News & Updates

The Collections Corner

Oh, what a busy time we’ve had in 2023! Beyond completing research requests, hosting visitors, and processing new donations, we’ve been developing new Collections Highlights for the website and continuing work on the re-interpretation of the Cudworth House as a decorative arts museum. Here is a summary of some of our recent work.

New Collections Highlights

Thanks to the generous support of the Scituate Local Cultural Council, we had the privilege of collaborating with local museum consultant Victoria Stevens. Her expertise guided us in diving deep into the stories behind our collections, bringing them vividly to life.

We’re thrilled to unveil these pieces online, offering everyone a glimpse into our captivating trove of objects, art, and historical documents.


Under our Objects section are 2 newly researched items:


  • An exquisite scrimshaw whale tooth, honoring a hero from the War of 1812
  • Vintage 1800s goblets, treasured heirlooms from the Merritt family


In our Art section, enjoy:


  • New additions of Walter Sargent paintings, some recently gifted to the Society
  • Intriguing oil portraits by Josephine Miles Lewis
  • A delicate watercolor masterpiece by Thomas Buford Meteyard
  • And a special showcase of versatile works by the genius Henry Turner Bailey.


A significant addition to our Documents collection is a very affecting and poignant bill of sale for an enslaved girl, shedding light on Scituate’s history with slavery. To deepen the reader’s understanding, we’ve linked comprehensive research on slavery in the Scituate-Norwell region, authored by the dedicated researcher and writer, Pattie Hainer of Norwell.

Cudworth House Re-Interpretation

At Cudworth House, our mission is to feature some treasures from the Society’s collection, a very interesting array of historic furniture, art, crafts, textiles, and artifacts. What sets us apart is that we aren’t simply recreating period rooms; instead, we are crafting unique settings that showcase these remarkable pieces. Our focus? The overall aesthetic – the placement of objects and art and colors that breathe life into a room. While we honor the historic architecture, we’re not being bound by historical accuracy; we are letting the pieces and creativity shine.

With the generous support of Community Preservation Act funds, we’ve been revitalizing Cudworth House with repairs to the foundation and structure, improved climate control, new UV storm windows, fresh coats of paint, and thoughtful lighting.


But what truly makes this transformation extraordinary are the artisans and experts we’ve collaborated with. Thanks to additional funds from the South Shore Playhouse Association, the remarkable Paul Riedl, a master in furniture restoration, brought back to life our 1840 pianoforte. He also meticulously revived a washstand and 18th-century desk, and conducted a cleaning tutorial with volunteers Sally Maish, Nancy Robertson and our summer intern Victoria McCallion.




Nevan Carling, a specialist in timber framing, carpentry, and loom craftsmanship, worked his magic on our 300-year-old loom, relocating it to a captivating exhibit area on the second floor.


Textile conservator Katy O’Donnell applied her expertise to our sampler collection, expertly evaluating, cleaning, and preserving these precious pieces, now beautifully framed in archival materials. Here she is showing her work to volunteer Jill West.

It’s not just about history; it’s about creating an experience that will transport you through time and immerse you in the beauty of the Society’s collection of decorative arts. Stay tuned — we can’t wait to have you join us. Your support means the world to us, and together, we’re shaping history and preserving beauty.