Winter Wednesdays

Winter Wednesdays – February 2019

10 am at the Smith Museum of the Arlington Historical Society*
Welcome to our ninth year of Arlington Historical Society members gathering to hear
interesting talks and enjoy refreshments on mid-winter mornings!

* Note:  Please check our website the morning of the scheduled talk for postponements or cancellations in event of inclement weather.

Doris Birmingham – Portrayals of Women in the Art of Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, and Winslow Homer – February 6th

In a period of rapid social change, it is interesting to explore the images of women produced by three of America’s greatest 19th century painters.  What if anything do their paintings have in common?  How do they differ? To what degree do they reflect the values of American society in this period?  This is also the era of the emergence of the “New Woman” in the popular media.  Can we find any hints of that idea in the work of these three men?  Finally, how do women artists, especially Boston women artists, portray their female subjects at this time?  Doris Birmingham is an AHS board member and Professor Emerita of Art History, Framingham State University


Captain Al Sharpe – A History of Arlington’s Fire Dept – February 13th

Arlington first purchased tools for firefighting in 1818 and purchased its first hand engine in 1825.  Eureka 1 that is on display at Fire HQ was purchased in 1852 and sits alongside Tower 1 that was purchased in 2018.  Over time numerous volunteer agencies have combined to create the current professional AFD of today.  Stations and equipment have evolved over time and reflect the town’s desire for state of the art service.  Please come and learn about the years of history that have created your Arlington Fire Department.   Captain Al Sharpe, RN, EMT ,  EMS Coordinator , Arlington Fire Department.


Sara Lundberg – How Portrait Photography Reflected the Face of Arlington – February 20th

Photographs are ubiquitous in our digital world, with the ability to capture and distribute them right in our own pockets.  More and more people than ever use cameras to record events or respond to experiences, but it wasn’t always so.  At its invention in the mid-19th century, portrait photography was the great democratizer.  Prior to this time, the painted portrait was the privilege of only the very wealthy.  Photography made it inexpensive enough that the average person could afford it but also expensive enough to make an event of the experience.  Having your picture made meant that you might dress in your finest clothes, and often bring memorabilia that helped to convey more about yourself than just your face.  This lecture will consist of a brief history of photographic portraiture using images from the Society collection which illustrate the relevant human story that immortalized in each image.   Sara Lundberg,  Arlington Historical Society Director.


Rosemarie Smurzynski – The Mount Auburn Cemetery – February 27th

Join Mount Auburn Cemetery docent, Rosemarie Smurzynski, for a virtual tour of the cemetery with stops to visit Arlington residents buried there.  Mount Auburn was founded in 1831.  It is the first rural cemetery in America.  Many followed, including the famed Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.  Rosemarie Smurzynski is a retired Unitarian Universalist Minister and AHS board member.  Last May she received the 2018 Historical Research Preservation Award from the Watertown Historical Society.