19 Grove St. ~ PO Box 58 ~ Peterborough, NH 03458 ~ 603-924-3235         Open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Archives Research is by appointment only. Please contact us at (603) 924-3235 to schedule an appointment.

 

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Nora S. Unwin: A Retrospective

Nora S. Unwin Self-Portrait

This exhibition is on view through September 28, 2024

Artist, engraver, illustrator and teacher, Nora S. Unwin (1907-1982), had a long and successful career in her native England and her adopted home in New Hampshire. This retrospective exhibition features more than 80 works spanning her 60 year career. Museum hours are Wednesday- Saturday, 10-4.

Nora S. Unwin: A Retrospective is fully accessible. For visitors who do not use stairs, the rear entrance to the Monadnock Center’s building offers ramp access and convenient parking.

Birds in Winter Wood Engraving Butterwort Wood Engraving The Amateur Naturalist Wood Engraving

 

Pastel Society of NH 19th Annual Members Exhibition

Pastel Society of NH

On view in Bass Hall June 15 – July 26, 2024

See the finest examples of the luminous medium of pastel in this Members Exhibition on view in Bass Hall.

 

Permanent Exhibitions

American Furniture

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture has a small but impressive collection of early American furniture and decorative arts on display in its museum. Illustrating New England furniture making from the 18th to the 20th centuries, the collection includes objects that were made, owned and collected by Peterborough residents and have been donated to the Center over the last 100+ years.

Greenie RoomThree distinguished high chests of drawers are at the center of the collection. About 1915, Adele Foster Adams donated a circa 1760 mahogany high chest that was built by the Townsend-Goddard workshop of Newport, R.I. This fine example of the Townsend- Goddard style features an arched top with a broken scroll and slender cabriole legs terminating in elongated slipper feet.

The second high chest is by an unknown maker but has a strong Peterborough history having descended through the Wilson family, proprietors of Peterborough’s earliest tavern. Made of maple in a vernacular Queen Anne style, the piece was probably built in New Hampshire or possibly southern Maine. In addition to its fine proportions and beautifully executed shell carving, the highboy’s top molding ingeniously opens to reveal a hidden compartment.

Highboy The third high chest is a showpiece by the Dunlap workshop of New Hampshire. This piece descended in the Morison family, one of Peterborough’s founding families. Built from maple and dating from about 1790, it features exuberant decoration including carved sunbursts, scrolls and a pediment with pierced basket weave panels. Similar examples of the Dunlap workshop are found at Winterthur, the Currier Museum, the New Hampshire Historical Society and Historic New England.

Other examples of 18th century furniture in the collection include two lowboys, chairs and tavern tables. In addition, the Center has an impressive collection of tall case clocks including two examples by Simon Willard.

Among the items made in Peterborough are two Peterborough pianos made by Hagen & Ruefer between 1890 and 1900 at their piano factory on Depot Street. Additional “Peterborough Made” items are a collection of piano stools by the Briggs Piano Stool factory in West Peterborough and a delightful mahogany and chestnut dressing table made by cabinet maker Lorenzo Holt for his eleven year old granddaughter in 1866.

 

 

 

The Robbe Family Kitchen

Robbe Family KitchenThe Robbe Family Kitchen is a period room exploring the family kitchen in a typical 1785 Peterborough home. The kitchen displays cookware, tableware, lighting and accessories that would have been found in William Robbe’s home on Old Dublin Road. The table is set with pewter dinnerware and serving pieces. The fireplace is arranged with ironware that made it possible for Eleanor Robbe to keep her family well fed. A dresser displays the containers, tools and gadgets necessary for keeping house on an 18th century farm. Learn about the central role the hearth played in 18th century family life and explore the yearly rhythm of life on an early New Hampshire farm.

robbe kitchen implementsWilliam and Eleanor Robbe were like many of their contemporaries, being the children of Scotch-Irish immigrants who came to New England in the early 18th century. William’s father was one of the first settlers in Peterborough. The Robbes settled on Old Dublin Road building a home and farm on land next to the farm built by William’s brother Alexander. William Robbe was said to have special powers- visit the Robbe Family Kitchen to learn more!