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Grant number like: PG-263563-19

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Sargent Murray Gilman Hough House Association (Gloucester, MA 01930-5736)
Thomas A. Manning (Project Director: May 2018 to August 2019)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$2,650 (approved)
$2,650 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2019 – 5/31/2019

Museum Preservation Environment Plan

Hiring a consultant to develop a plan for environmental controls to preserve a collection housed in the Gloucester, Massachusetts, home of Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1821), women’s rights advocate and writer. The holdings include more than 1,300 historic objects: furniture; artworks that include pieces by Murray’s nephew, the noted portraitist John Singer Sargent; and household and decorative objects such as silver by Paul Revere, china, porcelain, textiles, jewelry, and ephemera. The archives contain 35 linear feet of rare books, photographs, and documents that include sermons, deeds, and wills. These items help researchers and visitors explore life in a Northeast port during the Revolutionary era, on topics such as religious freedom and tolerance and women’s roles in the new Republic.

The collection consists of 1,350 objects and archival materials. The majority of the collection dates from 1750-1840. The majority of the objects relate to Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820),her family, work and life in Gloucester MA. The objects dating from 1860 to 1925 include textiles and works on paper as well as works by John Singer Sargent (Judith’s great nephew) and his immediate family. The collection provides tangible evidence of ideas inherent in humanities themes: Judith’s ideas evidenced in her writings, John Murray’s in his sermons and John Singer Sargent’s distress over war, evident in his watercolor of British and American troops in 1917. The Museum has moved well beyond decorative arts to programming that engages visitors in questions of the day by using collections in creative ways. The objective of this grant is to obtain an environmental control plan from a consultant so the collection will be better preserved.