New exhibits on tap when Peck Homestead reopens Feb. 1

  • The Sheldon Peck Homestead in Lombard will reopen for the season Feb. 1 with new exhibits focusing on folk art and Peck's abolitionist activities.

    The Sheldon Peck Homestead in Lombard will reopen for the season Feb. 1 with new exhibits focusing on folk art and Peck's abolitionist activities. Daily Herald file photo

  • Sheldon Peck

    Sheldon Peck

 
By Colette Freeman
Lombard Historical Society
Posted1/20/2020 11:16 AM

The Sheldon Peck Homestead in Lombard will reopen next month with new exhibits focusing on folk art and Sheldon Peck's abolitionist activities.

The exhibits will feature new explanatory signs about folk art in general and Peck's place in the folk art world, as well as new or loaned artifacts in both the Abolitionist and Folk Art galleries. Peck was known as a folk-art portraitist and a radical abolitionist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The exhibits will make their debuts at the museum at 355 E. Parkside Ave. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, and will continue from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free.

New artifacts include an 1880s Tramp art picture frame made from old cigar boxes.

Tramp art, so called because it was a popular pastime for itinerants, was created from the 1870s to the 1940s and primarily was made from readily available discarded wooden cigar boxes. All it required was a pocketknife and a knack for whittling and time on your hands.

Many people, including women and children, created a variety of decorative and functional objects from cigar boxes, items that are now considered collectible.

Also on display for a limited time is an 1840s wooden box with an anti-slavery motif. The design was a popular image repeated from the late 18th century through the mid-19th century to promote the abolitionist movement in both England and the United States.

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A quote on the box states, "Am I not a man and a brother?" and was created in 1787 by potter Josiah Wedgewood. Benjamin Franklin said the image was "Equal to that of the best written pamphlet."

The museum is operated by the Lombard Historical Society, which works to celebrate the village's heritage by collecting, preserving and interpreting its history. It also operates the Victorian Cottage Museum, the Carriage House and the society's archives at 23 W. Maple St.

Both the Victorian Cottage and Peck Homestead host activities and groups, and are open for tours several days a week.

For details, visit lombardhistory.org, email info@lombardhistory.org, or call (630) 629-1885.

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