2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Nichols House Museum.
As a part of this Golden Jubilee Year, the museum will host an array of events, including a Gala Dinner at the Massachusetts State House on Feb. 26; a series of lectures inspired by the interests for Rose Standish Nichols, who established the Nichols House Museum in her will; the launch of a revamped Web site; and the publication of an entertaining and insightful book about Rose Nichols and her family. Call the Nichols House Museum at 617-227-6993 for scheduling details.
The yearlong celebration will underscore Rose Standish Nichols’ vision in establishing the museum as a place where people might get an intimate glimpse into the domestic history of a typical Beacon Hill family at the turn of the last century. The year will also focus on the future of the museum as a historic anchor and integral part of the Beacon Hill community.
Rose Standish Nichols was an exceptional woman, as well as a landscape architect, author, suffragist, art enthusiast and avid traveler. The longtime Beacon Hill resident was also distinguished by her independence and intelligence. Born in 1872 to Dr. Arthur Nichols and his wife Elizabeth, she became the sole heir after her parents’ death in the late 1920s of what is now the Nichols House Museum at 55 Mount Vernon St.
When women had few options except to marry and raise a family, Nichols chose to do neither. She instead supported
herself as a garden designer, traveling across the United States and through most of Europe as she learned and perfected her craft. She believed in the universalizing power of gardening. A dedicated pacifist, Nichols thought that a shared passion for gardens could be used to better international relations. She also published three well-received books on historical gardens in England, Italy, Spain and Portugal, as well as numerous articles on garden history and criticism.
Named a part of the Beacon Hill National Historic Landmark district in 1966, the museum maintains its originalfurnishings and has made every effort to preserve the house as it was in the early 1900s.