Schoolroom Gallery

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum mounts temporary exhibitions every three months drawn from the Museum’s collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century American and English decorative and fine art.

Living, Learning, Working, Serving: The Women of Macculloch Hall
March 1-August 2, 2020

On August 26, 1920, the U.S. officially adopted the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Loving, Learning, Working, Serving commemorates this centennial anniversary by celebrating the Macculloch/Miller women who combined a dedication to family with a commitment to charity, community and ultimately, women’s suffrage.

Loving, Learning, Working, Serving explores the lives and works of Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863), Mary Louisa Macculloch Miller (1804-1888), Alice Duer Miller (1874-1942), Dorothea Miller Post (1878-1947) and Charlotte Miller Bowler (1880-1942) as well as the enslaved women and female servants who lived and worked at Macculloch Hall.

The letters, documents, photographs, and objects on display record these women’s lives as they raised families, founded organizations, played music, wrote literature, and supported the political and civic organizations of their day through social activism. These materials reflect the everyday details that give us a bridge to the past and bring the previous generations to life.

Now Showing in our Thomas Nast Gallery

Columbia: Thomas Nast Illustrates the Moral Conscience of the United States
February 2-July 5, 2020

Columbia, the allegorical figure of the United States of America, was a powerful image that Thomas Nast (1840-1902) used in his political cartoons published in Harper’s Weekly. Columbia represented the ideals of democracy, equality, and moral justice in the United States. She was interpreted as a protector of the country and its national ideals.

Nast created political cartoons featuring Columbia more than 120 times for Harper’s Weekly from the early 1860s through the mid-1880s. Though the figure of Columbia existed before Nast began to draw her, he popularized the symbol just as he did with the Democratic Donkey, the Republican Elephant, Uncle Sam, and Santa Claus.

As the images on display demonstrate, Nast depicted Columbia as the champion of the American Ideal or as a figure injured by an assault on the nation’s moral ideologies. Nast never depicted Columbia as silly or as part of a joke as he would sometimes illustrate Uncle Sam. While Uncle Sam also symbolized the United States, he represented the everyman with all his attendant strengths and faults. Columbia, however, was the protector of the nation’s ideals and not a figure ever to be taken lightly.