Free webinar: “Dangerous Tempotation or Genuine Opportunity: ‘Factory Girls’ in Fact and Fiction”

New England parents in the 19th century nervously allowed their daughters to leave the countryside for work in the textile mills of the new era. For young women it was a unique opportunity to participate in the growing cash economy, help support their families, and experience life outside the home. Did work in the textile factories represent a step forward in women’s independence? The mills and mill-towns were full of disease, dangerous machinery and duplicitous men! The conjunction of innocent young females and the rough life of the mills generated reams of sensational fiction in the 19th century—lurid tales warning young women to stay home if they wished to avoid ruin. In her illustrated talk, Elizabeth DeWolfe, professor of history at the University of New England, explores the promise and the perils of 19th century factory work for women through the essays, poetry and prose of the era. DeWolfe is the author of ‘The Murder of Mary Bean,’ an award-winning book and true story of a ‘factory girl’ who lost her life in the upheavals of an industrializing nation.

Where: Zoom

When: Thursday, March 11, 6 pm

Tickets: Admission to this webinar is free but reservations are required. Click here to register.

Happy 269th birthday, Judith Sargent!

🎂 Happy Birthday, Judith! John Singleton Copley’s oil portrait of early American women’s rights advocate and Gloucester native, Judith Sargent Murray, circa 1770-72, captures the 18 year old Judith in an alluring Turquerie costume, which is believed to belong to the artist. In spite of the sensuous, fluid garments, there is no mistaking Judith’s steely and determined gaze. This is a woman of power!

To celebrate Judith’s birthday, another young Gloucester woman recreates Copley’s original portrait, capturing both the sensual and determined spirit of the original subject. Please celebrate with us by sharing your own interpretation of this stunning portrait on social media and using #JudithSargentOnCanvas!

Learn more about Judith and her life in Gloucester at

Thanks to model Natalie Zaffiro and photographer Nick Zaffiro!

1919 Recreated: A Gallery Showing at the Sargent House

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July 13 – September 1, during museum hours (12 p.m. – 4 p.m.)

Where: The Sargent House Museum, 49 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA

Admission: Free for Museum members, $5 for non-members

Gloucester’s historic Sargent House celebrates its 100th anniversary as a museum with “1919 Recreated: A Gallery Showing,” an exhibit of works by many of the artists who participated in the original 1919 exhibit which launched the museum. As in 1919, the new exhibition brings together works by John Singer Sargent, Theresa Bernstein, Childe Hassam and others. More than 25 works will be shown, many on loan from Rockport Art Association & Museum, the exhibit’s major contributor.

The centerpiece of the exhibit will be a charcoal drawing by John Singer Sargent of his cousin Charles Sprague Sargent, the botanist who led Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum for more than 50 years, and who founded the Sargent House Museum with Universalist minister Levi Powers and William Sumner Appleton, founder of SPNEA (the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England). John Singer Sargent donated the drawing of his cousin to the Sargent House Museum for the 1919 exhibit.

Opening Day at the Sargent House Museum

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When: Saturday, May 25, 2019, with guided tours from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The Sargent House Museum, 49 Middle Street, Gloucester

The Sargent House Museum will open its doors for its 100th season at noon on Saturday, May 25. Originally built in 1782 for writer and women’s rights advocate Judith Sargent Murray, the Sargent House was incorporated into a museum in 1919 by patrons including Charles Sprague Sargent and Universalist minister Rev. Levi Moore Powers. The Sargent House Museum introduces visitors to the 18th century world of its most famous resident, Judith Sargent Murray, while also featuring a small, curated collection of works by her great-great nephew, the artist John Singer Sargent.

Join us for a great season of programming to celebrate the museum’s centennial, and learn more about Judith Sargent Murray’s revolutionary contributions to women’s fight for equality!

The museum offers guided tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and on Saturdays and Sundays between Labor Day and Columbus Day.

18 year old Judith Sargent Murray in a 1769 portrait by John Singleton Copley

Free admission to the Sargent House Museum for Middle Street Walk


At this year’s Middle Street Walk, be transported in time to the Victorian Era as you view the period-decorated first floor of the Sargent House Museum. Enjoy a scene from Little Women at 10:15 and 10:45, performed by Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop. Purchase decorated wreaths, displays, and holly on sale all day. Hot mulled cider and treats.

FREE and open to the public.

When: Saturday, December 8, 2018, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: The Sargent House Museum, 49 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA

For a full list of events and participants in Middle Street Walk, visit


Free admission, cider & donuts at the Sargent House Museum for Middle Street Harvest Festival


Join the Sargent House Museum to celebrate Middle Street Harvest Festival!

Where: The Sargent House Museum, 49 Middle Street, Gloucester

When: Saturday, November 17, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Come in from the cold to enjoy the hospitality of the Sargent House. Enjoy cider and donuts in the 1782 home of Judith Sargent Murray, a pioneering advocate of women’s rights. Explore the first floor of this historic Georgian mansion, preserved with the help of Judith’s great-great nephew, the artist John Singer Sargent. Open to all; FREE admission and treats.