Personae Gratae: Begin at Home Exhibit at Highfield Hall

Highfield Hall & Gardens’ own Jo Ingersoll, Co-Executive Director, Chief Interpretation and Engagement Officer and an expert on late-nineteenth century design, and textiles, curates a one-of-a-kind show honoring the concept of home and its physical, spiritual, and symbolic elements.

Personae Gratae: Begin at Home
Opens Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 – Closes Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

(Falmouth, Massachusetts) Highfield Hall & Gardens proudly presents the exhibit Personae Gratae: Begin at Home. The show opens the 2020 season for the house and frames the historic home, Highfield Hall, as a valuable cultural resource from our past. The exhibition honors the notion of home, and places the Victorian period house in its greater historical context. The scope of the installation will include objects from the late-nineteenth century, decorative arts and artifacts of the Colonial Revival movement, and galleries showcasing contemporary art.

This distinctive exhibition is organized thematically to encourage dialogue between the past and present. The physical and non-physical parts of home will be explored as they reflect notions of shelter, nourishment & love. The exhibit will showcase influential furniture and decorative art from the early twentieth century, and fifteen contemporary artists who share their individual perspectives on the key concepts of home.

Highfield is honored to include distinguished Massachusetts artist Scott Prior who will have four paintings on view. Scott’s art is featured in many museums and private collections throughout the world.

Other award-winning artists include Paul Briggs, Susan Fornaro, Paul Schulenburg, and Susanne Taylor. An example of the diverse expressions on view: Boston artist Gay von Henneburg Gillies, exploring ancient building materials such as oyster tabby from coastal Georgia in her fresco and mixed media impressions of portals.

The private collection of Sharon and Ken Lacasse, New England collectors & dealers, is the counterpoint between the late-nineteenth century, and the twenty-first century art. Available for sale from their collection are rare pieces of Wallace Nutting furniture, photography, and forged iron work. Wallace Nutting was an early figure in the historic preservation movement as he purchased several 18th century homes to save them from destruction. Nutting’s legacy was the creation and crafting of the iconic image of the American home by integrating his narrative photography, reproduction 17th and 18th century furniture and decorative arts, and staging costumed figures in and around important colonial architecture.

• Monday, January 27 from 2-4 PM, Private Member Open House, free for members
• Friday, January 28, Exhibit opens to the public

Scott Prior Window on the Lake, c. 1994, 36×46 oil on linen

John Rosenthal Le Pin Loire Valley 2013, photograph







Related programming includes a Chamber Music series, curator-led talks, and a culinary series focused on healthy family cooking.

Culinary Series; Healthy Family Cooking Series
• Wednesday, January 22 from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Five Ingredients: Meals for a Busy Family, tickets, $40/$50
• Wednesday, February 5, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, What’s in Your Pantry, tickets, $40/$50
• Wednesday, February 19 from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Five Ingredients: Meals for a Busy Family, tickets, $40/$50
• Wednesday, March 4, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, What’s in Your Pantry, tickets, $40/$50

Music Series: Chamber music and Conversation
• Saturday, February 1, 2:30 PM, House Music series: “Soaring Acoustics” piano and flute tickets, $25/$35
• Friday, February 14, 4:40 PM, House Music series: “Bonbons” tickets, $25/$35
• Sunday, March 22, 4:30 PM, House Music “tba”, tickets, $25/$35,

Fashion and Design Lecture Series
• Thursday, February 6, 4:30PM – 6PM, Lecture series, Paisley: From Fashion Icon to Furnishing Staple, tickets, $15/$20
• Thursday, March 5, 4:30PM – 6PM, Lecture series, Cocktail Culture and the Creation of an American Style, tickets, $15/$20

About Highfield Hall & Gardens
It is a magnificent Victorian mansion with beautiful gardens located in the heart of Falmouth, Massachusetts. It is a unique combination of historic home, expansive gardens and trails, and a vibrant cultural center. Built in 1878 as the summer home for Boston’s Beebe family, the mansion sits on 5.5 pristine acres surrounded by nearly 400 acres of conservation land and public walking trails. Highfield Hall & Gardens is not your typical historic estate. It is an example of an historic building saved by grassroots community organizing. An effort of tenacity and vision that continues as new research on the structure and its story of the people who lived here add to the building’s significance. It offers world-class music, international art exhibitions, culinary classes, family programs, and year-round special events. For more information, visit

Highfield Hall & Gardens’ mission is to honor the beauty and historic significance of the house and grounds by providing high-quality artistic, cultural, and educational programs for the enrichment of our community and visitors of all ages.

Author: Mashpee Chamber of Commerce

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