Program Highlights Fall 2015

September 26

Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

For one day only, the Nichols House Museum, along with museums across the United States, will emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution's Washington DC-based facilities, which offer free admission everyday. Admission is free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket.

For more information, and to download a ticket,
please visit

October 19

The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War

By: Stephen Puleo

5:30pm - Reception and Book Signing. Copies will be available for sale, via cash or check only.
6:00pm - Lecture
New Venue: Moseley Hall at the Church of the Advent: 30 Brimmer Street, Boston, MA

Stephen Puleo will talk about his most recently published book, The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War. In his presentation, he will explore the challenges of writing the story of this transformative event. Early in the afternoon of May 22, 1856, ardent pro-slavery Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina strode into the United States Senate Chamber in Washington, D.C., and began beating renowned anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner with a gold-topped walking cane. While Charles Sumner eventually recovered after a lengthy convalescence, Congressional compromise had suffered a mortal blow. Moderate voices were drowned out completely; extremist views accelerated, became intractable, and locked both sides on a tragic collision course to the Civil War.

About Steve: In addition to his strong journalism and historical writing background, Steve has 30 years of experience in public relations, corporate communications, speechwriting, speech coaching, and marketing. He has won numerous corporate communications awards and has been both a keynote speaker and served on communications panels at industry conferences. He teaches at Suffolk University in Boston.

Steve and his wife, Kate, who live south of Boston, donate a portion of his book proceeds to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).


Discounted parking for $9.00 at the Boston Common Garage is available for this event.

October 29

SOLD OUT Book Club Meeting

Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston

This event has sold out. The next meeting will be in January- stay tuned for details!

Join us for the Nichols House Museum Book Club's inaugural meeting! Our first selection is Herland (1915) by noted feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, with discussion led by Professor Virginia Drachman. Please read the novel before the meeting. Registration is required.


November 9

Viewing 18th-century Venice with Canaletto and Casanova

By: Frederick Ilchman

5:30pm - Reception
6:00pm - Lecture
New Venue: New England Historic Genealogical Society: 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Although well past its peak militarily and economically, Venice in the 18th century remained Europe’s splendid playground. Accounts of foreign travelers, particularly northern Europeans on the Grand Tour, describe operas, gambling, and courtesans in the spectacular setting of the lagoon city. Native sons of Venice, however, namely the painter Canaletto and the bon vivant Casanova, offer something even better: an insider’s view of this special city.

Biography: Frederick Ilchman is Chair, Art of Europe and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). Ilchman joined the MFA in 2001 as Assistant Curator of Paintings. A specialist in the art of the Italian Renaissance, he has curated numerous exhibitions, organized international conferences, contributed to scholarly publications and lectured and taught in the United States and abroad.


Discounted parking for $9.00 at the Boston Common Garage is available for this event.

December 13

Holiday House Tour