“Our 375th Anniversary exhibition celebrates the men and women of the farm not only with their portraits, but also by sharing the human stories behind each of the sitters,” says Susan Hill Dolan. “In addition, photographs and decorative arts objects in our collection have been integrated into the show to help bring these family members ‘to life.’ ” These objects range from the 1738 christening spoon of Samuel Appleton, to the 1913 needlework sampler by a young Ruth Appleton, to the Red Cross uniform worn by Joan E. Appleton in World War II.
The important collection of family portraits also represents the work of some of America’s leading artists of the 19th and early 20th century. Among the 17 paintings and drawings in the show, you’ll find works by Ellen Emmet Rand, Lydia Field Emmet, and Eastman Johnson, one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York known as “the American Rembrandt” of his time. A handsome portrait of General James Appleton, probably dating to the 1820s, has a label attributing it to Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole, which is in the process of being further researched.
The Trustees extensive collection of objects and archives from all of our properties are stored at our Archives & Research Center in Sharon, Massachusetts. This climate-controlled facility with state-of-the-art storage allows us to rotate the collections – be it fine furniture, ceramics, or paintings – and also provide safe storage and research facilities for our archival materials.
Appleton Farms is the oldest continuously operated farm in America and among the most influential in America’s agricultural history. At the heart of the farm is the Old House, where generations of Appletons – from a brigadier general who served in the War of 1812 to a 19th century entrepreneur to a 20th century Wall Street lawyer – lived and loved life at Appleton Farms. The Old House now serves as the Visitor Center for the farm, as well as office and program space. The portrait exhibition will be on view in the Old House during its fall and winter hours, Saturday and Sunday, 11AM–3PM.
We hope you’ll come see us at the farm to celebrate Appleton Farms’ rich history and family legacy. Then, remember to visit to our dairy store before you leave to stock up on farm fresh goodies!
Of Farm and Family: Generations of Appleton Family Portraits brings together a brigadier general who served in the War of 1812 and a 20th century Wall Street lawyer, a Red Cross volunteer from World War II and a New England mother of ten, a nineteenth-century entrepreneur and a New York society girl. Join The Trustees of Reservations as we celebrate the 375th anniversary of Appleton Farms. Visit the exhibit at the Appleton Farms Visitor Center, the home where generations of Appletons lived and spent summers. It’s a grand family reunion.
Mr. and Mrs. Francis Randall Appleton, Sr., with their children, October 1909.
Samuel Appleton (1624-1696). Oldest image of an Appleton in The Trustees archives. Samuel was the second generation of Appletons to farm in Ipswich. General James Appleton (1785-1862). General James was an advocate for the anti-slavery cause in New England and is sometimes known as the Father of Prohibition. His report on the evils of liquor was the basis for temperance laws in Maine. Sarah Fuller Appleton (1787-1872). Sarah was the daughter of a Gloucester, Massachusetts pastor and the wife of General James Appleton. She had ten children, including Daniel Fuller Appleton. Nicholas Phillips Randall (1779-1836). A distinguished graduate of the Yale class of 1803, Nicholas was a lawyer in New York and leader of the bar of Onandaga County. Daniel Fuller Appleton (1826-1904). Daniel was an agricultural enthusiast who reacquired all of the Appleton land from the original grant of 1638. Randolph Morgan Appleton (1862-1940). Known as Budd, he was an avid sportsman and Master of the Hounds at Myopia from 1883-1900. He once composed a rhyming tribute to the first Samuel Appleton, “Ancestor Sam.” Francis Randall Appleton, Sr. (1854-1929). While studying at Harvard, Francis would regularly take the train to Ipswich to oversee Appleton Farms. He retired from his law practice in 1910 to devote himself to the farm full time. Fanny Lanier Appleton (1864-1958) with son Jimmie. She lived until age 93, surviving her husband, her sons Jimmie and Charles, and her daughter Ruth. Ruth Appleton (1891-1943). Childhood objects belonging to Ruth from The Trustees collection include an ivory portrait miniature executed in Rome in 1894 and a needlepoint sampler that Ruth made for her father in 1913. Alice Appleton Hay (1894-1987). Alice spent many happy summers in New Hampshire at her husband’s family estate, The Fells. Her father-in-law, John Hay, was a confidant of Abraham Lincoln. James Appleton (1899-1915). Jimmie died young, at age 16. A number of tributes exist in his name both at Appleton Farms and in the town of Ipswich. Charles Lanier Appleton (1886-1921). Charles led the 396th Regiment of African American soldiers in World War I, and was revered by his men. Joan Egleston Appleton (1912-2006) and Francis Randall Appleton, Jr. (1885-1974). Joan met her future husband when Francis fell off his horse. The couple donated Appleton Farms to The Trustees in 1974. Learn more about each member of the Appleton family at the exhibit Of Farm and Family: Generations of Appleton Family Portraits, at Appleton Farms through spring 2014.