Lecture and Dessert Series
A series of two scholarly lectures celebrating the Bulman bed hangings, illuminating their history, and placing them in the context of other New England bed furnishings. The lectures are followed immediately by dessert, coffee, and tea in Jefferds Tavern.
Sunday, November 5
Re-examining the Bulman Bed Hangings: New Research and Recent Conservation
Joel Lefever and Janet Blyberg, Old York Historical Society
In 2014 Old York embarked on an ambitious project to ensure the long-term preservation of the Bulman bed hangings, and to rediscover their story. During the initial phase of the project, museum staff delved into archival records to flesh out the history of the bed hangings and the Bulman family. Old York’s executive director, Joel Lefever, presents some exciting new findings, including a detailed provenance of the textiles, and the religious and cultural background of the Bulman family that may have influenced their design. Professionally conserved for the first time in their almost 300-year history, the textiles have been cleaned, and installed on a new custom-made bed stead. Project manager, Janet Blyberg, gives an overview of the two-year conservation project, explaining the process of re-installing the textiles, and highlighting some of the innovative technology that allows Old York to safely display these historic bed hangings.
Sunday, November 26
Under the Covers: A Look at Beds in Maine 1730–1830
Natalie Larson, Historic Textile Reproduction, Williamsburg, Virginia
When it comes to sleeping arrangements, Mainers have—historically—taken their beds very seriously. The state is home to some of the oldest and most complete beds and sets of bed furnishings in the United States. Natalie Larson, historic textile reproduction specialist and scholar based in Williamsburg, Virginia, has refurbished early American bedsteads in house museums across the country—including presidential mansions such as Mount Vernon and Monticello. Larson has worked on numerous beds in Maine, and shares details about recent restoration projects at the Black House in Ellsworth (the oldest bed in America to retain its original hangings, in situ!), the Knox Museum’s Montpelier Mansion in Thomaston, and the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland, among others. Larson discusses Old York’s Bulman bed hangings in the context of these other important American beds. 3 pm Tickets: $18 / $15 members Available online or at the door.
Program Room, Old York Museum Center, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909 The Remick Gallery will be open from 2–3pm for lecture attendees to view the Bulman bed hangings and The Best of York exhibition.
Support for the lecture series is generously provided by 1631 Partner, Nancy Gustad.
Saturday, December 2
A holiday tradition! Old York presents this annual event in historic Jefferds Tavern, with fine organic teas generously provided by White Heron Tea and Coffee in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, accompanied by homemade desserts, fireside tables, and festive decorations. Talented silhouette artist Leona Hosack will be in house to hand cut profile portraits from life. 12–4 pm Tickets: $10 adults, $5 children (ages 5–14, under 5 free) Available at the door (no advance purchase). Jefferds Tavern, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909
Friday, December 8, 6pm
6th Annual Whisky Tasting
Whisky connoisseur Peter Blyberg returns to share his passion for Scotch whisky—this year highlighting 4 single malt whiskies. Chef Bill Irish of the catering firm, For the Love of Food and Drink, will be at the hearth making delicious nibbles over the fire, designed to complement the selected whiskies. The menu includes the ever-popular Cullen skink (traditional Scottish smoked haddock chowder). Bill has a passion for historic re-enacting and has cooked at events at Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, and Monticello.
The tasting takes place in historic Jefferds Tavern, with fireside tables and festive decorations. Tickets: $45 / $40 members Reservations required. Jefferds Tavern, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909
Friday, December 15
Yuletide Concert with Great Bay Sailor
7 pm Details to be announced. Program Room, Old York Museum Center, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909
Saturday, January 6, 6pm
Twelfth Night Tavern Dinner
Details to be announced. Tickets will go on sale in late November.
The Bulman Bed Hangings
The Bulman Bed hangings are the crown jewel of our collection, and are widely considered a national treasure. The Museum has recently received a grant from the Coby Foundation to have the bed hangings professionally stabilized and conserved in preparation for installation in the Remick Gallery.
We will be telling the fascinating history of the bed hangings through a series of posts on our blog, introducing readers to the talented team of experts involved in the project, as well as documenting the conservation and reinstallation process, and sharing new findings. Please join us on this incredible journey by reading our first post and signing up to follow the blog.