“Painting, Poetry ... and Porcelaine”
In John Adams's vision of the heirarchy and hereditary nature of education, he was hopeful that his grandchildren might learn "Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine."
Adams's 1780 letter to Abigail, written while in Paris, continues: "It is not indeed the fine Arts, which our Country requires. The Usefull, the mechanic Arts, are those which We have occasion for in a young Country, as yet simple and not far advanced in Luxury, altho perhaps much too far for her Age and Character." The objects featured on this page illustrate examples of the "fine" and "Usefull" arts and include examples of 18th century housewares, jewelry, and needlework.
John Hancock's Silver
John Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies and was a prominent patriot in the Revolutionary War. Below is a portrait of Hancock as well as two of three recent gifts to the Society of silver pieces formerly belonging to Hancock and his family. The third piece, which is also in the physical exhibit, is a pap boat, which is a lipped, boat-shaped child's feeding bowl.