The Gardner Museum’s mission is the collection and preservation of material pertaining to the rich history of Gardner, and the sharing of knowledge and information relating to that history.
Chair & Furniture
Gardner was known for its production of chairs throughout the 1800s, even for a time being known as the “chair city of the world.” Throughout the 1800s chair manufacturers flocked to this production center, producing some of the highest quality chairs in the country. The Gardner Museum is proud to house a significant collection of the many chairs produced in the town throughout this heyday, that at its peak, saw Gardner be home to twelve different chair shops.
The Silversmithing exhibit documents the town’s other major industry for over a century, silversmithing. From 1887 to 1958, silversmithing was a mainstay of industry in Gardner, producing beautiful products. This exhibit contains pieces that display the process of silversmithing present in Gardner, as well as the finished products that were coming out of the town.
The Museum also has an array of other exhibits from the many facets of life in Gardner. There are exhibits that show the other industries present in Gardner throughout its history including: the Florence Stove Company, and the Simplex Recorder Company. There is also an exhibit detailing the history of the Gardner Fire Department. There are also exhibits with items from the Ohave Shalom Synagogue, and paintings by local artists, in addition to a photo gallery detailing the development of Gardner from the early 1800s.
A temporary exhibit will be on display: "Gardner Theatre Guild," showcasing the city’s own little niche of "Broadway Shows," introducing local talent. From 1939 until the early 1960’s, local residents produced top-notch plays at the Miller's Opera House, The Little Theater , and Pearson Auditorium and supported several organizations with funds raised by these plays.
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