The Society has, hanging on its walls, a reproduction of the famous thirteenth-century Hereford Mappa Mundi, the original of which is in the collection of Hereford Cathedral in the west of England. A mappa mundi – from Medieval Latin mappa (cloth or chart) and mundi (of the world) – is any medieval European map of the world. Approximately 1,100 of these maps are known to exist today, of which the Hereford Cathedral version is the largest. In fact, it’s the largest medieval map in the world. Continue reading A mappa mundi
Among the many treasures in the Society’s collection is an extraordinarily well-preserved circa 1847 oil painting by Philip Harry of a grand Boston home that no longer exists: the late eighteenth-century Samuel Parkman House on Bowdoin Square in the West End.
Founded in 1788, Bowdoin Square had, by the early nineteenth century, become one of the most prestigious residential areas of the city and home to many of Boston’s leading families, including the Parkmans. (Samuel Parkman, who built the house around 1789, was a successful merchant who made a fortune in real estate as Boston grew into one of the most important cities in the new republic.) Continue reading The Parkman House
The New England Historic Genealogical Society is rediscovering many treasures within its Atkinson-Lancaster Collection, an eclectic assemblage of art that came to the Society in 1933 from the Atkinson family of Newburyport, Massachusetts. The Atkinsons made their fortune in the nineteenth-century India trade. We’ve just rehung the Treat Rotunda (Figure 1) with pieces from the collection, including two lovely celadon-and-cream-colored nineteenth-century Chinese garden seats (Figure 2, below). Continue reading The House Beautiful