NHA Reopens Hadwen House Memorial Day Weekend

NANTUCKET, MA – The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) will welcome visitors back to the Hadwen House at 96 Main Street starting on Saturday, May 27.  The historic property will feature several exhibitions, including one focused on Nantucket lightship baskets and exhibits highlighting the NHA’s decorative arts and map collections.

“Hadwen House is becoming a great space for the NHA to explore more of the island’s important history, in addition to the stories we tell at the Whaling Museum. Specifically, we are increasing our dedicated space to display our growing collection of Nantucket lightship baskets and continuing to provide weaving tutorials to visitors.  We are eager to highlight this iconic craft, show its evolution on the island, and emphasize that it very much remains a vibrant art form today.” says Niles Parker, Gosnell Executive Director.

The exhibit, Nantucket Lightship Baskets, will trace the development of Nantucket lightship baskets from their 19th-century origins to the diverse traditional and experimental forms being created by the island’s weavers today. It will highlight individual makers across time and feature both the José Reyes workshop and a special case displaying the many basket purse designs he invented before settling on the iconic form still prized by collectors today.

Visitors will also be able to experience many pieces from the Decorative Arts collection of the NHA, from fine art and furniture, tall clocks, and ceramics to an eclectic display of curiously carved artifacts. Highlights of this exhibit will include furniture made by local craftsman, including work by Furniture maker Heman Ellis; astronomer and instrument maker Walter Folger Jr.; house carpenter and chairmaker Charles Chase; and second-generation chairmaker Frederick Slade.

Building from the NHA’s featured exhibition at the Whaling Museum, Summer on Nantucket: A History of the Island Resort, Hadwen House will host an exhibit, Visions of Nantucket: Cottage Cities that Never Were, which will present a selection of late 19th-century maps designed to promote a new form of residential development—the cottage city. Visitors are invited to see how the cottage craze spread to every corner of the island and laid the groundwork for future Nantucket communities.

The Hadwen House will be open daily, May 27 through October 9, from 11 am – 4 pm.


The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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