Lecture focuses on Wallace Nutting

Thomas Denenberg

NEWBURYPORT — Author and museum director Tom Denenberg presents a virtual program, “Wallace Nutting and the Invention of Old America,” hosted by The Museum of Old Newbury on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) may be described as a Renaissance man, although first and foremost, he was an antiquarian, according to a press release from the museum.

Nutting was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, with his career path taking him from minister, photographer, artist, lecturer, antique collector and furniture manufacturer to a New England entrepreneur who became successful marketing what has been called “Old America.”

Nutting, probably best known as a photographer of hand-colored platinum prints in the early 20 century, was born in Rockbottom. He was the author of more than 20 books, including volumes on American antiques.

One of Nutting’s lasting legacies is his “Chain of Colonial Picture Houses” of five homes in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It was designed to cover architectural periods and styles in early America and showcase New England history.

The Cutler-Bartlet House on Green Street in Newburyport was one of his most important Colonial houses, the press release said.

Denenberg is the director of Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. He served as chief curator and deputy director of the Portland Museum of Art in Maine and curator of American decorative arts at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut.

Denenberg received a bachelor of arts in history from Bates College and earned his doctorate in American studies from Boston University. He has held fellowships at the Smithsonian and Winterthur and taught at Boston University, Harvard and Wake Forest University.

Denenberg is the author of “Wallace Nutting and the Invention of Old America” (2003) and “Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place” (2010). He has contributed essays to and/or edited “Picturing Old New England: Image and Memory” (1999), “Backstage Pass: Rock and Roll Photography” (2008), “Call of the Coast: Art Colonies of New England” (2009), “Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine” (2012), “Wyeth Vertigo” (2013), “Grandma Moses: American Modern” (2016) and “Painting a Nation: American Art at Shelburne Museum” (2017). To register for this program, go to the Museum of Old Newbury’s website at www.NewburyHistory.org and click on the calendar page. There will be a link to Eventbrite to reserve a ticket. All those making a reservation will receive a Zoom link to the program. There is no charge, but donations to the museum are gratefully accepted.

Support for the museum’s programs is provided in part by Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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