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11 Willard Street
North Grafton MA 01536


The Willard House & Clock Museum is a historic place with festive roots, right in the heart of Massachusetts. Come visit us for a guided tour of our museum.

Collecting Antiques Long Before it Was Cool

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Collecting Antiques Long Before it Was Cool

  • Willard House and Clock Museum 11 Willard St N. Grafton, MA 01536 (map)

An illustrated lecture by Robert C. Cheney, Executive Director and Curator, Willard House and Clock Museum.

This lecture was presented at the Henry Ford Museum as the James Arthur keynote address for the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.  

The program takes an objective look at collecting decorative arts from the pre-Civil War era through the struggling antiques market in the early 21st century. We meet three important, yet little–known Massachusetts antiquarians who played a vital role in establishing the foundation collections at The Concord Museum, The Essex Institute (now the Peabody-Essex Museum), and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. This unusual passion for collecting paved the way for later outdoor history museums such as the Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan, Old Sturbridge Village and Historic Deerfield. 

Sprinkled in between, we will take a look in awe at some of the record prices achieved during the booming 80’s and 90’s; a time when it was really “cool” to collect American antiques!

Free with museum admission.

Earlier Event: February 9
Cross Stitch Demonstration
Later Event: February 15
Clock Winding