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Current Museum Events

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October 15, 2019
Museum Tuesday Talk— Curating Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence


Free admission

In organizing a major exhibition on the history of women’s suffrage, the curator faced several critical problems, including how to create a more inclusive narrative, and how to find appropriate objects that would tell this history. During this lecture, Dr. Lemay will relate how she addressed these issues, and guide members of the audience through the process of curating a major exhibition at the Smithsonian as part of the #BecauseOfHerStory initiative on American women’s history.

Speaker: Kate Clarke Lemay, Historian and Curator, National Portrait Gallery

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October 16, 2019
DAR Museum: My Name is `Ōpūkaha`ia

6:30 PM

Enjoy an evening of traditional Hawaiian music and a theatrical performance!  Hawaiian Mission Houses presents a one-person play of the life of Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia, a young Hawaiian who came to the United States in 1808 for a promotional speaking tour. His life and memoirs inspired others to carry on his message, and the year 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of a group of missionaries setting sail from the United States to Hawaii.

Two schoolgirl samplers in the DAR Museum share a connection with the Hawaiian Mission Houses. One was made by Maka, a Native Hawaiian, at a missionary school on Maui. The other was made by the daughter of missionaries, Isabella Chamberlain, whose childhood home is now the Hawaiian Mission House Museum. The samplers will be on exhibit exclusively for the performance.

Doors open at 6:00pm. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note there is no food or drink allowed in the theater.

Get Tickets! $10 per person; ticket sales begin September 3.

This event made possible by a generous donation from the Hawaii State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

More about the performers:

Moses Goods is one of Hawaiʻi’s most prominent theatre artists. Originally from the island of Maui and now based in Honolulu, he has traveled nationally and internationally performing his original work to a wide range of audiences.  His body of work ranges from full length plays to theatrical storytelling pieces – most of which are strongly rooted in Native Hawaiian culture.

Pōʻai Lincoln will be performing Hawaiian music that provides a cultural context to the play. She is the Cultural Programs Coordinator at Hawaiian Mission Houses and an accomplished musician.


October 24, 2019
Get a Clue: A Murder Mystery Evening



Join the DAR Museum for a live action game of Clue!

A murder has been committed at the museum and the killer lurks among us. Can you solve the crime before it's too late? Put your sleuthing skills to the test. Who is responsible? What weapon did they use? And where did the murder take place?

Included in the ticket price:

  • Two drink tickets
  • Light snacks
  • Detective packet
  • Special access to collection objects

Age 21+


Get tickets! Ticket sales begin October 1


November 12, 2019
DAR Museum Tuesday Talk: What Style Is It? Furniture at the DAR Museum, 1660-1940


When looking at a piece of antique furniture, ever wonder what style it is? Using furniture from the DAR Museum collection, will discuss styles over time. Ranging from exaggerated proportions of the 1600s to classicism of the 1810s, this lecture will show how furniture styles changed based on the latest decorative fashions. We will also consider the role technology played on influencing design and how interest in America’s past informed popular revivals of the early 20th century. 

Speaker: Patrick Sheary, Curator of Furnishings and Historic Interiors

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November 15, 2019
Culture & Technology in American Quilts: A Symposium


This symposium will explore how women engaged with the world through their quiltmaking, to compliment the DAR Museum’s current exhibit, A Piece of Her Mind: Culture and Technology in American Quilts. With a full day of speakers and a chance to tour the exhibit, this event is not one to miss. Lunch and snacks included, PLUS a Gallery Chat with Alden O'Brien, Curator of Exhibit "A Piece of Her Mind: Culture and Technology in American Quilts."

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Registration deadline: Friday, November 1


The Romantic Era: Understanding Friendship Quilts places the fashion for making friendship quilts within the context of antebellum America's social history and material culture. It is based on research for the exhibition “Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion & Its Legacy,” which appeared at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in 2016. Lynne Bassett expands on the ideas presented in that exhibition and shows how the same factors affected quilts.

Lynne Zacek Bassett is an independent scholar specializing in New England's historic costume and textiles.  Lynne’s projects have taken her all over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, and have included numerous exhibitions, publications, and lectures.  Her current exhibition project, "Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts," will open at the Connecticut Historical Society on October 11 and run through the end of this year.  Her contribution to the field of historic costumes and textiles has been recognized by the American Antiquarian Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, Historic New England, and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, which have all elected her to membership in their honorary or advisory committees.


Quiltmaking in the Culture of Home Sewing: Northern New York, 1850–1920 explores the primarily practical, utilitarian, conservative ways in which rural women engaged with their world through their textile work in the same period that women in more settled areas were turning their sights outward.

Hallie Bond is a historian and student of material culture primarily interested in the social history of the rural northeast between the Civil War and World War II. She worked as a curator at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, for 26 years, where she was in charge of the institution’s world-renowned boat collection. Her book Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks followed the permanent exhibit of the same name; she is now studying quilts and quilting in northern New York.


Star Spangl'd: Patriotic Quilts of the 1850s looks at the political culture of the 1850s to give us insight into an almost forgotten and unpleasant context that has given us an impressive group of American quilts. An analysis of date-inscribed quilts indicates a surge of eagle designs beginning in 1853. Several picture aggressive eagles without the traditional olive branches. These national birds grasp lightning bolts (arrows) in both claws. During that decade the United States was at relative peace with the rest of the world. Wars with Britain and Mexico were over. Who was the enemy?

Barbara Brackman is a quilt historian and author from Lawrence, Kansas. Barbara has written numerous books indexing patterns, exploring women's history through their quilt making and giving guidelines for dating fabrics and quilts. She writes several blogs about quilt history including Civil War Quilts and Material Culture. She is a founding member of the American Quilt Study Group.


Mind-Reading: Improving our Understanding of the Floral Literacy of Quiltmakers in the First Half of the 19th Century draws together a broad selection of early fabrics, botanical illustrations, and modern scientific information about actual flowers and plants to better understand the level of floral knowledge of women in the first half of the 19th century. What did women actually see when they selected floral-printed fabrics for their quilts or created their own appliqued flowers? Was it merely an assortment of beautiful plants, attractively designed? How familiar were the quiltmakers with the myriad of different plant motifs depicted on printed cottons?

Deborah Kraak, the former Associate Curator of Textiles at Winterthur Museum, holds an MA in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Now an independent museum professional, she catalogues private and institutional collections, curates exhibitions, and lectures and publishes on quilts, textiles, costume, and period interiors. She was a consultant to the archives of the international fabric company Kravet Inc., which owns the Brunschwig & Fils archive of historic fabrics, including a museum-class collection of eighteenth and nineteenth-century printed textiles. An abiding interest in historic fashions in flowers on printed and woven fabrics, as well as embroideries, blossomed into her ongoing collaboration with Dr. Terry Terrell. 

Dr. Terry Terrell has a Ph.D. in Ecology.  After teaching in the Botany Department at the University of Wyoming she pursued a research career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.  Since her retirement she has been actively researching various quilt history topics and has been working with museum professional Deborah Kraak to develop a website ( to help people correctly identify floral motifs on chintz.  She has published two papers in the journal Uncoverings as well as giving numerous presentations and writing short articles.  


A New Deal for Quilts explores intersections of gender, poverty, race, craft, and politics in the New Deal era through the lens of quilts and quiltmaking. By the time the Roosevelt Administration began combatting the Great Depression, the quilt had become an emblem of how to lift one’s family out of poverty, piece by piece.

Janneken Smucker, a 5th-generation Mennonite quiltmaker and Professor of History at West Chester University, specializes in digital, oral, and public history, and American material culture. The author of Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), she lectures and writes widely on the topic of quilts for both popular and academic audiences. Janneken also leads workshops on digital tools and strategies, consults on digital projects for non-profits and museums, and brings digital humanities into the undergraduate classroom, while also serving as the digital editor of the Oral History Review. This presentation draws on her current research project exploring how both the United States government and American quiltmakers employed quilts as a source of empowerment during the Great Depression.


A Gallery Chat with Alden O'Brien, Curator of Exhibit "A Piece of Her Mind"



December 7, 2019
DAR Museum Historical Tea


Women won the vote in 1920, but the movement started long before then. Come celebrate the women who started it all: Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and more. Enjoy tea and pastries with your friends while you travel back in time to the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. All are welcome!

Ticket includes:

  • Finger-sandwiches and pastries
  • A tasting of teas popular in the 19th century
  • Activities related to the theme
  • Special access to objects from the museum collection

Get your ticket starting November 1


December 10, 2019
DAR Museum Tuesday Talk— Carving Consent, Crafting Confinement: The Busk as a Token of Love, Acceptance, and Female Agency in Early America


Women of eighteenth-century British America were confined and complexly bound by stays and busks. Join Dr. Cynthia Chin as she discusses busks in early America — flat, stiff, oblong objects that were slipped inside the front of a woman’s stays — and how these small, often overlooked objects were powerful yet private communicative tools of fashionableness, sensuality, sentimentality — and also political statements.

Speaker: Dr. Cynthia E. Chin, Georgetown University

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