Hadwen House Nantucket
Exploring Nantucket Nantucket Arts Nantucket History & People

Celebrating Iconic Crafts

by Eleni Sinnis

The Nantucket Historical Association is welcoming visitors back to the Hadwen House at 96 Main Street. For the 2023 season, the historic property will feature several exhibitions, including one focused on Nantucket Lightship Baskets and exhibits highlighting the NHA’s decorative arts and map collections. Niles Parker, NHA’s Gosnell Executive Director says, “Hadwen House is becoming a great space for the NHA to explore more of the island’s important history in addition to the stories we tell at the Whaling Museum.”

The exhibit Nantucket Lightship Baskets traces the development of Nantucket Lightship Baskets from their 19th-century origins to the diverse traditional and experimental forms being created by the island’s weavers today. It highlights individual makers across time and features both the José Reyes workshop and a special case displaying the many basket purse designs Reyes invented before settling on the iconic form still prized by collectors today. The NHA even provides tutorials to exhibit visitors. Parker says: “We are eager to highlight this iconic craft, show its evolution on the island, and emphasize that it very much remains a vibrant art form today.”

Also in the Hadwen House, visitors will be able to see pieces from the Decorative Arts collection of the NHA, including fine art and furniture, tall clocks, ceramics, an eclectic display of curiously carved artifacts. Hadwen House is also hosting the exhibit Visions of Nantucket: Cottage Cities that Never Were, which presents a selection of late 19th-century maps designed to promote a new (at the time) form of residential development: the cottage city.

The Hadwen House is open daily from 11 am to 4 pm until October 9. Additionally, tickets are now on sale at nha.org for the NHA’s annual summer fundraiser, Baskets & Bubbly, which supports the island craft of Nantucket Lightship Baskets with a Celebration Under the Whale at the Whaling Museum on Sunday, July 16, from 5 to 7 pm. The event will also include online auction that will run from July 10-17, providing bidders with the exclusive opportunity to bid on baskets and basket-related items.

Articles by Date from 2012