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Detail: Henry D. Thoreau, 1898
Walton Ricketson (1839-1923). Concord plaster, paint. 29 x 13 x 11 inches. Gift of Mr. Walton Ricketson and Miss Anna Ricketson (1929) Pi1602. Photograph by J. David Bohl

Highlight: An Observant Eye

The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum

By David F. Wood, Concord Museum,
hardcover, 160 pages, illustrated, $39.95

Most of the household and personal objects belonging to Henry David Thoreau and his family have remained in Concord, Massachusetts, the author's birthplace and home. Objects are not typically associated with the Transcendentalist Thoreau, whose interest in nature and the unencumbered life is famously recorded in Walden; but here, David Wood points out Thoreau's acute sense of the ability of objects to communicate.

Pair of fire buckets, about 1825.
Probably Boston painted leather.
H: 13 in. Dia: 9 in. Gift of Mrs. Jennie Merriam LeBrun (1921) Th39a, Th39b. Provenance: John Thoreau, Sr.; Sophia Thoreau; Mrs. Jennie Merriam LeBrun; Mrs. F.M. Holland Photograph by J. David Bohl.

Wood, curator of the Concord Museum, selects some of Thoreau's favorite possessions in the museum's collection and explores their background and the role these objects played in the author's intellectual life.

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