ties to Lynn.
Our 2023 artists include:
Many thanks to United Lynn Pride for their support.
Featured artwork: “A Supportive Friend” by David Maldonado
June 10 – August 26, 2023
Local artist Kelly Slater and participants in Kelly’s tree art workshops at the Lynn Museum/LynnArts will exhibit their work depicting both old-growth trees and the trees of our local urban forest from May through August. Works will include experimental drawings of twigs and cones, trace monotypes of trees, artist’s books, and woodblock prints using non-toxic, plant-derived inks.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lynn Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Additional support is provided through a Sustaining Practice Grant awarded to Kelly Slater by the Collective Futures Fund.
June 17 – July 8, 2023
Frederick Douglass: Advocate for Equality features an exploration of the full trajectory of Douglass’s epic life from 1818 to 1895. In this six-panel traveling exhibition, viewers can learn about Douglass’s escape from slavery, his work as an abolitionist, and his tireless fight for full equality for all individuals into the Jim Crow era.
This exhibition is generously supported in part by Tom Dalton, author of Frederick Douglass: The Lynn Years 1841-1848. Join us for a special presentation on Wednesday, June 28th, from 6-7:30 pm.
December 9, 2022, through May 26, 2023
“I grew up in a big old Victorian house near the ocean. In summer I frolicked in the Atlantic, raced the waves on the catwalk, and turned over rocks in tide pools to reveal hidden creatures. My father, who was a physicist and curious about everything, showed me how to use a microscope to see the invisible world contained in a drop of water, and a telescope to see the stars. We dug clams at low tide, rented aluminum whalers at the Lynn Marina to fish for flounder, and delighted in bounding over the rolling surf. My love of characters was cultivated by the art and stories I was introduced to as a child. My parents were European immigrants who empathized with the intense and angry work of the German Expressionists, and the socially conscious images of Kaethe Kollwitz. In art school, I learned about the Ash Can artists who depicted the everyday world of New York with vitality and sincerity. This is the path I chose to follow when I decided to create a series of images inspired by Lynn.
For forty years I have drawn inspiration from Lynn, and from the surrounding communities. My work documents a period in time, people I have known or observed, and expresses my affection for this corner of the world. Empathy drives much of my work, and many of my images have an implied story rather than a clear narrative, since the inner thoughts of others are a mystery. We can always look back at our lives and wonder about paths not taken; I am proud of the body of images I have created and hope that they will be preserved as part of the historical record of artists in the city. They also say something about the life I have chosen to live, much of it spent in a studio, observing life rather than participating, and staying on the edge of society as artists must.
Although I’ve spent most of my life in the Northeast, one of my strongest memories is of parking on the side of the road somewhere in the West, and sitting on a hill with my dog. We looked out at the endless mountains while clouds cast rolling shadows like animations over them. I was young, and the vastness of the West astonished me. I had never felt so free, with a life of endless possibility ahead. Although much of my story has been written, this is the true compensation for choosing an artist’s life; one can always find something new and surprising to say, and a new way to say it. I don’t know what will inspire me for the next twenty years, but I look forward to the journey.”
September 18, 2022 through February 25, 2023
Hip Hop culture has deep roots in Lynn, Massachusetts, and the stories from the local Hip Hop community are highlighted as part of this interactive exhibit commemorating its identity in Lynn.
The exhibit includes interactive elements such as a DIY recording studio for museum-goers to drop a beat or rhyme. Photos of artists and defining moments will be displayed along with artwork done by Lynn artists. The room will be themed to look like a bedroom recording studio resembling a DIY studio of a Hip Hop artist from Lynn.
Excerpts from an upcoming documentary produced by Grind House Recordings on the story of Lynn Hip Hop will play on a loop.
LYDIA N. BREED: ART OF A COMMUNITY LEGACY
April 9 – September 23, 2022
Lydia Newhall Breed was born on September 10, 1925, in Lynn, Massachusetts. While she spent most of her years in Swampscott, Breed valued her family’s historical past as prominent Lynn citizens. She and her mother, Aborn, were active and longtime members of the Lynn Historical Society. In addition, Breed counted herself as a fifth-generation member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn. She made outstanding contributions to the church as both an educator and an artist, and her work wood sculptures and prints remain prominent in the church building.
Breed was a founding member of The Boston Printmakers in 1947 and exhibited with them until 1965. In addition to her body of work in the Lynn Museum/LynnArts’ collection, Breed’s work is part of the permanent print collection of the Boston Public Library. Her woodcuts were widely collected, and she was also active in the Marblehead Arts Association.
Despite her extensive work in printmaking and illustration, Breed identified herself as a sculptor. Her community, faith, and love of literature play significant roles in her work. This exhibition is the entire archive of Breed’s prints recently acquired by Lynn Museum/LynnArts and includes testimonials from congregation members and commentary from current students at North Shore Community College. Breed’s prints present the democratic views and values she held, chronicling her focus on humanity. We invite you to connect with and explore the life’s work of this local, groundbreaking artist.
This exhibition is generously supported in part by
April 16 – September 23, 2022
Identity is the defining characteristic and quality of a person or thing. Within a collective of people, identity is rooted in the sense of belonging. After Cambodia’s 1970 U.S. carpet bombing, codenamed “Operation Menu,” Cambodia and its people suffered a deadly and traumatic social and cultural revolution. The Khmer Rouge regime consequently led to the most significant displacement of the Khmer people. Seeking refuge in a foreign land, assimilation, and preservation of the homeland’s cultural identity has led to a third cultural identity that is not the homeland’s nor the new country.
“We are Khmer-Americans and a Khmer immigrant. Our parents and families were Khmer people who survived the Pol Pot genocide and the subsequent refugee camps/mass diasporic movement.
We are part of the Khmer artist and storytelling community, the protectors of Khmer culture and identity. We aim to educate ourselves and others about Khmer history to be well informed as we explore and shape our contemporary Khmer identity.”
Daveth Cheth: Founder, Visionary, Writer
Cindy Sous: Designer, Illustrator
Davey Chhoeun: Fashion Designer, Stylist
This exhibition is generously supported in part by
Lynn Cultural Council is a local agency supported by
the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
May 2021 – July 2022
Untold Stories: A History of Black People in Lynn was a collaborative exhibition between the Lynn Museum and community members. This exhibit explored the history of Black people in Lynn from the colonial period to the present day. The exhibition covered various topics, including culture and identity, the lives of free and enslaved people, and the significant leadership roles Black Lynners have played in the community.
To tell this nuanced story of Black life in Lynn, the joint exhibition committee chose objects and photographs from the Lynn Museum’s collection. In addition, the committee looked to the Lynn community to share their objects, photos, and stories. The exhibition team also used collected oral histories of Black Lynn residents conducted by North Shore Community College students as part of their service-learning at the Lynn Museum.
June – August 2022
In celebration of Pride and Lynn’s LGBTQIA+ community, Lynn Museum/LynnArts organized its second annual art show featuring 25 visual and written works by local, national, and international artists.
Isaac Davila Photography
Loud + Proud (Raw Art Works)
Photo credit: Isaac Davila Photography featuring Yomo Perez.