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Explore a bygone Transcendentalist community whose pastoral landscape houses wide-ranging collections of art and artifacts.
In 1843, Amos Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane turned a swath of Harvard farmland into a Transcendentalist experiment in subsistence farming and Emersonian self-reliance, named “Fruitlands,” which ultimately disbanded after only seven months. In 1914, Clara Endicott Sears opened the grounds to the public, establishing a museum in the property’s 1820s farmhouse.
The 210-acre landscape encompasses five collections first established by Sears: the original Fruitlands Farmhouse; the Shaker Museum, the first such museum in the country; the Native American Museum, celebrating the history of indigenous peoples; the Art Museum, with a variety of rotating exhibits, contemporary art, and showcasing a combined collection of more than 300 Hudson River School landscape paintings and 19th-century vernacular portraits; and the Wayside Visitor Center, a classroom, education, and exhibition space. Enjoy the exhibits, hike the grounds, or attend events like the summer concert series or the annual craft festival in fall.