Group Tours at Cogswell's Grant (1728)

Famous folk art collection

If you love antiques, Cogswell’s Grant should be on your itinerary. This eighteenth-century farmhouse, summer home of collectors Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little, contains their celebrated collection of American folk art, which they assembled over a period of nearly sixty years.

Portraits, redware pottery, painted furniture, scrimshaw, wood carvings, decoys and sculptures, hooked rugs, and other textiles are showcased throughout. The collection is displayed exactly as the family lived with it and shared it with their friends and fellow collectors.

60 Spring Street, Essex, Mass.

Hours of Operation:

Specialty Tours

We are happy to work with you to customize your experience.

  • Guided House Tour: Enjoy an approximately one-hour guided tour; please allow one and a half hours for your visit.
  • Coastal Farming Walking Tour: This half-mile walking tour explores the 165-acre working farm at Cogswell’s Grant, continuously operated since 1636. The tour features the history of the families who lived here from the seventeenth through present day, examines the historic buildings and barns, and gives an overview of coastal farming in New England.
  • Favorite Things, Hidden Treasures: This in-depth two-hour tour highlights the Little family’s favorite things throughout the house, including objects hidden in cupboards, cabinets, and drawers, and offers a rare opportunity to see treasures stored in the attic, which is not usually open to the public. This tour is limited to sixteen people.

  • Neat and Tidy: Learn about the 148 folk art boxes in the house, many of which are not usually on display. Often beautifully decorated or constructed for a very specific purpose, boxes offer insights into the lives of everyday people. Explore the traditional uses of boxes as well as decorative styles and motifs. This tour is limited to eight people.
  • Faces and Families: Take an in-depth look at the folk art portrait collection at Cogswell’s Grant and explore the many families and artists represented in the house. In the days before photography, portraits offered self-expression and family documentation, and itinerant artists of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries worked in a style whose charm still appeals today. This tour is limited to ten people.

Tour Details


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