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[ This description is from the project: MHS Collecting History ]
In 1841, George and Sophia Ripley founded the Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education, the best-known utopian experiment in America, in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. They envisioned the cooperative community as a social application of Transcendentalism. To support their experiment in "plain living and high thinking," the Brook Farmers ran a progressive school; published a journal devoted to social reform, The Harbinger; and manufactured oil lamps and other utilitarian pewter ware. In addition to the manuscripts of participants, the Historical Society holds two contemporary views of Brook Farm painted by Josiah Wolcott, who was a member of the community.