Building Stories: Historic Houses and the Stories We Tell


A conversation about the intersections of house museums, stories, and cultural memory

Why do some historic houses become museums?

How are artifacts and records used to help shape their stories?

What do these museums have to teach us about history and storytelling, and what do they reveal about our own moment in history?

Three experts will discuss the ways in which historic houses are researched, narrated, and presented. Using 1865 Lippitt House–featuring one of the best-preserved Victorian interiors in America–as the example, participants will discuss archival material, research strategies, anecdotes, and artifacts. Discussion will include reflections on the role of houses in fiction. Audience members will be encouraged to visit the first-floor rooms before and after the presentation to reflect on what they have heard. Speakers include Carrie Taylor (Lippitt House Museum Director), Jackie Delamatre (Lippitt House Museum Curator of Education), and Taylor Polites (author, The Rebel Wife; Providence Noir).

“Building Stories: Historic Houses and the Stories We Tell” is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Council seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.

Admission: FREE.

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