Art and artifacts that tell the stories of New England

At Historic New England Museums and Online

Historic New England exhibitions showcase the nation’s most extensive collection of New England objects and archival materials.

Music and Motion: The Chesnut Family Legacy is on display in Milton, Mass

When the Eustis Estate was completed in 1878, the family hired men and women from around the world to manage the household and landscape. The staff were largely able to manage their own lives, making choices that defined them personally and influenced their families for generations to come.

Music and Motion: The Chesnut Family Legacy focuses on the Chesnut family, who lived and worked at the Eustis Estate for two generations near the turn of the twentieth century. The Chesnut family story extends beyond the Eustis Estate, demonstrating a passion for music and a drive to succeed that shapes the family into the present day. The exhibition is on display through March 31, 2024.

Learn more about the workers

There is a new tour that explores more stories about the people who worked at the Eustis Estate. Walk in the footsteps of the people who worked on the estate and view the mansion and era through their perspectives. Tours are at 2:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Get your tickets today.

Past Exhibitions 

More than a Market in Burlington, Vermont

Historic New England celebrates local, immigrant-owned markets with the exhibit More than a Market: Food, Community, and Family in the Markets of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, at the Old North End Community Center in Burlington.

A community space

“For people newly arrived in this country, local markets provide more than familiar food. They are places of connection and social support, and they offer owners and their families a path to economic independence. This was true in the past and continues today,” says Charlotte Barrett, former Community Preservation Manager for Historic New England. “The stories of markets established by immigrants and refugees embody timeless values of hard work, resourcefulness, resilience, and commitment to family and community.”

More to explore

The web app MorethanaMarket.org has archival photos, audio clips, and stories about early markets.


More than a Market was on display at the Old North End Community Center in Burlington, Vermont, through May 2023.

Loud, Naked & in Three Colors: the History of Tattooing in Boston

Tattoo of watercolor of a woman with flag and sword


This Historic New England exhibition explored an art form that was once banned in Boston, but today is seen as a creative mode of self-expression.

Loud, Naked, & in Three Colors: the History of Tattooing in Boston explores this phenomenon through a stunning selection of flash art, photography, and advertisements that paint a rich picture of this unique period in the history of tattooing. The exhibition traces the popularization of tattooing in Boston through the stories and memorabilia of the city’s leading tattoo pioneers.

The exhibition featured the work of Frank Howard and the Liberty family who dominated Boston’s tattoo scene from their shops in Scollay Square. Their stories reveal the complex and nonconformist tattoo culture and the people, businesses, and communities surrounding the tattoo trade.

See additional images.

Loud, Naked & in Three Colors: the History of Tattooing in Boston was on view at the Eustis Estate in Milton, Mass., through October 30, 2022.

Watch This Space: Expressions of Queer Ecology in South Berwick Maine

Vibrant green, blue, and yellow lines show an impressionistic painting of a face in tall grasses. A red and brown stylized flower is at the top of the painting.

The exhibition was a collaboration between Historic New England and Maine College of Art & Design.

The artists explored themes of queer ecology, from questioning the human versus nature paradigm to celebrating the beauty of transgenderism, with works in painting, mixed media, sculpture, and video.

Watch This Space featured the work of six Maine College of Art & Design alumni, including Kyle Hardy, Lindsay Mercer, olivier, Mai Snow, Benjamin Spalding, and Shel Stefan.

The exhibition was on view at Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center through October 2022.

Lead image for the Artful Stories landing page

More than forty works of art from the Historic New England collection were on display during Artful Stories: Painting From Historic New England. The exhibition provided a fresh look at the regional stories told through art – stories about the people who sat for portraits, the artists, the owners, and the places. If you missed the exhibition while it was on display at the Eustis Estate, you can still see these exquisite works of art by by visiting online.

Exhibition logo for Looking Back with 2020 Vision in 2021


In 2021, Historic New England and New England Sculptors Association (NESA) partnered on an outdoor sculpture exhibition, Looking Back with 2020 VisionIt featured more than twenty-five sculptures by New England artists that reflected issues that were at the forefront in 2020. Learn more.

Learn more about these and other exhibitions

Online Exhibitions

Explore Historic New England collection highlights and life in twentieth-century New England

Many of Historic New England's online exhibitions were created as part of our Everyone's History series, which preserves and shares stories of life in New England from the twentieth century and beyond.

Everyone's HistoryCollection Highlights
African American Tourist DestinationsBlue Printed Pottery
North Shore Fried ClamsLost Gardens of N.E.
Plum Island AviationNewbury Furniture
Verner Reed Photographs